SARCOPHAGUS 

By Sasquaw

               Alex Cahill keeps looking at her watch and tapping her fingers against the dinner table. She looks around at all of the guests, all dressed out in their fanciest gowns and tuxedos. It's the lawyers' annual convention, and Alex is due to accept several awards. She keeps looking towards the front door, she mumbles under her breath, "Walker---where are you?"
              
Her thoughts go back to the day in question, when she asked Walker to escort her to the dinner. He wasn't too happy about the thought of wearing a tuxedo, but he agreed to come. Their relationship had hit a few snags since their rafting trip, and that first time that they had been intimate.
                       Walker had been taking all kinds of new cases, and it seemed every time they had tried to have time alone, one of them would have to break a date. Walker was blaming her for the new cases she was taking, and she was blaming him for taking on new ones.
               Their arguments were overtaking what little time they did have together, and they were both losing their tempers. The last one was on the day she had asked him to escort her to the award ceremony.
                   "Alex, you know how I hate wearing a tuxedo!"
                        They're having lunch at C.D.'s and Walker is 'miffed' because they are in a public place and not his ranch or her apartment. She's trying to smooth things over as she smiles back at him, and rubs her leg up against his under
the table.
                          "Walker---I have to be back in court in just half an hour, are we going to argue the whole time?"
                  Walker takes a deep breath, "You said that you were going to let the new law clerk work with Mooney for the next few days and you were going to take some time off and come out to the ranch!  Alex, we've had very little time together since coming back from the rafting trip, I want to be alone with you---not here---in a public eating place."
               "I know what I said, sweetheart---but Andy is not ready to take on this kind of a case. I promise that when this Hemming’s case is over with, I will take some time off---and what about you?"
                      "What about me?"
               "You haven't exactly been putting any spare time back for me either----we've made plans several times and you get called out on a case."
               "It's my job, Alex--I have to work!" He answers sarcastically.
               "And, I don't? What about my job---my job is just as important as yours!"
               They remain silent for the longest, Walker takes her hand and squeezes it gently, "I'm sorry---I guess I'm just feeling the---neglect."
               She smiles, lowering her eyes and looking up at him in the way that drives him crazy. She purrs, "You mean---'horny?"
               He laughs softly, then reaches over and kisses her tenderly, "Yeah---I'm  'horny' and I don't mind admitting it.  Every time I see you in the halls, I just want to scoop you up, take you back to your office, and make mad, passionate love to you in every position possible---and I'm getting 'hornier' the more I think about it."
               Alex takes her forefinger and touches his beard, rubbing it gently. "Wellllll---I'm 'horny' too---but we don't have the time---you know I don't like 'quickies’."
                    "Alex, at this point I'll take it anyway I can get it---my pants are already too tight-----maybe we can use C.D.'s room in the back."
               Alex is trying not to laugh, "Oh, that would make for some hot gossip--Texas Ranger and Assistant District Attorney making out in back room of C.D.'s famous bar and grill!"
                  Walker is grinning as he reaches under the table and pinches the inside of her thighs, "I never knew C.D.'s was famous, but it sure will be after we're through."
               Alex looks around her quickly, and closes her thighs together on Walker's hand, "Behave yourself---and I promise I'll make it up to you tonight."
                       "How?  That's going to be pretty difficult to do with me down in Abilene and you here."
                 "What? You didn't say anything about going to Abilene, when do you have to go?"
               "I have to meet Trivette in about an hour, we pick up the Ramsey boys---and escort them to federal court. Did you forget … I have to testify down there?"
               Alex groans, "Yes---I did forget, I thought that was next week?"
                     Walker shakes his head, and then he sits back against the booth. "It seems we're always going in opposite directions, don't it?"
               "I'm sorry honey---I forgot that you had to testify---you'll probably be down there for several days," Alex replies.
                   Walker reaches for his coffee, then he looks into Alex's blue eyes. "Alex----we can't go on this way---I want to be with you, and not for just a couple of hours here and maybe an hour that we manage to get at the ranch ----or your apartment.  We're going to have to do something about cutting our workload in half---both of us are going to have to start cutting back."
               "I agree---Walker--I promise that when this case is over---I will not accept another one anytime soon."
                  Walker shakes his head, "You've said that before Alex, and like before you jump right back into another one---one of our problems could be solved if you would just agree to move out to the ranch. Hon---just the driving time alone would give us more time together. Instead, you're always getting up early so you can drive back to your apartment and be ready for court. I worry about you driving back at that hour, and I'm staying awake to make sure you get back to your apartment safely."
                    "Well, excuse me if I'm causing you to lose sleep."
                    "Alex, you know I don't mean it that way. You can stay at the ranch, move some of your personal belongings in so you won't have to get up so damn early to get dressed and to do all those 'girlie' things that you have to do that takes up so much of your time."
                   "Girlie things?  Walker, I have you know that those 'girlie' things you're accusing me of doing that take up so much of my time---or I should say "your time" happens to be for your benefit---I want to make myself beautiful for you-----I'm not exactly a 'spring chicken'!”
               Again Walker's hand goes under the table and squeezes her thigh, "You're the most gorgeous 'spring chicken' I have ever known----and you're always beautiful to me. I've told you that you are the most beautiful first thing in the morning--with no makeup on---just that fresh, flushed look after we've made love."
               Alex smiles, then glances at her watch, "Walker----it's almost time for me to start heading back to the courthouse---could we not argue anymore?"
               The Ranger withdraws his hand discreetly from under the table, "Okay, Counselor---I will wear a tuxedo and I will take you to your award ceremony---but--we are not staying for the whole ceremony--after you receive your awards, we're leaving and you are not going back to your apartment for the whole weekend!   Agreed?"
                     Alex's blue eyes look deep into the Rangers'. For a long time she thought his eyes were almost black, but in the intimate moments to follow, she could see they were a deep hazel, turning from blue to gray. She loved looking into them, and the way they could undress her, making her feel like Jell-o. She takes her forefinger and runs it over his lips, those wide lips that were accented by his moustache, and trimline beard. She remembered the first time they had really shared a kiss, and she still became weak thinking about it.
               She purrs back at him, "Well, if you think you're going to get an argument out of me, you're dead wrong!"
               They share a tender kiss, then they hear C.D.'s voice hollering, "Hey Cordell---telephone!"
               The Ranger groans, "He sure isn't subtle, is he?"
               While Walker goes to answer his call, Alex heads for the ladies' room to fix her hair and makeup. She walks up to the lavatory sink and pulls out her small hairbrush, then applies fresh lipstick. She observes a woman in the far stall, talking into her cell phone. The woman sees Alex and makes a quick exit. Alex watches as the woman leaves, she shakes her head. The woman was dressed completely in black and kept her face shielded by her collar. The woman walked hastily, in almost a stomping manner.
                    "Can't even go to the ladies' room without someone being on a damn cell phone, now I'm starting to understand why Walker hates them so."
               She takes one last look in the mirror and smoothes out her blouse then she heads for the door.
                     Walker is waiting for her at the front door; she smiles at him, slipping her hand into his.
               "Who was on the phone?"
                 "Don't know, they hung up!  But, I suspect that Trivette will be calling soon, I'll walk you to your car."
               The Ranger walks Alex to her little convertible, motioning for her to scoot over, putting her almost on the gear console. She doesn't complain as he shares her seat, and they go into a deep and tender kiss. Finally she pulls away from him breathless, she whispers.
               "Are you sure you're okay about the tuxedo 'thing'?"
                 "Yes," he answers, pulling her back to him and kissing her deeply.
               His cell phone rings and he groans, "Damn it---I told you Trivette would be calling."
               Alex giggles as she looks up into her rear view mirror to reapply fresh lipstick; she listens as Walker is saying that he's on his way. As Alex is applying her lipstick she catches a glimpse of the same woman from the restroom standing across the street from C.D.'s. The woman seems to be looking in her direction, but turns quickly and walks away. Alex turns around in her seat to see which direction the woman went but the woman has disappeared.
               "I'm sorry hon---got to go." Walker kisses her quickly, "I'll call you tonight."
               Alex returns his kiss, "Okay, sweetheart--be careful."
               "I'm always careful," Walker sticks his head back through the window and kisses her again----"Oh---will you drive out to the ranch and make sure my tux is clean?"
               Alex nods her head, "Honey, why wouldn't it be clean, you haven't wore it since New Years' Eve----but yes---I will drive out tonight and check on it---probably spend the night."
               Again Walker sticks his head back through the window, "Sounds good to me, keep my side of the bed sweet with the smell of your lilac body lotion, and have good dreams," he kisses her tenderly and then he walks towards his Ram. Alex waves to him as he drives off, she's missing him already.
               As Alex is leaving the parking lot and heading back out to 28th street a small auto pulls out from the parking lot behind the steak house. It follows behind Alex at a safe distance. Alex's Sebring Convertible turns south and heads downtown, the little car follows.
               Alex is reaching for a certain compact disc, and does not see the little car pull up beside her or the driver behind the wheel. The driver is looking towards the Sebring, a hissing sound can be heard and a voice whispers.
               "You think you're so pretty in your high faluting two piece suit and fancy blouse---but you won't have him---you bitch! Do you hear me, you're going to pay, just like all the others that have tried to trick me--I will get you-BITCH!"
              
The car speeds by Alex quickly, she barely pays it any mind as she has found the music disc she was searching for and starts to sing along to the words.
                            I cross my heart
                            and promise to give
                            all I got to give
                            to make all your dreams come true.
                            In all the world,
                            you'll never find
                            a love---as true as mine.
                     Alex's memories go back to the day that she and Walker had gone to see "Pure Country" starring George Strait. The song "I Cross My Heart" had been both of their favorites', so when the singer made a personal appearance at Billy Bob's--Walker bought a copy for each of them. She smiles to herself as she remembered how the rest of the afternoon developed, she could feel herself getting warm.
               By the time the concert was over, a huge thunderstorm was brewing, and winds were almost 60 miles an hour. They headed back to Walker's ranch, but could only go so far, as debris was blown across the highway. A cattle truck had overturned and the driver and other drivers were trying to round the cows up, before an accident could happen. Walker slows his Ram down and pulls off the side of the highway.
               He sighs, "Guess I'd better try to give them a hand until the DPS arrive."
                   "Walker, be careful! The wind is blowing so hard and the rain is coming down so hard that the visibility is very poor out there."
               No sooner than the words are out of Alex's mouth than a cow runs straight into the side of Walker's truck. The animal shakes his head back and forth and runs to the opposite side of the highway, the truck driver gives chase. Walker reaches to his back seat for his lasso, throws his Stetson over into the seat next to Alex.
               "It's been awhile since I was calf roping, let's see if I still have the 'know how'."
               It's a full two hours before all the cattle have been rounded up. The DPS has been chasing them down the exits and back up to 199. Alex has watched the whole scenario as Walker is trying to lasso one particular cow that has taken an instant dislike to the Ranger. Every time Walker is almost within reach of roping her, the cow backs off. Alex shakes her head, she wonders who will give up first!
               The rain has slacked off as Walker edges closer to the retreating bovine. The two stare at each other, as the cow is backing up towards the opposite side of the two-lane highway. Walker is watching the animal's eyes, he twirls the lasso around his head slowly and then lets it go, it goes around the cow's neck---perfectly. The Ranger grins and looks back towards the Ram, Alex is smiling back at him. The Ranger gives a 'thumbs up', and at that same time, the cow starts running down the embankment, catching a very surprised Ranger--off guard.
               Alex gasps as Walker loses his footing and goes down on his butt, the cow is pulling him across highway 199 and heading down the muddy embankment. The DPS is running after Walker and trying to grab hold of the rope, but they're all slipping and sliding as more cars are stopping to watch the scenario.
               Alex breaks out in a fit of uncontrollable laughter as Walker is trying to stand, but he loses his footing again and goes head first into a female officer. They both hit the pavement, but Walker's hand has gotten caught in the rope and he slides right over the officer, pulling her with him. The cow has lost her balance and is sliding down the embankment, the two officers tumbling after it. Alex puts her window down quickly and strains to see if Walker is okay. Another officer runs up to the truck and hollers at her.
                    "They're okay, ma'am--the cow is subdued and the officers are okay."
               Alex is breathing a sigh of relief as she watches Walker and the female officer climb back up the embankment. Walker is making sure that she's okay and then he starts towards the Ram. He can see Alex through the windshield, laughing her head off.  Walker is covered in mud! He tries to knock off as much of the mud as he can, then he opens the door and slides in, Alex moves to the opposite side----still laughing!!!
                     Walker sighs deeply, "So, you think this is funny, do you?"
               Alex is trying to talk, but her laughter gets louder, "I'm sorry honey----but you looked so funny sliding across highway 199 on----your butt!"        
                       Walker shakes his head, the water spraying on Alex but she still can't stop laughing. The Ranger starts up the Ram and drives slowly down the highway and to his exit up to the Walker ranch. He keeps looking at Alex; she's holding his hat over her mouth and trying to stifle her laughter. He makes a mocking "hee hee" back at her, she laughs harder.
               "I wish---I had-----that-------on camera," she manages to say.
                     Walker groans as he pulls up to the front door of his house, "I'll pull around back to the laundry room----do you think you can stop laughing long enough to get me some towels?"
               Alex nods her head, "Yes----honey----I'll try."
               The blonde DA is still laughing as she lets herself in through the front door and passing the hall bathroom she grabs several towels. She walks quickly towards the laundry room and opens the door--it hits her smack in the chest----a big wad of mud!
                     "Walker!"
               He starts running towards her with more mud in his hand, she tries to turn and run for the door to close it, he catches her. He starts smearing the mud all over her face and her new white dress.
               "Not so funny now, is it?"
               Alex is trying to wiggle away from him, her feet slip on the mud and they both go down on the floor. They're both laughing and trying to stand as Walker is trying to shove more mud down the front of Alex's blouse. She's laughing and trying to shove him away and they both hit the floor again.
                      "Truce! Truce!" Gasps Alex.
                       Walker lays back down the floor and pulls Alex on top of him, "Had enough?"
               "Yes, yes," she kisses him hard, "you play dirty pool, Walker."
               "I'll teach you to laugh at me, come here woman."
               They go into a deep into a sensuous kiss, Walker's hands are opening the front of Alex's dress and pushing it quickly over her shoulders.  His lips go to her neck and down to her breasts, taking them one by one deep inside his mouth. He groans lightly, "Let's get these clothes off."
               They both stand up and start shedding their clothes. Alex reaches over and starts the washing machine. "I think I will forego the detergent till we can get the clothes sorted out, just put it through a soaking cycle." She closes the lid.
                    Walker is not replying as he watches Alex shed her wet clothes, she's standing before him in just her panties, bra, and stockings. He grins as he reaches out and cups her derriere, pulling her into him.
                 "Ummmm, sounds good to me, in the meantime-----" he lifts her up and sits her down gently on the washing machine, "I've got my own wash cycle to go through."
               Alex purrs as she scoots back on the machine, and reaches out for him. He kisses her long and tender, his tongue going deep inside her mouth, and then down to her breasts. She moans at the thought of what is to come, the sound of the washer filling up with water is warm on her buttocks.  She's reaching behind her to unsnap her bra as Walker is working feverishly on her right breast. The bra falls downward and Walker tosses it aside.
               He stands back and looks at her as he starts to unbuckle his belt, and kick his boots off. Their eyes never leave each other’s as Alex licks her lips and smiles back at him teasingly. He kicks his jeans off, lifts Alex gently high enough to throw them in the washer, and then sits her back down gently. He continues to stare into her eyes as he goes back to her stomach and gently traces a line from her navel button down to the top of her panties. He gently nudges the panties to the side as Alex draws a deep breath.
                   "Move it lady, the light ain't gonna get any greener!"
              
Alex is awakened from her reverie by the sound of a horn blaring and a irate driver yelling at her. She looks around, totally embarrassed. She can't even remember exiting the freeway, much less stopping at the traffic light. She shakes her head, and continues across the intersection, the courthouse looms back at her. She pulls into her parking space, and shuts off the motor. She continues to shake her head, mumbling--"Walker, if you only knew this effect that you have on me."
              
She reaches across the seat for her briefcase, rethinking the last few minutes, she swears. "Damn truck driver, could you have waited for at least another moment, the good part was coming up----no wonder my underwear feels damp!"
               The District Attorney walks slowly into the courthouse and up to the elevators, a young man is running behind her, "Hold the door, please!"
               Alex looks to the young man, "Andy!  What are you doing here, you should be in court?"
               The young man is in his early 20's, almost 6 feet with big wide eyes that are a deep green, accented with long lashes that any woman would give her right arm to have. His lips are wide also and his smile is shy. He's a very handsome young man as most of the young women in the building have been vying for his attention.
               The man is gasping for breath, "I had to run an errand, Miss Cahill, got caught up in traffic."
               Alex stares back at him, her eyes narrow, "What kind of errand, I thought you had all of the deposition ready for Mooney?"
               "Yes ma'am, I did--at least I thought I did---but there were some discrepancy on the part of that last witness, and---Mr. Mooney sent me over to the hospital to get more information."
               Alex shakes her head as she looks at her young law clerk, "Andy---why didn't you just have the information faxed, the hospital would have done that for you--and saved a lot of time?"
               "Yes ma'am---I should have done that----but I know how strict you are about getting things done and up face."
               The elevator door opens and they step out, Andy holds the door for Alex, but he lets it go too soon and it almost hits two gentlemen that are trying to enter. One of the men swears at him. The young man starts stammering his apologies and runs to catch up with Alex.
               Alex stops and turns to Andy, "Look, Andy---this is the third time that you have messed up on getting the proper information, and you are slacking on keeping the files up to date, is there anything wrong?"
               Andy starts to stutter, "No, no--Miss Cahill---I will do bet--I will do better---I swear."
               The blonde DA stares back at the young man, her voice softens, "Okay---but I'm afraid that if I have anymore complaints about you, I will have to get someone else.  You don't seem to be concentrating on your work--when you first came to work for my office, you were exceptional. All the files were immaculate, in tip top form, all my latest cases were on my desk first thing in the morning and everyone was bragging about efficient you were.  I can't help but think that you are worried about something----is it personal?"
               "No ma'am."
               "I'm just trying to understand you, Andy and if it's a personal problem---maybe I can help."
               The young man looks back at her, he's lost in her blue eyes and the smell of her lilac perfume. He shakes his head.
               "No ma'am---it's not personal----I don't----have a girlfriend."
               Alex smiles and they continue to walk back to her office. "Nonsense---I can't believe a handsome young man like yourself doesn't have several girlfriends."
               Andy smiles embarrassed, his eyes turn a deeper green. "There is someone that I'm interested in, but----she doesn't even know I exist---now."
               They have reached Alex's office, and she goes to sit down, she looks back to her law clerk, "I bet I know who she is."
               Andy swallows hard, "You do?"
               Alex starts taking things out of her briefcase and laying them on her desk, she has to move a picture off to the side. "Yes----it wouldn't be that cute little redhead that works down in the cafeteria--would it?"
               Andy begins to ponder Alex's question, "Redhead, what redhead?"
               "I think her name is Lisa, she works the cash register, every time I go down there to get a sandwich, she always asks about you."
               "She does," Andy answers angrily, "what is she saying about me?"
               Alex sees the anger in Andy's face, "She was just asking how you were----she's a very cute young lady---is she the one you're interested in?"
                    "No!" Andy snaps back, but then he stammers---"no, I mean---I'm not interested in her----she's too nosy."
               Alex decides to drop the subject, she looks back at Andy, noticing something different about his eyes. She can almost swear that he's wearing an eyeliner on the bottom lid, "Well, I would love to sit here and play twenty questions with you, but I'm sure that Mooney is about to climb the walls, you better get that deposition to him---now!"
               The young man stammers more, backing out the door, and then he's rushing to catch the elevator---again.
               Alex takes a deep breath as she starts looking through her desk drawer, "Okay, where are you?  Maybe I put it in my briefcase----I never take it out of the office, it can't be in there."
               A very frustrated attorney is still searching for her missing object when Andy comes back in, twenty minutes later. He watches as Alex goes from her desk, to the files, and then to her briefcase again. He hesitates about approaching her.
               "Are you looking for something, Miss Cahill?"
                 "Yes!" She answers gruffly---"my pen."
               He smiles as he reaches for his own, "You can use mine, Miss Cahill."
               Alex forces a smile, "Thank you, Andy--but I was looking for my personal pen, it's purple and has my initials on it, have you seen it?"
               Andy shakes his head, "No ma'am---it must be a very special pen to have you so upset?"
               Alex goes through her desk again, nodding her head. "Yes--it was a gift."
               Andy groans as he looks at the picture on Alex's desk, it's her and the bearded Texas Ranger taken on a fishing trip. Andy sneers, "A gift?  From your boyfriend, I suppose."
               Alex takes a deep breath as she sees Andy staring at the picture of her and Walker. --"Nooo--the pen was a matching pen and pencil set from my Dad---I've had it for years.---I'll die if I've lost it, it's one of the few things that my Dad has given me," she lowers her voice to almost a whisper, "aside from hurt and embarrassment."
               "Did you say something, Miss Cahill?"
               Alex waves her arms, "No----it's no use, it's not here."
               Andy moves around nervously and then bends down to the floor, and quickly takes the pen from inside his breast pocket. He lays it on the floor and pretends to almost step on it.
               "Here it is, Miss Cahill---it---it must have fallen off your desk---I almost stepped on it."
               Alex draws a sigh of relief, "Oh, thank you, Andy---thank you so much for finding it."
                          "You're welcome," he replies----"I thought as particular as you were with that pen that----maybe, " he nods towards Walker in the picture, "that it was from him."
               Alex takes the pen and sighs, "This was a gift from my Dad---he gave it to me right before---right before---never mind. Thank you again, Andy, but I've got to get busy with this case, I want to get out of here before dark."
               The young man excuses himself and walks out to his desk, sitting down slowly. He keeps looking back at the blonde attorney and sighs. He can feel his crotch area getting warm, and he quickly looks around to make sure no one is looking. The secretary has her back to him, and typing away. He lowers his hand to his crotch area and rubs slowly, visualizing the blondes' lips encircling his membrane. He licks his lips, panting quietly.
                     "What are you doing, you are making a fool of yourself over ---that bitch."
              
Andy jerks his hand back, and puts it over his mouth, answering softly. "She's not like all the rest--she's different---she's soooooo nice."
               The voice continues to mock the young man, "Yes, that's what you said about the last one---then she scolded you--just like this one has----and you got mad."
              
Andy shakes his head back and forth, "You was the one that got mad---you were jealous!"
               " Yes----I will fight to keep you, no woman will have you--no one is worthy of you---you are mine."
              
"I will be with whoever I please, now leave me alone." Andy's voice is getting louder.
               The secretary turns around looks in his direction, "Did you say something, Andy?"
               "No---I was just thinking out loud."
               The secretary looks at all the files on Andy's desk and nods towards them, "You better get busy on getting those files in order, and stop thinking so loud---or talking to yourself--before Miss Cahill jumps onto you again."
               "I will, I will---just you don't worry about it---and Miss Cahill did not jump onto me----mind your own business."
                                        
Sarcophagus Part II


               The secretary turns around in a huff, mumbling, "It's your ass---don't say I didn't warn you."
               "Just mind your own business," snaps Andy.
               The voice taunts the young man again, "I wasn't the only one that heard that bitch get onto you---you best start being careful, Andrew---she was looking at you very curiously earlier."
              
Andy rubs his face, "I took care of it, didn't I?"
               The secretary is still looking at Andy, she shakes her head, "I never heard anyone talk to themselves so much---and you seem to be answering yourself----you're really weird, Andy."
               Andy smirks, "Denise, are you familiar with Egyptian history----especially the way the pharaohs buried their dead?"
                    Denise turns in her seat and smirks back at the young law clerk, "You mean how they were entombed, don't you? They weren't buried, they were put in tombs---like King Tut---I thought everyone knew that much."
                    Andy's temper is rising as he stares back at Denise, he's biting his bottom lip so hard, it's started to bleed. "You're right about the entombing---they also had the perfect way to get rid of nagging girlfriends and wives. When the pharaohs died, so did they!! They were entombed with their masters, so they couldn't stay behind and nag some other poor fool."
                  Denise takes her reading glasses off and stares back at Andy, "Are you leading up to something in particular or are you jabbering just to hear yourself?”
               Andy meets her stare, "Let's just put it this way--when your husband dies, I hope you go with him."
                    Denise's mouth drops open, "That is a very cold and callous thing to say, how can you say such a thing, and for your information---I'm not married."
               Andy laughs, and replies, "That figures---no man would be able to put up with you."
                   Denise starts to reply, then she sees Alex getting up from her desk and putting things in her briefcase. Alex is locking her desk and heading for the outer office. Denise glares back at Andy and his sardonic grin. Her eyes fill with tears as no one has ever said such cruel things to her.
               Alex sees the tension between her office workers, "What's wrong?"
                 "Nothing, Miss Cahill," replies Andy, "Denise and I were just having a conversation about a movie we saw, right Denise?" 

               Denise says nothing as she keeps her back turned. Alex sighs, "Well, how about concentrating more on those files and less on movies----okay?"
               "Yes ma'am, I'm going to work all night if I have to---I'll have these files in top shape when you come in tomorrow morning---are you going home now, Miss Cahill?"
               "Yes, I'll see you two tomorrow---goodnight."
               Andy watches Alex walking towards the elevator, observing her long sexy legs, and smiles. Denise is watching Andy and nods her head.
               "You better not let Miss Cahill ever see you eyeballing her like that---and even more so---Ranger Walker."
               Andy smirks, "Her boyfriend doesn't scare me, I have ways of taking care of jealous boyfriends!"
                      "Andrew---" The voice warns.
                 
Andy smiles as he watches the look on Denise's face show fright, "I was only kidding! Hell, Denise---when was the last time you got laid----never mind---it's probably been so long you can't even remember----I'm outta of here."
                   Denise looks at her watch, "It's not quitting time yet, you got almost another hour."
                 "Look, my car is in the shop and they close at six, if I hurry, I can catch the 5:30 bus and get there in time to get my car--I've got to go."
               "But, you promised Miss Cahill that you would work late-----."
               Andy is heading for the door, "Miss Cahill will understand, you don't have to---goodbye."
               Andy hurries towards the stairs as the door on the elevators open and Alex steps inside. He runs down the four flights of stairs and out into the parking lot, running towards a blue Honda. He keeps looking back towards the steps of the courthouse, he sees Alex and he ducks down behind the blue car.
               As Alex's little Sebring heads up to the freeway, Andy follows at a safe distance, as he has done for the past two weeks. He has followed the attorney back to her apartment, staying sometimes for hours, just sitting in his car and watching her place. He has walked past the front of her townhouse, but makes no attempt to go to the door, observing the doorman. The doorman stops everyone that he's not familiar with, and checks ID's.
               But, tonight the little Sebring is exiting and taking the Jacksboro exit, out to 199. Andy frowns, "Where the hell is she going?"
               The drive is less than an hour. Andy follows safely behind, staying further behind as Alex's car turns off highway 199 onto a gravel road. Andy passes, then turns and comes back, taking the exit. He sees Alex's car driving down a long gravel drive and then turning left onto another gravel road. Andy takes a deep sigh as he sees the name on the mailbox at the side of the road:  Cordell Walker!!
                     "Damn it, what is she doing here, he went out of town?"
               He proceeds down the gravel road very slowly, then pulls over to the side of the road in the coverage of mesquite trees. He proceeds on foot. Alex's little car pulls into the driveway, she locks her car and walks up to the front porch, unlocking the door and enters. Andy is now running up to the house and hides down in the hedges. He carefully walks up to the front door and turns the knob slowly. It's locked. He goes to the window and looks in.
               Alex is laying mail on the hall table, sitting her briefcase down, she then heads for the kitchen. Andy is looking around the room, and observes all of the native Indian decorations, the blankets on the staircase, headdresses, and lances. He sees Alex returning from the kitchen, she has a cup of hot liquid. She stops at the bottom of the stairs and kicks her heels off, then sits them down neatly off to the side. She then picks up her briefcase and heads upstairs.
               Andy waits patiently till he feels it safe enough to try the front door again. He takes out a small flat device and slides it into the lock and the door opens with ease. He steps into the room and looks around cautiously, then goes to the stairs and looks upward. He waits, then he proceeds slowly.
               He gets to the top of the stairs, stops and listens. He hears soft music. Andy walks slowly towards the sound of the music, he sees Alex walking around in the master bedroom. Andy stops and watches.
               Alex is humming to herself as a soft horn is blowing on the disc she is listening to. She walks towards the closet and pulls a man's suit out, a tuxedo. She smiles to herself, as she seems to visualize the tux being worn---by Walker. She reaches for the clothes brush and brushes it lightly, and then inhales the masculine deodorant that still lingers faintly. She closes her eyes and dances around with the tuxedo. Finally she returns the suit to the closet and goes to sip her hot liquid again. She looks around the room and then says quietly, "Time to hit the bathroom, and take a nice, long, hot, bubbly."
               Andy watches as Alex walks to the other end of the room and closes the door, soon he hears water running. He enters the master bedroom very slowly, listening to any activity that may come from the bathroom, but the water is still running. He looks around the room, observing more native Indian lore, even the comforter has Indian decorations, complete with a buffalo and a young brave getting ready to spear him. The pillow shams have wolf designs with the borders done with Indian tomahawks, knifes, and a huge teepee. The carpet is gray, with a huge throw rug over it; it feels sort of coarse, black in color.
               Andy walks towards the dresser, looking for anything that would be Alex's, all he sees is a hairbrush and some body lotion. He takes a whiff of the lotion’ it's a soft lilac. "I should have known, the lotion accents your perfume."
               He walks slowly towards the bathroom, and reaches for the doorknob. Just as the knob starts to turn, the phone rings. Andy jumps back, waiting to hear Alex running to the door, but apparently she hasn't heard the phone. He breathes a sigh of relief as he hears the answering machine pick up.
               "Hi hon, guess you're not home yet--call you later."
               The anger is rising in Andy, as he stares back at the phone. He looks towards the bathroom again, and then picks up the answering machine and erases the message. He slams the machine down.
                         "What does she see in him----he can't make her happy---why can't she see that?"
               The young man's attention falls on a picture, the same picture that sits on Alex's desk in her office. He picks it up slowly and stares into Alex's face. Her face is tilted slightly and she's looking back at----'him'! Andy touches her face with his forefinger and traces down her cheekbone.
                         "You're so beautiful, Miss Cahill--if you would only give me the chance to make you happy, I would make you forget all about that cowboy---but you're making me angry---you're trying to ignore me."
               Andy stops and looks towards the bathroom, the door is opening and Alex is stepping out, wearing nothing but a bath towel. Andy runs to the closet and gets as far back as he can, keeping the door ajar. He watches as Alex drops the towel and reaches for a red western shirt that is only inches away from him. He's so afraid that she can hear him breathing. She backs off and puts the shirt on, buttoning only the bottom three buttons, the top part of the shirt has a gap, her breasts pushing against the material. Andy swallows as he tries to keep from passing out. He stares at the gap in the man's shirt, the milky smooth flesh that is causing the shirt to rise up and down. He closes his eyes as Alex walks to the end of the bed and sits down, pulling her left knee up. Andy is straining to see what she is doing, hoping that he will get an even better view with her left leg bent back. He watches as Alex applies lotion to her legs, and all the way up to her thighs, she still does not have any underwear on. Andy falls back against the closet wall, his heart is pounding, his jeans are getting tighter.
               Alex reaches for her cup and sips the liquid then she pulls her right knee up, and again applies the lotion all the way to her thigh. Andy's hand is reaching for the front of his jeans, the fly is unzipped, and his hand goes inside. As he watches Alex do her routine grooming, his hand is working feverishly to give him relief. He can feel himself ready to ejaculate, and just as he does, the phone rings again.
               He groans as he watches Alex slide up on the bed, grabbing the phone, her voice is sultry as she says hello. She smiles and leans back against the headboard, "Hi honey-----I was hoping it was you."
               A husky voice answers back, "Who else were you expecting to call, and on my phone?"
               Alex giggles, "No one but you sweetheart--- how was your trip?"
                      "Boring----and lonely. I've had to listen to Trivette gripe about not being able to see the Spurs play! All the way down here---it's been one big gripe!"
               Alex frowns, "Don't they have television in Abilene anymore?"
               "Oh yeah, but this fleabag motel where we're staying isn't getting good reception. Trivette is downstairs with the manager now, trying to rake up another TV."
               Alex purrs as she keeps pulling one leg up and then the other. "Poor baby----and what about you, don't you care to watch the game?"
               "I could care less about a basketball game, the only game I'm interested in is scoring points with a certain blonde attorney-----what are you doing?"
                     "Laying here on your bed, wearing one of your shirts---hope you don't mind."
               The voice becomes hoarse, "Are you kidding, my shirts never look so good- as when you're wearing one of them--and they smell good afterwards."
               Alex giggles, "And, the other Rangers don't tease you about the smell of lilac?"
               "Of course not, they know better----besides---I keep the window down in the Ram to---sort of get the smell out----before they can smell it. Trivette's the only one to notice since he's in the Ram a lot---he just snickers."
               Alex sighs, "I should be angry at you---you almost caused me to have an irate driver go into a fit of road rage."
               "How did I do that?"
                     "Because I was having a daydream about you---and the night that we 'christened' the laundry room--do you remember that night?"
               "Oh, yes, my butt still remembers going across the highway trying to hogtie a damn cow. My butt hurt like hell the next morning."
               Alex laughs, "So did mine---but for a different reason."
                    "Yeah, we were both walking kind of slow the next morning----"
                       "Morning, heck---I have you know mine was hurting long before the morning came."
               "Do I hear a complaint?"
               Alex continues to lick her lips, her right hand goes softly across her breasts, she purrs--"You will never hear me complain in that department--I was just upset because the driver interrupted the daydream before it got to the----wet part!"
                       Walker sighs, "Oooooh yeah, I remember how you were squirming atop that washing machine, I wasn't so sure it was me or the vibration of the spin cycle."
               "It was definitely you, sweetheart---I thought you were going to be pulling me down from the ceiling---we have definitely got to try the laundry room again."
               Andy is listening to the one side of the conversation, his eyes narrow, "What the hell is she talking about?"
               The voice answers him, "Isn't it clear enough for you, she is talking about a sexual tryst with that boyfriend of her's. She's wrong for you, Andrew, she's like all the others---you can take her now---get rid of her---put her with the others!"
              
"No, " Andy answers---"Miss Cahill does not do things like you are suggesting, she's pure---and innocent---she's not like those others!"
               The voice is getting angry, "Look at her---the tempestuous way she lies there and talks over the phone, she has no respect for herself or how she is dressed----she's half naked, thinking immoral thoughts of what she and her boyfriend could be doing----take her now!"
              
"No--I have something very special in mind for Miss Cahill---she deserves better than the others, they were just trash. Miss Cahill will learn to see me as her hero, and those immoral thoughts will be of the many ways I can pleasure her---leave me be. She is a vision to behold."
               "She is trash---Andrew---look at what she has made you do---to yourself."
              
Andy continues to argue with himself as he watches Alex roll back and forth on the bed. She's giggling softly, "No---we haven't tried that position yet---maybe when you get home, we'll do just that."
               "Uh oh---hon, got to go---Trivette is coming back carrying two TV's, got to give him a hand.  Oh---is my tux okay?"
               "Yes honey, your tux is fine and so anxious for you to crawl into it---and so am I."
                    Walker groans, "Damn, I was sort of hoping the moths had gotten to it."
                      "Walker, you promised."
               "I know, I know---I made you a promise that I would wear the monkey suit---but you just remember---we're not staying for the whole ceremony."
               Alex pouts, "I don't even get one dance out of you?"
               "A-l-e-x----------
                  "Alright----honestly I don't know why you argue about wearing a tuxedo, you look so handsome in yours."
               "Got to run, hon---Trivette is kicking on the door---I'll call you tomorrow night--where will you be? The ranch--or your apartment?"
               "I'm not sure yet--two TV's? What is so special about this game?"
                      "Playoffs, the Spurs are down to their final four games---got to run---I'll call both places---bye hon."
               Alex hangs up the phone, "You can't convince me that you're not wanting to watch that ball game, Cordell Walker---all I can say is --those ball games better be over with by the time you get home----because I demand your undivided attention!"
               Andy leans up against the closet wall and watches as Alex folds her legs up under her like a teenager getting ready to do homework. She opens up her briefcase and starts going over papers. The music from the disc is playing the sultry sounds of Kenny G., and Andy can feel himself getting drowsy. He fights to stay awake as Alex begins to yawn and her eyes too, are getting heavy. Finally she gets up from the bed and pulls the comforter back, and crawls in, going to the far side and hugging the pillow. She sighs, and soon she is asleep.
               Andy will wait until he knows she's sound asleep, then he exits the closet. He goes to the dresser and takes the hairbrush, and putting it under his arm, he approaches the bed. He stands there for the longest, watching her sleep. She has a faint smile as she hugs the pillow tighter, whispering--"Walker." Andy curses under his breath, then slowly walks out of the room.


                                  ***************************
           
Early the next morning a tired and dazed Andy is making his way towards the cafeteria for breakfast. He's completely lost in the thoughts of the night before, he does not see the gentleman emerging from the food line with hot coffee, Andy runs smack into him. The man starts screaming and calling Andy all sorts of names.
            "You idiot---watch where you're going--you're the same idiot that got me with the elevator door yesterday---do you need glasses?"
            Andy is trying to apologize; the man is not listening as he shoves Andy out of the way. The rest of the people in the cafeteria have stopped and are staring at Andy, he lowers his head and tries to walk away. The man grabs him and slaps him.
            Lisa, the cashier has seen the whole scene, she runs to Andy, glaring back at the man in the three-piece suit.
            "There was no call to hit him, he said he was sorry."
            "Great---the little inbred said he was sorry, who's going to pay for my suit to be cleaned?"
            Lisa is pulling Andy away and trying to make him sit down, she turns back to the man. "Your suit does not have to be cleaned, use cold water---the coffee will come out---in the meantime, help yourself to fresh coffee, Mr. Stevens."
                   Moments later, Lisa brings Andy a cup of coffee, and sits down beside him. "Here, drink this---don't pay any attention to Mr. Stevens--he's a 'pain in the ass'."
            Andy is looking back at Mr. Stevens and smiling, "You're right about that---he's a real pain in the ass---he just doesn't know yet how painful it can get."
            Lisa looks at Andy puzzled, "What do you mean by that?"
            The man is still staring at Andy, the young man just grins in that sardonic way. Andy sits back in his chair and observes his attacker. Mr. Stevens is tall, well dressed, and many women would probably find him attractive. Andy studies his body; the man is in reasonably good shape. Andy turns to Lisa.
            "Do you think he's attractive?"
            "That creep---no way---he's too old for me----besides he's too stuck on himself, thinks every woman in the courthouse wants to 'bed' him."
            Andy looks into Lisa's eyes, she's sort of cute, long red hair and she has loads of freckles. He wonders how she looks out of the uniform that she is wearing; it does little to flatter her.
                 "Soooo----you don't like older men, huh?"
            Lisa blushes, "Not really---I don't consider you old, how old are you?"
            Andy forces a smile, "Almost 22, and you?"
            "I'll be 18 in just a few days, actually tomorrow is my birthday."
            "Is that so." Andy grins. He continues to study her, the girl is starting to blush.
            "Well, miss birthday girl---if you're not busy tomorrow night, how about a movie---and dinner afterwards?"
            Lisa is shaking like a leaf, as she stares back into Andy's green eyes. "Are you serious, you want to date me?"
            Andy's face turns rigid, "What's wrong with me?"
                "Nothing is wrong---with you---I think you're gorgeous----you have such beautiful green eyes, they're like emeralds-----and your eyelashes---any woman would die to have lashes that long."
            Andy starts to smile slowly, "How about it, are you free tomorrow night?"
            Lisa is nodding her head up and down, "Yes, I would love to go out with you---I don't have any plans."
            The young man continues to force a smile, he says to himself, "You probably would end up sitting at home, crying over your birthday cake and eating ice cream till it comes out your fat little ass---I'm doing you a favor by asking you out."
           
They agree on the time and Lisa's address is written down, Andy tucks it away and starts back to the attorney's office. As he reaches the 4th floor he sees Stevens walking towards Alex's office.
            He stops at Denise's desk and looks towards Alex's office, she is now closing her door. Andy turns to Denise.
            "Who is that guy, and why is he talking to Miss Cahill?"
            Denise is still 'miffed' at the way Andy talked to her the day before, she doesn't answer. Andy taps her roughly on the shoulder.
            "I asked you a question, who is he?"
            "His name is Tom Stevens, he's a client of Miss Cahill's---does that answer your question?"
            "What kind of client, what did he do?"
            Denise is getting angry, "Look---all I know is---he's accused of sexual charges, brought on by his secretary, not to mention others---now can I please get back to my work?"
            Andy sneers, "Yeah sure---get back to your 'humdrum' life."
            The man stays in Alex's office for almost an hour, and when he comes out, he's not too happy. Andy turns around in his chair so the man can't see him, as the man stomps out. Both Andy and Denise look back at Alex, she shakes her head, mumbling---"He doesn't stand a chance in hell of proving his innocence."
            Andy jumps up from his chair, and approaches Alex. "I have those files ready Miss Cahill---just like I said I would"!
            "Thank you Andy, I will look at them as soon as I have my morning coffee, I need to wake up and get the taste out of my mouth."
            Andy swallows, "Taste, Miss Cahill?"
            "Yes, that Tom Stevens leaves a sour taste in my mouth every time I see him."
            "Was he being rude towards you, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex smiles, "Andy that man was born rude---I've never met any man that is so self-centered as he is."
            Andy looks in the direction that Tom Stevens has taken, he looks back to Alex. "I take it, you don't like him very well."
            "I don't like him---a lot---the man can't take 'no' for an answer."
            Andy's anger is starting to fluster, "I hear he thinks he's a ladies' man.  Has he----  been forward with you, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex stops and looks at her young law clerk, "Andy, this has nothing to do with our work---why don't we just forget about Stevens and get down to the Hemming’s case?"
            For the rest of the day, Andy is pondering about asking Denise more questions. He approaches her slowly.
                   "Denise, I'm sorry for what I said earlier and especially for yesterday. Please forgive me, I've had a lot on my mind lately---I really am sorry, I have a bad habit of spouting off, I didn't mean what I said."
            Denise stares at him, she can't help but be attracted to the young man, his eyes are so intense. "You did say some terrible things to me, Andy, I didn't deserve to be talked to that way."
            Andy's voice softens, "It's only because I was nervous about being around you---I find you very attractive---I have difficulty in talking to pretty women."
                  "Really?” Denise nods towards Alex's office, "You don't have trouble talking to Miss Cahill."
            Andy laughs, "That's different, Miss Cahill is my boss, I have to talk to her."
            They remain quiet, Andy forces a smile, "The truth is, I'm wanting to ask you out, but I'm afraid you would turn me down."
            Denise takes off her reading glasses and looks at Andy, he's younger than the men she's used to going out with, but he's so damn handsome. "Well, you're not going to know until you ask---yes---I'll go out with you, do you like to dance?"
                 "Dance?  Not really---I'm not a good dancer."
            Denise smiles, "Look, I know this place that is very 'homey' and the people are all so friendly---it's called C.D.'s---it's down in the stockyards, want to go?"
            Andy hesitates, "Uhhh, could we go somewhere else?"
            Denise taps her fingers on the desk, "Yes----but I don't think you're going to find a friendlier place---Miss Cahill goes there a lot, sometimes she goes there for lunch."
            Andy takes a deep breath, "Yeah, okay, we can go there---in the stockyards, you said. Where's that?"
            "Never mind, since you're having trouble getting your car out of shop, I'll pick you up here---in front of the courthouse."
            Andy is confused, "My car? Nothing is wrong with my car."
            "You said it was in the shop, did you get it out?"
            Andy quickly smiles, "Oh yeah----I said it was in the shop, no it's fixed--I'm fine---but you can still drive me over---if you like?"
            Andy and Denise arrive at C.D.'s right at the supper rush, Denise is having a hard time finding a parking space.
            Andy is busy looking around for the little Sebring that Alex drives, when he turns to Denise and points to the steakhouse.
            "Just drive around and park on 29th street, it won't be quite so crowded."
                 Denise's brow arches, "How did you know about the parking over there, I thought you had never been here before."
            "Did I say that? I'm sorry-yes---I've been in this neighborhood before, I've eaten at that steakhouse before---no big deal."
            They park and walk the two blocks to C.D.'s. The bar and grill is busting at the seams, they have to hustle to get a seat, Andy is looking all around for Alex, he's getting irritated.
            "I thought you said Miss Cahill comes here a lot---I don't see her."
            "I didn't say she came here every night, she's usually here with Ranger Walker--but since he's out of town, she might not come tonight."
            Andy can feel his anger, "Why didn't you tell me that---if I known she might not be here---we could have gone somewhere else"!
            Denise stares back at Andy, "Take it easy--- she might show up---let's order something to drink---and I'm starving."
            Andy digs down into his pocket, "I hope you're not too hungry---I don't have much money on me."
            "Fine," Denise smirks, "we'll go 'Dutch'!"
            They've ordered burgers, fries, and beer. Denise is trying to urge Andy to the dance floor, but he keeps refusing. Then he sees her---Alex is walking in the front door.
            His eyes follow the blonde attorney as she walks up to the bar and a elderly man reaches over and kisses her on the cheek. She caresses his face, smiling back at him. He smiles and motions for the waitress to retrieve something for her. The waitress returns with a huge green salad, the old man sets a glass of ice tea before her.
            

Sarcophagus Part III 

Andy continues to observe Alex as she sits quietly, eating her salad and talking to the old man  behind the bar. The jukebox is playing and several men approach Alex and ask her to dance. She smiles back at them, shaking her head, they tip their hats and walk away.
            "Andy, can we dance now--I can teach you some of the country and western dances, if you like?"
            Andy shakes his head, "Not just yet, I think I will have another beer."
            He motions for the waitress to bring a beer, totally ignoring the idea that Denise might be wanting another one. She sighs, "Well, if you're not going to dance, I am! I see some friends of mine, I'll ask a gentleman to dance, I'm not too proud."
            Denise starts to stand, Andy grabs her arm, "You're with me, you don't dance with other men, is that clear?"
            "Then dance with me, Andy---it's not going to kill you!"
            Andy agrees to dance and the two head for the dance floor, he keeps looking in Alex's direction. The old man has come from behind the bar and sits down beside the blonde DA.
            "So, how's it going, sweetheart---how are things between you and Cordell?"
            Alex swallows a bite of her salad and smiles back, "Everything is fine, C.D.---I'm taking your advice and moving very slow----well---maybe not too slow."
            C.D. cackles, "You definitely got the inside track, honey---old Cordell doesn't know what has hit him! He might know all about horses and catching the bad guys, but when it comes to women and 'love'---that cowboy is lost out in left field!"
            Alex swallows hard, "Love?  Now, C.D. nothing has been said about love, Walker and I are a long ways from making a commitment."
            C.D. shakes his head, "Maybe so---but Cordell definitely has changed since the two of you came back from that rafting trip---he's got that 'look' in his eyes. And, every time he sees you that 'look' just gets more intensified. That man cares for you, Alex---I know he does."
            "I care for him too, C.D., but you were the one that said not to rush his feelings, and I'm trying to do just that." Alex sighs as she looks to her dear friend, "I do love him, C.D.--I think I've always loved him, but I don't want to scare him away with talk of love and all that."
                "Honey-girl, what makes you think you would scare him away? You know that man has to have a push every now and then, just to make sure his old ticker is still capable of showing emotion. You're doing the right thing, Alex, just show him that you have feelings and you're not afraid to show them."
            "I'm trying C.D. I can't remember ever feeling this way about any man---and when Walker and I are together---alone----I know he has to have some feelings for me. When he's around you or Jimmy, he guards his feelings and sometimes that-----upsets me.  Am I wrong to feel upset?"
            "Alex, Cordell is still cautious about showing emotion, but a blind man can see that the man has more than just feelings for you; the man just has trouble telling you the words! But his actions speak very loud---don't they?"
            Alex can feel herself getting flushed, "Yes-----Walker is very different when it's just the two of us, and he makes me happy when I'm with him. But, I'm a woman, C.D. and I want---I would like---to hear the words---someday."
            "You will honey-girl--trust me. I know Cordell, probably better than he knows himself." C.D. reaches out and touches Alex's hand, "You just hang in there, Alex."
            C.D. goes behind the bar, and Alex is left with her thoughts. She gets the waitress' attention and hands her a dollar, "Will you please play B-10?  Thank you."
            The music starts to play and Alex's thoughts go back to the night of the George Strait concert. She remembers that she didn't have to coax Walker to dance, he danced every one, and seemed to enjoy it. But, their favorite song to dance to was the song now playing---"I Cross My Heart".
                           Our love is unconditional
                            we knew it from the start.
                           I see it  in your eyes
                           you can feel it from my heart.
                           From here on after
                           let's stay the way we are right now
                           and share all the love and laughter
                           that a lifetime will allow.
                           I cross my heart
                           and I promise to--
                           give all I got to give
                           to make all your dreams come true.
                           In all the world, you'll never find--
                           a love as true as mine.
            Alex is swaying gently to the music as a hand reaches out and grabs her. "Heyyyy Alex---let's dance."
            She turns to see Tom Stevens grinning back at her. She pulls her hand away, "No thank you"!
            "Oh come on, Alex, don't be this way---all I want to do is dance."
            Alex takes a deep sigh and then rubs the wrist that Stevens has grabbed, she replies softly, "I don't care to dance, Tom---not with you or anyone else!"
            The man is getting angry, as he bends down into Alex's face, "You're still the 'ice princess', aren’t you?  All I want is a simple little dance-------"
            A loud thump is heard on the bar counter as both Alex and Tom jump. C.D. has thrown down an iron skillet, and he's glaring back. "The lady said she didn't want to dance, now what part of 'no' do you not understand?  Maybe this here frying pan up against your noggin will get the message across to you."
            Tom Stevens backs up, putting his hands up in a defensive gesture, "Calm down, old man---I get the message---loud and clear."
            Stevens goes back to sit with his friends, C.D. is still glaring at him. He looks back to Alex, "Don't you pay him any mind, sweetheart--he's not going to bother you again."
            Alex tries to smile, "I think I'll go now, C.D.--could I have my salad put in one of those Styrofoam plates-----"
            "You sure can, in fact I'll have Eva make you a fresh one----and put the ranch dressing in a covered cup, and some club crackers-----"
            "C.D. this salad is fine, just the way it is---I've got to go, got to go over the Hemming’s case again---and Walker said he would be calling---I'll see you in the morning."
            As Alex leaves, someone else has watched the scene between her and Tom Stevens unfold. Andy's anger is flaring as he walks off the dance floor, leaving Denise dumfounded! She follows behind him in a 'huff'.
            "Andy, what's the big idea---you know you can be very rude."
            Andy drinks his beer quickly and orders another, and it too goes down quickly. He looks back to Denise, his contempt for her is almost showing, but he laughs it away. He nods towards Stevens.
            "Did you see that?  Did you see the way that he came onto to Miss Cahill----the bastard."
            Denise takes a deep sigh, sitting down beside Andy. "Miss Cahill is very capable of handling herself---if C.D. hadn't intervened, that creep would have gotten a knee to his balls."
            "What do you mean, she looks so dainty."
            "Don't let that innocent grace and beauty fool you---she knows the arts."
            "Arts?"
            "Yes---martial arts--not only is Ranger Walker her boyfriend, but he is her martial arts teacher, she knows the karate and all of those other ways of defending herself."
            Andy is silent for the longest time, but still looking towards Tom Stevens. "Did Miss Cahill ever date that creep?"
            Denise turns around to look at Stevens, she nods her head, "Yeah, I think one time---but it was more like a business dinner that she attended with him. When one of the secretaries asked her about it, she said she didn't want to spoil her lunch talking about him."
            "What about the Ranger?"
            "Oh, this was before she and Ranger Walker started dating---Stevens had moved down to Houston, but when he came back he started asking Miss Cahill out again-she kept telling him she wasn't interested. Stevens wouldn't listen, and then I heard through the grapevine that Ranger Walker threatened to throw him out the 4th floor window if he didn't leave Miss Cahill alone. I guess he figures that with Ranger Walker out of town, he can move in on Miss Cahill again."
            The young man looks back to Denise and smiles, "Denise, would you give me a lift home?"
            "Of course, where do you live?"
            Andy stands up, helping Denise to get her purse, he nudges her to the door, "Rockwell----near Garland."
            Denise frowns, "That's clear across town, wouldn't you prefer to go back the courthouse and get your own car?"
            "The truth is, Denise----I was hoping---I was really hoping that I could talk you into -----spending the night with me."
                      Denise's mouth drops open, "Spend the night with you?  Andy---for someone that says they're shy, you don't waste anytime --you cut right to the chase, don't you?"
            Andy says nothing, he reaches over and kisses Denise lightly on the lips, "I know you're attracted to me too--why waste precious time?"
            The two walk towards Denise's brown Mustang, they drive east. The drive is almost an hour as Denise is heading towards the outskirts of Rockwell to a small farm. She looks at the place and then back at Andy.
            "You live here----alone?"
            Andy is all smiles as he opens his door and runs around to Denise's side, "Yes, I live here----with my sister."
            The farmhouse is almost in ruins, the porch threatens to give way as they step upon it. Denise looks around and then they step inside. Denise takes one look at the place and has a change of mind.
            "I think I will go back to Dallas----"
            "Nooo---don't go, I want you to meet my sister." He turns around and runs to the kitchen, "Annie----we have company---someone very special, I want you to be nice to her."
            Denise hears voices coming from the kitchen, one of the voices is very angry. "Why did you bring her here?"
            "Annie---please---just once---would you please be nice?"          
            Denise is getting very uneasy, as she starts backing up to the door, “Andy---I'm going, I don't want to cause any trouble------"
            A piercing scream is heard from the kitchen and then a woman runs out screaming and brandishing a long knife. Denise is screaming and trying to get out the door, the woman screams at her.
            "You can't have him, I'll kill you----bitch!"
            Denise is screaming and trying to get out of the way of the knife slashing through the air, "Andy----help me----help me, please!"
            The woman's shrill voice becomes lower, and then Denise hears Andy laughing. She turns around to see Andy pulling off a woman's wig---"Denise---it was just a joke."
            Denise is shaking, "A joke?  You scared the shit out of me, I'm getting out of here."
            Andy slams himself up against the door, "No, you can't leave---not until you've met Annie."
            "There is no sister, you sick son-of-a bitch--now get out of my way."
            Andy grabs Denise, his voice changes again to that of a woman----"Hello----my name is Annie----and my brother wants you to stay---you will do as he says."
            "To hell with you---I'm not staying here------"
            A fist goes to her mouth and Denise falls to the floor, Andy is upon her---"You will stay, I have a lot of questions to ask you---but in the meantime---you will make love to me---right here---so Annie can watch."
            Denise starts screaming and trying to push Andy away, his voice changes again, "Andrew---she is mocking you----she's like all of the others---kill her, Andy---kill her!"
           
Denise thinks back to the day that she got onto Andy for talking to himself, that was no act---he was two different people. Andy is pulling Denise's clothes off of her, shredding them with his hands and his teeth. Denise is fighting him and begging for him to let her go, he screams back at her as he enters her forcefully, she screams out in pain. Andy is laughing in his sardonic laugh.
            "You're mine, Miss Cahill----all mine!"

 

Sarcophagus Part IV

            Alex is having a bad dream, she's tossing and turning. She's scratching at something, something closing in on her, she can't breathe. She strikes out at it with her fists, the air is getting thin, and she starts gagging. Her throat is getting tight, her windpipe is filling with a substance she can't explain----salt?
             Suddenly she is jolted awake by the sound of her doorbell ringing. She sits up in bed, and she's perspiring profusely. She swallows repeatedly looking around her bedroom, as the doorbell continues to ring. She shakes her head, and looks at the clock on the nightstand.
            "1 am---who the heck can be at my door at this ungodly hour--and why didn't Zeke buzz me to let me know someone was coming up?"
            Alex grabs her little nightgown and walks cautiously down the hall to the front door, she peers through the peep hole. Alex gasps, "Walker!"
            She's so excited she can barely undo the locks, she yanks the door open, "Walker----what are you doing here?"
            The Ranger says nothing as he tosses his Stetson to the couch, reaches down and scoops Alex up in his arms, "I couldn't wait another 48 hours to see you---so I drove back to spend the night with you."
            Alex is kissing him hard, her hand is caressing his face, "But, what about the trial---Walker--you'll get into trouble!"
            Walker returns her kisses and pants, "Won't be the first time--are we going to talk all night---or do we work on another dream?"
            She backs up, pulling him gently, "Come here, cowboy----you're not the only one that's 'horny'!”
            He follows her to her bedroom and they both fall down on her bed, Walker's hands go immediately inside her sheer little gown, reaching for her breasts. His mouth goes from one to the other, his tongue encircling the nipples, biting gently. Alex is unbuttoning his shirt and pushing it back over his shoulders, she whispers, "Where's your gun?"
            "In the Ram, I didn't want to waste anytime," he sighs as his tongue traces down her slim body. He's got his shirt off and trying to ease his boots off without leaving his treasure.  Alex is breathing hard as she undoes her little gown and slips out of it, leaving only her little 'teddy' and matching underwear. She groans as she hears Walker's boots hit the carpet, she pushes him back.
            "Not so fast, cowboy---I'm going to take care of you first---after I get my 'body wash'---that is!"
            She slides out from under him, he grins as he puts his hands behind his head and watches her. She slips her undies off and crawls on top of him, kissing his chest and nipping at his nipples. Walker sighs, as he breathes slowly.
            "Don't make me wait too long----I'm ready to explode."
            She looks down at him, he's wearing nothing but his tight fitting jeans, the top button is undone and she can see his reddish hairline around his navel, going down. She takes her tongue and traces down gently, the Ranger's body starts to jerk. She purrs as she climbs gently back up to his chest, his neck and then to his lips. She kisses him deep, letting her tongue dance inside his hungry mouth. She can feel his body getting hot, she pouts.
            "Are you ready to give me a tongue lashing--I've been very bad."
            Walker scoots lower in the bed and urges her to come up to him, cupping her buttocks and sitting her onto his chest.. He opens his mouth and his tongue lashes out, going slowly up and down her vagina. Alex moans as she bites her lip and then lies back as far as she can, pushing her lower body into his face.
            Walker probes deeper with his tongue, his right thumb going inside her, finding the clitoris and rubbing gently. Alex sighs deeper as she takes both of her breasts and squeezes them together, whispering her lover's name.
              "Oooooh Walker----I have been wanting you---soooo bad."
            Walker stops and takes his left fingers and rubs them gently over her vagina, separating the lips and letting his fingers glide inside the hot, wet, flesh. He rubs harder with his right thumb, in a circular motion, his tongue laps across her flesh.
            "How bad?" he pants as his lips and his fingers rotate faster and faster. She pulls herself up to him, and watches the onslaught, she's breathing harder. She pulls away from him and slides back down his hard body, kissing every inch of every muscle. Her hand has found his jeans and goes quickly inside as his 'manhood' is straining to get out. She takes it quickly and goes from the tip all the way down, gently twisting, and back up again. Her pace quickens as she watches his eyes, her hand goes around his penis, and continues to slide up and down.
            The Ranger is breathing harder, as he is watching her slide his manhood in and out, and in a circular motion. He keeps reaching out to touch her, but she gently shoves his hands away.
            "Not yet, cowboy----I'm not through yet." she stops long enough to start pulling his jeans down over his muscular buttocks, then sits up and pulls them the rest of the way off, joining his boots on the floor. Walker is trying to raise up, she again pushes him backwards, and climbs up his body again. She raises her body above his throbbing penis and lowers herself gently at first, then she increases her pace. She is bobbing up and down, her hands massaging his chest and pushing hard, her pace increases even more.
            Walker is gasping for air as she stops long enough to raise her 'teddy' over her arms and then tosses it aside. She goes back to riding the Ranger harder, tossing her blonde hair back and forth. Walker's eyes are wide as she raises her knees closer to her body and pumps him harder. He's reaching out for her, his hands go to her lower torso and pulls her deeper on top of him.
            She slows, licking her lips very slowly, as her hands massage her breasts harder. She raises up and reaches back behind her, positioning herself to take him in the anus. She lowers herself slowly, he massages her buttocks as she goes down deeper onto him, she gasps as she takes him all in. She exhales, looking back at him and purrs.
            "No matter how many times----we do this-----I still have trouble taking-----you all in."
            He releases her butt, his hand goes up to her face, he kisses her hard. "You don't seem to be having any trouble---I'm at your mercy---go nice and slow---let me get my second wind."
            She giggles softly, "You better hurry up, 'cause I'm ready to ride again, and I don't mean----for just 8 seconds."
            She starts increasing her pace again as Walker's hand go back to massaging her buttocks in a backward and downward motion, she matches his movement. She moves gently to the side and back. Walker's eyes are going back, his breathing is getting deeper.
            She is taking him all in, rising just enough for his penis to come out halfway, then she goes back down, harder.  Their bodies are sweating, and mixing with their body fluids. Walker stops her and with one quick lift he has her under him. Her legs go straight upwards and over his shoulders, he braces himself with both hands on the bed and then he pumps her hard. His lips are going to her neck, kissing and sucking.
            He's panting heavily, "You're driving me----crazy!  I want to make love to you all night," he groans as his pace quickens and she pulls him into her with her heels. He braces himself again, sliding forward on his knees against the wet sheets. He leans backwards, her legs extend straight up, he caresses them, kissing her feet. He withdraws from her anus slowly and enters her vagina, bending down as far as he can, licking her wet body. She's watching him, and smiling.
            He catches her smile, thinking how beautiful she is at this moment, her eyes begging for more. He sits back on his knees, withdrawing from her.  He licks his fingers and massages her gently, as he lowers himself to her again and begins a slow circular motion into her wet mound. She moans, begging for more.
            His thumb goes back to the anus again and he inserts it deep, rotating it, as his tongue follows suit. He stops, reaches under her and flips her over, pulling her backwards into him. He moves her right leg upward, putting a pillow underneath her as he goes up on one knee and enters her quickly. She jerks at the first thrust, then relaxes her body and moves with his rhythm. He quickens his pace as his hands are around her slender waist, pulling her into him. Alex is squirming as she is trying to get in a more comfortable position in which to accommodate his thickness, she moans.
            Walker withdraws and slides deep within her vagina from the rear, rolling over on his side. His hands go to her breasts and pulls her backwards against him, he reaches down and extends her left leg straight up, penetrating deeper.
            "Do you like it---this way?" he pants.
            "Ooooh yes----yes--- I like any position---with you," her voice is hoarse--"but let me get on top again."
            Walker lets go of her leg, and Alex slides away, letting him lay flat. His manhood is still at full erection, and she thinks to herself, "this cowboy will never have any need for Viagra."
            She smiles as she slides up to his 'pride and joy' again, taking him slowly, easing herself down and then gently sideways. She can feel him getting harder inside her, she begins her pace, and he reaches for her again. His hands are spreading her cheeks as he pulls her deeper down onto him, both rotating wildly. Alex starts to groan, "Walker----I can't hold out-----much longer."
            He flips her over on her back, kissing her lips, taking her tongue deep inside his mouth as his penis penetrates deeper with each thrust. His hands go under her body, holding her up to him, pumping harder. He can feel himself ready to ejaculate, he whispers, "Are you ready--do you want me to come inside you---are you prepared?"
            "Yes" she screams, "don't you dare withdraw---I want you inside of me---I want to feel----all of you---inside me."
            Walker is taking longer and deeper thrusts, he can feel Alex's vaginal muscles tightening around his penis, the room starts to spin, he collapses on top of her.


                                     *************************************
            Denise has awakened again, she opens her eyes slowly and tries to focus. She's completely nude, her lower body is in great pain. She groans and then she starts to cry.
            "He's crazy----what does he want with me?"
            She tries to stand, but she feels something around her left ankle---she's chained to an old radiator. The chain is about 15 ft long, she screams and tries to yank on it, but it will not budge. She cries harder as she continues to look around the room. She thought she had heard voices earlier, like a scream---a man's scream! She starts walking slowly to the end of the chain, and straining to see if anyone is still there. She sees water and some fruit, just out of her arm's reach.  She tries to stretch---it's no use, she can't reach them. She sits down on the cool damp floor and tries to remember what happened. The last thing she remembered was Andy raping her.
            She also remembered that he had tried to take her a second time, but he couldn't perform. He got angry and starting hitting her. She screamed back at him to stop, but he wouldn't listen.
            "It's your fault---you don't excite me enough---you're not a real woman--you're hopeless---just like the others!"
            She remembers trying to ask him about the 'others' but then his other self of Annie overtook him and he wouldn't say anything. She remembered him walking around in the nude, and then he made her strip too. Later he made her perform oral sex on him, and then he beat her again, saying she wasn't doing it right. She remembers falling asleep, and she remembers him arguing with himself and then he said he was going to leave to 'settle a score' and maybe Annie could make things right again.
            Denise strains to see the rest of the old farmhouse; she sees sacks of grain piled in one corner. A closer look will show them not to be grain----but salt. She squints her eyes, "Why does he need so much salt?" she whispers.
            She looks to the other side of the room. They stare back at her in all shapes, color, and black and white---pictures of Alex Cahill!
            Denise does a double take, "He's possessed with her---oh my God---he is insane----what does he plan to do with me?  That's why he was asking so many questions about Miss Cahill!" Denise starts to scream, "Let me out of here!"
            A voice answers softly, "You can scream all you want---no one will hear you---we are miles away from anywhere or anyone."
            "Andy----let me go---I promise I won't tell anyone---just let me go."
            He screams back at her, "Do you think I'm crazy?  No, Denise---you are going to tell me everything you know about Alex Cahill----the love of my life!"
            "I don't know that much about Miss Cahill--I've only worked for her less than 6 months--I started just right before you joined the firm."
            Andy comes out of the shadows, he's still nude, but his eyes look weird. Denise can see that he's wearing eye makeup, and there are also traces of liquid makeup and lipstick where he tried to rub it off. He approaches Denise softly reaching out to touch her skin, but she recoils.
            Andy laughs as he points to the pictures on the wall,  "If you were only half the woman that Miss Cahill is, I would be ravishing your body again!  But you fail to excite me---you're pathetic."
            Andy walks over to a huge picture of Alex. She's wearing jeans and a mid-riff blouse, her hair is slightly blowing, and her hand is pushing the hair out of her eyes. She's smiling, there was someone obviously in the picture with her, but has been cut out. Andy lets his hands glide over the bottom part of Alex's picture, tracing along the front of her jeans. He closes his eyes and starts swaying back and forth.
            He's keeping his back to Denise, but she knows that he’s massaging himself and his breathing is getting heavier.
            "She undressed for me--did you know that?  She is sooooo sexy--I thought I would never stop 'coming'---she's so sexy----and she knows it. The way she walks, the way she looks at a man----that smile---I will have her----and soon."
            Denise scoffs, "The only thing you will have is Ranger Walker's foot up your ass--if you make any attempt to hurt her! He will kill you, for what you're thinking."
            Andy brings himself to completion; he looks back to Denise and smiles his sardonic smile that she has learned to detest.
            "When I'm through with her boyfriend, he'll be a basket case---I have plans for him----or rather Annie has plans for him----right, sister dear?"
            The voice rises to a falsetto pitch, "Yes---oh yes---he will think he's losing his mind," the voice giggles----"and in a way---that's just what will happen---right, Andrew?"
            "Yes, Annie---and if you're good--I'll let you do the job---would you like that?  Do you think you can get it right this time?  The last time you made a real mess and the poor fool died, like a slobbering idiot."
            "Yes, Andrew---I will get it right---you will show me step by step what to do---I'm so anxious to show Ranger Walker----pain!"


                                       *********************************


           
Cordell Walker is feeling pain, but it's a nice pain--a nice hurt. They lie in each other's arms, Alex is turned slightly on her right side, massaging Walker's chest.   Their breathing has returned to normal as Walker turns and nestles himself into Alex's neck, kissing her softly, she purrs back at him.
              "Honey----you have got to get some sleep---it's a four hour drive back to Abilene and you have to be in court."
            His hands are reaching for her again, pulling her body closer, "How can I possibly sleep with you so close to me?"
            She giggles, "Would you prefer I go to the front room and sleep on the couch?"
            "No, 'cause I would just follow you in there---and if I remember right, we've 'christened that couch several times."
                  "Ooooo yes---and the recliner---the floor, my kitchen counters----even the table-----some people would say we're 'kinky'!"
            He finds her breasts again and his tongue teases the nipple to erection. "Who cares what anyone thinks!  We enjoy it, no one else's opinion matters."
            Alex climbs gently back onto Walker's body and eases herself gently just inches away from his throbbing membrane, she kisses his neck and sighs, "Walker, I would love to make love to you for the rest of the day----but honey---you've got to get some sleep---I don't want you falling asleep at the wheel---and if you don't get back----you could be in 'contempt of court'!"
            He slides his hands up and down her silky back, he sighs---"I know, I know----I know you're right---- but---I just can't---get enough of you---you drive me crazy--you know that!"
            She kisses him hard, "Yes---and you cause me to have daydreams about our making love----you know honey----we could be very dangerous for each other---irate drivers threatening road rage, and you driving all night back and forth to Abilene."
            She can hear him laugh, "What a way to go!  As for the long drive----it was worth it----more than worth it. I'd do it again, without even giving it a second thought as long as I know I'll get the same reception as I just received! Counselor, you were a wild woman--I'm going to have to put a leash on you!  Maybe that's what we'll try next--the whip and chain?"
            Alex giggles, "We tried the handcuffs and then you said you lost the key----kept me handcuffed the whole night."
            Walker kisses her neck and gently sucks, "And, you enjoyed every moment, didn't you?"
            "Yes," she whispers---"Walker, don't you dare give me a 'hicky’, I have to be in court today!"
            "Oooh, I will give you a 'hicky---but only I will be able to see it!"
           
She continues to caress his bearded cheek, "Walker, please try and sleep---I will wake you in about an hour and half, will that give you time to get back?"
            "Yeah, plenty of time, I'll put the flashers on, if necessary."
            Alex slides down his body, kissing him gently---"Okay, I will set the alarm, and then I will go make you a fresh thermos of coffee, do you want me to fix you something to eat too?"
            "No hon---you don't have to do any of that---stay in bed---you got to get your sleep too. I will stop at the I -Hop and get my thermos filled and something light to snack on." Walker turns over on his left side and gently pulls Alex back into his arms, his right arm going around her slender waist, holding her tight. He nestles his face into her blonde tresses, takes a deep breath, and is soon sleeping soundly.


                                      *************************************


            The rest of the night is quiet, as Denise tries to see what else is around her. At the far end of the cabin, a small light is burning and every now and then she hears voices. She looks around the room, but the windows are covered with old blankets, and Andy has allowed her to have one to cover with, as the September night gets cooler. There's nothing else in the room, just an old beat up couch and chair, and the floors are bare. The pictures of Alex stare back at her.
            Denise sits down on the floor, the chain makes a clanking noise. Andy has moved the food closer and she has managed to drink the water and eat some of the fruit but she can't stop shaking. Her lower abdomen is tender as she gently touches herself and feels blood. She starts to cry.
            "What is he going to do--he's sick--I should have known not to trust him.  Anyone that sits around talking to themselves has got to be ready for the rubber room. How could I have been so stupid?  I've never done anything like this before--stupid, stupid! I've got to try and get out of here."
            She stands and goes to the old radiator and pulls hard on the chains, she can see that the pipe leading to the gas line is starting to give way. She pulls on it again then she stops and listens, Andy is coming.
            At least he has put some pants on, he starts rubbing his hands together and looks down to Denise as she sits up against the radiator.
            "Are we having fun yet?" He taunts her, but she stays silent.
            Andy grabs an apple and chomps down on it, he yells back at his captive. "Denise----are you listening to me?"
            "Yes," she replies low, "I hear you."
            Andy smacks his lips as he walks around the room, "You know, my sister doesn't like you very much--she's like that---she's jealous of every woman that pays me any attention. But, that's okay---I'm the dominant one---I rule--she follows my every command.  I was born under the sign of the Gemini did you know that?  When's your birthday, Denise?"
            Denise pulls the blanket up around her, "I'm a Taurus."
            Andy stops and stares, "A bull?  You were born under the sign of the bull?"
            "Yes," she replies.
            Andy smiles, "Interesting----very interesting. Miss Cahill is a Sagittarius, they're supposed to be very strong opinionated, strong willed, and very hot tempered. I don't see Miss Cahill as 'hot tempered’, do you, Denise?"
            Denise recalls several times that Alex Cahill had lost her temper in court, but she was not going to say anything to disagree with her captor. She shakes her head, "No, Miss Cahill has always been a calm person."
            Andy seems to be thinking hard about something, he kneels down on the floor in front of Denise and says quietly.
            "It's only fitting that Miss Cahill be the love of my life, we have so much in common. For instance, her name--Alexandra--that comes from the Egyptian capitol of Alexandria, named for Alexander The Great. So, you see we are meant for each other, I am a descendant of Alexander The Great--did you know that?"
            Denise shakes her head, "No---I didn't know that----is that why you're so interested in Egyptian history?"
            "Yes," replies Andy, as he sits down on the floor, his legs doubled underneath him. He sits up straight and sways back and forth like he's in a trance. "Do you remember me telling you that when a pharaoh dies, his wife or the next of kin has to be buried with him?"
            Denise nods her head, she starts to shake harder, "Yes----Are you going to kill me?"
            "Why would I kill you, Denise---you have no one to be buried with---you have no husband, no boyfriend---not even a dog."
            "Will you let me go?" She whimpers.
            "No---I can't do that---it would spoil Annie's plans---and believe me---you don't want to upset Annie's plans--she has worked so hard to get it right this time."
            "Get what right---what are you going to do to me?" Denise screams.
            Andy puts his finger up to his mouth in a hushing gesture, "That's a surprise, Denise---you'll know--real soon."
            Denise is now crying harder, "PLEASE---just let me go---I won't tell anyone about you raping me---I swear----I won't!"
            Andy stands up and looks down at the young secretary, "Rape? I didn't rape you---you consented.  But that doesn't matter whether you did or didn't because ‘rape' is the least of your problems---Annie will see to that."
            Denise is now screaming, "Please----don't let your sister---I mean 'you’---please don't hurt me, I'll do anything you say----I'll do anything."
            Andy smirks, "Don't flatter yourself--I don't want your body----at least---not in a sexual way."
                  Denise's whole body goes cold, "What do you mean--by that?"
            Andy laughs, "I'd better go see how Annie and our 'guest' is doing."
            Denise watches as Andy walks away laughing, she whispers, "Someone else is here---oh my God----Miss Cahill?"


                                       **********************************


Abilene, Texas:
            The two Rangers are having breakfasts before they head for court. The black Ranger keeps looking at his partner, as Walker is rubbing his eyes and shaking his head, trying to stay awake. The waitress brings them coffee, Walker yawns.
            "Just leave the pot, miss."
            Walker is drinking the coffee as fast as he can pour it. He feels his partner watching him, and Trivette starts to grin.
            "Okay, Walker----out with it---where did you go last night? And, don't say you didn't go anywhere, I woke up several times and you weren't in your bed."
            Walker says nothing as he sips more coffee, Trivette is grinning from ear to ear. Walker sighs.
                  "Alright, I suppose I'd better tell you before you start letting that imagination run wild and coming up with all kinds of accusations-----I drove back to Dallas."
              Trivette's eyes become wide, "Dallas?  You drove all the way back to Dallas, that's almost a four hour drive---one-way. What the hell did you go all the way back to Dallas for----------oohh", the Rangers starts to snicker, "Well, I know one thing, it sure wasn't to see your horse, Amigo!"
            Walker shakes his head, and rubs his face---"Would you hurry up and get through eating, we're due in court."
            Trivette is grinning, his voice lowers, "Hell, man----if you were feeling 'horny'---there are women right here in Abilene---you didn't have to drive four hours to get laid."
            "Are you going to eat---or run your mouth?"
            "I can't believe it----Walker---you are something else! There are women here in Abilene that do that for a profession---"
            "I'm well aware of that, Trivette!" Walker's voice is angry, "I didn't want or desire their services—okay?"
            Trivette is bobbing back and forth in his chair as he makes a slashing mark in the air, "OOOOOhhhh---chalk one up for Alex!"
            Walker yawns, "I'm going, you can go with me or catch a cab to the courthouse."
            Trivette stands up, reaching for a biscuit, "Now hold up, Walk-man--I was just teasing--can't you take a little teasing?"
            "I'm tired, Trivette---I want to get my testimony over with today and hope to hell, we can go home soon.  Also, I would like to get a couple of hours' sleep before we have to run over to MT. Adobe and investigate that murder."
            "Okay, okay---you know, Walker--you're not the only one that wants to get back to Dallas for some more TLC---I met this nurse, she's hot----and she's got this friend---I was thinking of asking you to keep her friend occupied while Mona and I got down to business------"
            "Not interested Trivette."
            "How do you know, you haven't even seen her, Walker, I'm telling you---she's hot---she's a nurse."
            Walker starts reaching for his wallet to pay the bill, Alex's picture is in the window slot, across from his badge. He smiles, "Trivette, I wouldn't care if she was the playboy bunny of the month---I'm not interested---alright?"
            Trivette has seen the picture of Alex, he nods his head, "Okay, man---you know I didn't mean any disrespect for Alex---I'm sorry."
            Walker puts his wallet away and slaps his partner on the shoulder, "Apology accepted---and since you're feeling so generous---you can pay the bill---see you in the truck!"
            Trivette groans as the cashier looks back at him and smiles. Trivette nods in Walker's direction, "Never let it be said that I would interfere with cupid---my partner is in love----he just doesn't know it yet."
            The waitress continues to smile at Trivette as she touches his left hand and replies, "No wedding band---how about you--tall, dark, and handsome----who holds the key to your heart?"
            Trivette grins as his eyes go over the young waitress' body, "No one holds the key to my heart---but would you like to try?"

 

Sarcophagus Part V

            It's early morning back in Dallas, and Alex is walking into her office, she carries a cup of hot tea. Andy is all smiles as he jumps up to greet her.
             "Morning Miss Cahill----I got those depositions ready, just like I said I would, they're on your desk."
            "Thank you, Andy," she sips her tea and looks around to Denise's empty desk. "Where's Denise?           

Andy smiles nervously, "She called in sick."
            "Oh no---I hope it's nothing serious."
                "Actually, Miss Cahill---Denise said she would probably be out for several days."
            Alex looks at Andy curiously, "You talked to her yourself, she's suppose to call the answering service when she's not going to be here?"
            Andy nods, "Yep---I took the call---I hope that's alright---I didn't break any rules, did I?"
            "No, Andy---it's okay--I'll have to call the secretary pool and have them send over a 'sub'---will you get a hold of them, please?  I have a lot of work for them to do."
            "Yes ma'am, I'll do that---right now----I hope you like the way I did the depositions---I worked all night on them." He stops and studies the smile on Alex's face, he asks cautiously, "You seem like you're in a very good mood this morning, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex smiles, "Yes--yes I am. She walks into her office, picking up the files and scanning through them. She walks back out to Andy's desk, "Everything looks great---and so neat---thank you, Andy. If you keep up this good work, there's no telling what law offices you will wind up in---you're going to make a fine lawyer someday."
            Andy is all grins, "Thank you, Miss Cahill--thank you."
            Alex turns and starts back to her office, a voice calls out to her--"Alex Cahill---these are for you."
            The blonde turns to see a huge bouquet of flowers being presented to her. Her mouth drops open at the sight of the lilacs and yellow roses, embraced with a huge lavender ribbon, bearing her name.
            She takes the flowers and smells them, tears come into her eyes as she whispers, "They're beautiful."
            She takes the flowers and walks hastily back to her office  and closes the door, still smelling the flowers. She sits them gently down on her desk; her right hand goes to her mouth as the tears begin to fall, she smiles and whispers, "Walker---you constantly surprise me."
            She giggles lightly and runs behind her desk picking up her phone and dialing. Trivette answers his cell phone.
            "Jimmy, is Walker around?"
            Trivette is all smiles, "Heyyy Alex--how you doing?  No, Walker was just called into to testify, they just called him in--want me to tell him you called?"
            Alex is smiling and admiring the flowers again, "Yes----please."
            "Will do, but his testimony may take awhile---the defense attorney is really drilling him, I don't think the Cherokee warrior likes him too much."
            Alex laughs, "Walker doesn't care much for lawyers."
            The black Ranger is grinning from ear to ear and trying to visualize Walker and Alex in a romantic tryst----"Ooooooh, I wouldn't say that counselor---there's certainly one  lawyer that gets his interest up, and I think he likes her----a lot!"
            Alex takes the phone away from her ear and stares at it then giggles, "Really? Walker generally doesn't talk about personal matters---now what makes you say that?"
            Trivette is laughing, "You're fishing for compliments, counselor---you know as well as I do that Walker doesn't share his personal feelings with me---but that doesn't erase that silly little grin that he's had on his face ever since he got back this morning."
            Alex can feel herself getting warm as she remembers just hours before, "He was suppose to call and let me know that he got back okay---is he alright?"
            "He's fine Alex, he got in around 7am and we rushed over to have some breakfast. I had to keep nudging him, he was about to fall asleep in his coffee-----you sure were rough on the big guy, counselor---you should be ashamed."
            "I'm totally ashamed, Jimmy----I'm so ashamed that-----I can't wait to do it again!"
            Trivette is laughing so hard, that the people in the hallway are staring at him, "I got to go, Alex---I'll give Walker your message!"
            Andy is watching Alex through the window, he grins. "You're so happy now Miss Cahill, but you won't be for very long, your trust in that Neanderthal of a boyfriend will soon be crushed and I will be here for you to lean on."
            "You'll make her pay, won't you Andrew?  She's not good enough for you either, no one is."
           
"You just behave yourself, Annie----things are going just fine--I don't want anything to get messed up--and you have got to be nicer to our guests."
            "Which one? I don't like that little bitch you brought home and I don't like our other guest much better!"
           
Andy snarls, "I got no time for this---just do as I say."


                          **************************************


            It's now almost noon as Alex is rushing to finish her lunch, she has her cell phone nearby. She finds a table near the rear of the cafeteria and is enjoying a club sandwich, ice tea, and cantaloupe. Lisa, the young cashier sees her and walks over to Alex's table.
            "Hi Miss Cahill, are you busy, could I ask you something?"
            "Of course, Lisa--sit down---I hear through the grapevine that today is your birthday---Happy Birthday!"
            "Thank you, I'm 18 today and guess who is taking me out to dinner and to a movie?"
            Alex bites slowly into her sandwich, "I'll take 3 guesses---Andy, Andy, Andy!"
            The young girl laughs, "You're so nice. Miss Cahill---and yes, yes, and yes to your guesses."
            "I'm so happy for you, Lisa---Andy is a handsome young man, isn't he?"
            Lisa sighs, "He's gorgeous!  I love his eyes--they are so green---and he has such long eyelashes and they curl up on the ends."
            Alex is nodding her head, "Yes--he does have nice eyes and any girl would give her right arm to have lashes that long and not have to worry about mascara."
            "You're not referring to yourself, are you Miss Cahill---you have beautiful eyes too---such a beautiful blue, azure---like the sky. And, I've noticed that you wear little eye makeup--you don't need it, your look is natural. How do you keep your skin so soft looking?"
            Alex smiles softly, "Well--I try to stay out of the sun, but I do go to a tanning salon once a week, I use tons of cold cream and baby oil, and I drink gallons of water."
            "It definitely works! I just wish I didn't have so many freckles---they're a real 'turn off'."
            "Lisa, stop being so hard on yourself, you have to work with what God gave you----and as for freckles---look what they did for Doris Day?"
            Lisa stares back at the pretty blonde, "Who is Doris Day, a friend of yours?"
            Alex laughs, "Doris Day was a famous actress, and her freckles were her trademark."
            "Oh, I guess I don't watch enough television, I usually read a lot---you know--romance novels. Needless to say, I haven't dated much, boys don't find me attractive--which is why I was totally swept away when Andy asked me out to celebrate my birthday."
            "You said you were going to a movie, what do you plan to see?"
            "I'm not sure--- I like tear jerkers, I would like to see "Terms of Endearment"; I read the book----twice!  Did you ever see that movie, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex sips her tea, "Yes, I saw it---and it was a tear jerker---but I didn't see it at the movies, I rented it--along with several Clint Eastwood movies."
            Lisa shakes her head, "I can't picture you liking Clint Eastwood movies--some of them are so---so  bloody. He kills a lot of people."
            "Yes, I know---but Walker likes Eastwood, so in order to get him to sit through Terms of Endearment, I had to agree to the Eastwood movies----but I like Mr. Eastwood--so it wasn't much of a compromise, I just let Walker think it was.  He hates tear jerkers."
            Lisa laughs, "Ranger Walker is so nice, he always speaks to me and asks how my mornings are when he comes to get his coffee. Have you and he been dating long?"
            "No, not long--but we've known each other for several years--working together upstairs and all. It took us a long time to let our relationship become personal, but there was always something there--we both fought it.  But now, we are dating, and personally I couldn't be happier."
            Lisa bites her bottom lip, "I've watched the way you two are with each other when you come in for breakfast---you always take this rear table, away from everyone else."
            Alex is starting on her cantaloupe, "You're very observant, Lisa."
            "I'm not trying to be nosy or anything, Miss Cahill---it's just that I think it's so romantic the way he looks at you, and when he thinks no one is looking---the way----he----well you know--- the way he kisses you."
            Alex clears her throat, "You know, Lisa----there's someone out there for everyone---and I just have a feeling that your prince is out there. It might not be Andy---just don't give up----and don't settle for the first young man that tries to turn your head with sweet talk. You're a lovely girl, Lisa---and you deserve the best---don't ever let anyone try and tell you different.  You said that you read a lot--do you remember what Dylan Thomas said?"
            Lisa nods her head slowly, "Be True To Yourself."
               "Hmmmmm, you just remember that, and when your prince comes---you'll know it."
            They remain silent and then Lisa replies softly, "Is Ranger Walker your prince, I hear he lives on a ranch, and he's definitely the 'hero' type?"
            Alex starts to reply and then her cell phone rings. Lisa excuses herself and walks away. The voice on the other end makes Alex's heart beat faster.
            "Hi hon---sorry I didn't call earlier-- been in court all morning."
            "It's okay, that's where I'm heading as soon as I finish my lunch, but I had to talk to you---Walker--the flowers--are breathtaking---thank you".
            There's a long pause and then Walker replies, "Flowers?  What flowers are you talking about?"
                "Honey---stop teasing---I love them---they are beautiful."
                    Another hesitation as Walker is trying to figure out what to say, "Alex---I didn't---send any flowers."
            Alex stammers, "Good try sweetheart---but no one else knows that my favorite flower is the lilac--------"
            Walker starts to reply and then he looks over to Trivette who is standing by the coffee machine, he whispers, "Did you send Alex flowers?"
                  Trivette's brow arches, "No---now why would I send your woman—flowers?"
            Walker turns back to the phone and Alex is calling his name, "Walker---are you there?"
            "Yeah---I'm here-----and I sure would like to know what other man is sending you flowers?"
            Alex shakes her head, "You're just playing this to the hilt, come on honey---stop teasing."
            The long silence has Alex disappointed----"Are you saying you didn't see me flowers—Walker?"
            "I’m sorry---hon----no---I didn't send them---I would have if I thought of it sooner----I mean---I wanted to-----------“
            Alex clears her throat, "If you didn't send them----who did?"
            An angry Ranger is walking in circles and muttering, "That's what I would like to know."
            She closes her eyes, she knows he can feel her disappointment in him, "Look----Walker---I’ve got to go--what time will you be in tomorrow?"
            "As soon as the trial is over, I'm out of here. I should be on the road no later than 5pm---that'll put me in there around 9pm, I'll go straight to my ranch and change---I'll meet you at the ceremony---okay, hon?"
            "Yeah," she replies slowly---"Okay, I'll see you, drive carefully."
            "Alex---I'm sorry---about the flowers---I've been so busy, I didn't have time to send-----"
            "It's alright---Walker---don't worry about it, bye."
            The Ranger hands the cell phone back to his partner, Trivette is looking at him curiously.
            "What was all that talk about flowers, someone else sent Alex some flowers?  What yahoo is trying to move in onto your territory, Walk-man?"
                  Walker's face turns rigid, "I have an idea and if it's who I think it is, I'm going to introduce him to my boot---with my foot in it!"
            "What idiot would be fool enough to try and move in on Alex, everyone in the federal building knows that the two of you are an item. Is the guy 'brain dead?"
            The two Rangers exit out of the Abilene courthouse, and commence walking towards Walker's gray Ram. The bearded Ranger says nothing as he sits down gruffly behind the steering wheel. Trivette tries to start a conversation.
            "Look, Walker--are you referring to that Stevens creep that was trying to put moves on Alex last year?"
            "The same!" Walker answers angrily. "Apparently, he didn't get my message---he was at C.D.'s last night and was harassing her. C.D. said that he threatened to put a iron skillet to Stevens' head if he didn't leave Alex alone."
            "How did you find out about that?"
            "I called C.D.'s looking for Alex but she had just left and was on her way back home. C.D. filled me in on what had happened, that's when I decided to drive back to Dallas."
                "Soooo---how did Alex explain the incident?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh, "I didn't ask her about it----it was early morning-----the incident wasn't mentioned..
            Trivette starts shaking his head in confusion, "But, that was why you drove back---I mean at least----one of the reasons---the subject never came up?"
                   Walker's silence is all Trivette needs to hear-----“Ooooohh----other things on your mind, huh?"
               "Well, actually---I forgot all about it."
            Trivette starts to grin that silly grin, "Yeahhhhh---seeing a sexy woman like Alex in a nightie can change your mind real quick, right Walk-man?"
            Walker shoots his partner a dirty look, "Something like that----I sure didn't want to waste the rest of the night talking about that son-of-a-bitch."
            Trivette turns sideways, "Look, all of this can be solved---just stop at the florist and send Alex some flowers to make up for the ones you didn't send, throw in a extra dozen roses, and when you sign the card---lay on the mushy stuff---real thick."
            "I can't do that----it would be an 'afterthought' and---and Alex would see right through it."
            "So?  All's fair in love and war---- was she upset with you?"
            "She was disappointed---I could hear it in her voice---she was hurt.  Maybe you're right----maybe I should send some flowers.  Let's look for a florist shop----wait a minute--we're suppose to be on our way out to Mt Adobe."
            "Yeah, and I want to hurry and get back---got a hot date lined up with that waitress at I-Hop----I think she wants my 'bod'."
            Walker shakes his head, "Another 4 hour drive, but somehow this drive just doesn't make me very happy. Let's get it over with, the sooner we get down there, the sooner we get back."


                               ***********************************


            The man awakes in terrible pain, he can't see anything; his eyes are blindfolded. He feels his hands bound behind him, he listens to hear the sounds around him. All he can hear is the faint 'clank clank' of something similar to that of a chain. He starts to speak, his voice is hoarse and his throat is very dry.
            "Hello----hello---is there someone out there?"
            The clanking noise continues, he cries out louder.
            "Hello---please--can someone---hear me?"
            The clanking noise stops, and he hears a woman's voice reply. "Hello-----where are you/"
            The man feels a slight chance of hope, and struggles to make his voice stronger, swallowing his own saliva over and over. "I don't know----I can't see-----my hands are bound. Can you help me?"
            The voice answers him, "No, I'm chained--chained to an old radiator----who are you?"
            The man's hopes start to fade, his head is hurting worse, he feels something warm dripping down the side of his forehead. "I'm hurt----my head hurts so bad."
            The woman's voice rises in terror,  "I can't figure out where you are, I'm in the front room of an old rundown farm house, I can see only the kitchen----or what is left of it. Are you on the other side?"
            "I don't know where I am?  I don't even know-----who is doing this, why I'm being held."
            "I can tell you who is responsible---Andy----he's the one that chained me----he raped me last night----he's crazy! He is two different people!"
            "I don't know anyone called Andy----who the hell is he---and who are you?"
            "My name is Denise Hanks, I work at the Tarrant County law offices of the Assistant District Attorney."
            The voice doesn't answer at first and then finally the voice asks, "Alex Cahill? You work for Alex Cahill?"
            "Yes!! You know her----who are you?"

The voice starts to quiver, "My name is Tom Stevens."
                                                                                                                                     
    To be continued.....       
Sarcophagus Part VI

By Sasquaw

            Denise repeats the name to herself, "Tom Stevens?  Oh my God, Andy kidnapped him too, why?"
            "
Mr. Stevens---how bad are you hurt?"
            "I'm not sure, my head is hurting like hell---I think I feel blood, I'm really weak. Who is this Andy, why has he taken us, I don't even know him."
            "He's possessed with Alex Cahill, we saw you together at C.D.’s last night, and Andy heard the way you came onto her----I guess sometime during the night he went back after you."

Stevens starts shaking his head, "That can't be, no one approached me last night---except for the hooker in the parking lot."
            Denise groans, "A hooker? What did she look like?"
            "Why do you care what she looked like, she was the average slut---long dark hair, kind of tall---very pretty."
            "Listen carefully to me, Mr. Stevens--were her eyes green?"
            Stevens nods his head, the pain is getting worse. "Yes---she had beautiful dark green eyes, they accented her black hair--she---was gorgeous."
            For a moment Denise wants to laugh, she knows the hooker was Andy. She thinks back to all the times that Stevens was so rude to her, he was always so smug and considered himself to be a lady 'killer'. Denise takes a deep breath and then she asks slowly.
            "What happened next, Mr. Stevens----did you leave together?"
            Stevens is silent, "Well----not right away---we went to my car and things got a little heated up-----she was all over me---telling me what she wanted to do and all----she----she gave me a blow job!"
            Now Denise is laughing quietly. "Mr. Stevens---you have a rude awakening coming to you----that hooker was not a woman---it was a man---it was Andy."
            Stevens is babbling to himself, "No----you're wrong----I think I would know a real woman-----------"
            "Think about it, Mr. Stevens, did she undress for you? Trust me, it was Andy and his counterpart/sister, Annie!  But, we got to get past that----Andy will be coming back soon, it would be best if you didn't let on about what I just told you--do you hear me?"
            Stevens slumps down on the floor, "I think I'm going to be sick----I'm about ready to pass out----you've got to get us out of here."
            Denise looks over at the chain that is holding her to the radiator, and then down to her nude body. She pulls on the chain again, the pipe is starting to give way. For a moment she worries about leaking gas, then she recalls seeing no signs of electricity, the light she saw earlier was from an old oil lantern. She assumes there are no utilities hooked up. The water that he gives her is bottled. That morning she had seen him carrying a garment bag, which probably held a change of clothes, she had smelled a man's deodorant and a soap smell, so he had to have bathed somewhere else.
            She yells back to her co-prisoner, "Believe me, Mr. Stevens---I'm working on a way to get us out, you'll be the first one to know---creep!"


                         *******************************************
 Abilene: 7pm
            The Rangers have returned from Mt Adobe, and Walker is exhausted as he heads for the shower. Trivette has already showered, and putting on a fresh shirt.
            He's mumbling to himself, "I knew I should have brought a suit---these girls just can't resist me, I should have known one would be seeking out  'the kid'---they know a good thing when they see it---now where's my cologne?"
            A knock is heard at their motel door, Trivette saunters over to see who it is. The waitress from I-Hop is standing there looking back at him.
            Trivette glances at his watch, "Hey Lynn---you said  7:30--you're early."
            The tall brunette enters the room, "I know I said 7:30---but I have to talk to you, I couldn't wait."
            Walker comes out of the bathroom with just a towel around him; he sees Lynn and quickly grabs his jeans. "Sorry---didn't know we had company."
            Walker ducks back into the bathroom, Trivette is looking at Lynn and smiling, "Couldn't wait to see me, huh-----yeah I have that effect on most women."
            Lynn tries to smile, "You're going to think I'm crazy but I need you and your partner to check something out for me."
            "Like what?"
            Lynn looks towards the bathroom, "Could we wait till your partner gets out, I don't want to have to repeat this."
            Trivette is puzzled, "Hey Walker---get out here."
            Walker comes out trying to dry his hair with a towel, "Thought you two were going out?"
            "Yeah, me too---but Lynn says she has something she wants to talk to us about---okay, Lynn---what's so important that our date is being put on hold?"
            Lynn sighs, "First of all, my name is Lynn Masters, I'm working undercover for the FBI---and I'm into something really big. When I heard the Texas Rangers were here, I had to take the chance to talk to one of you."
            Walker is reaching for his shirt; Lynn can't take her eyes off of his muscular chest, Walker's eyes narrow.
            "What kind of case are you on--and how can we help?"
            The woman is very pretty, a very nice build with long dark hair and dark eyes. She keeps looking at Walker, "We've been investigating the cover-ups of the Gateway funeral parlor and all the bodies that were found in the basement--you recall the case---about 15 yrs ago?"
            Trivette and Walker exchange glances, "We thought that case was wrapped up, the owners were convicted and doing time, the bodies were identified and eventually given proper burials? So, what are you still investigating?"
            Lynn sighs and shakes her long beautiful hair, "It's not completely closed---not as far as I'm concerned."
            Walker is yawning and trying to stay awake, "Sounds like you have a personal interest in this?"
            "Yeah, I do--Jimmy---would you and your partner please drive out to the old funeral home with me?"
            Trivette looks to Walker, "My partner is beat, he's had a long day---and previous night---but yeah--I'll drive out with you."
            Walker takes the keys and throws them to his partner, "Don't forget your keys, I don't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to let you in."
            Trivette grins as he looks to Lynn, "Who says I'll be coming back tonight---see you in the morning Walk-man."
            Walker shakes his head and heads for his bed, reaching for the phone and dialing. He misses Alex at her office, so he dials her cell phone, a sultry voice answers.
            "Hi gorgeous----are you still angry with me?"
            Alex smiles, "No, I'm not angry at you, I never was---maybe just a little--disappointed. I was so sure that you sent the flowers, because they were lilacs and who else but you knows that's my favorite flower?"
            "Alex, I don't mean to disagree with you, but Trivette and C.D. know about the lilacs----and if you remember correctly you mentioned your favorite flower in that little interview you did last month in that WOMEN LAWYERS journal."
            "Yeah, you're right, I had forgotten about that."
            Walker lies back on his bed, "But that still doesn't explain who sent the flowers to you---and I don't mind admitting---I'm not too happy that another man is sending you flowers."
            Alex smiles, she takes the opportunity to tease him, "Do I detect some jealousy in your voice?"
            "You're damn right!  And, if this turns out to be who I think it is, I'm going to have a nice long talk with him."
            Alex's eyes turn to concern, "Who?  Who do you think it is, I certainly haven't a clue."
            Walker is yawning even more, "Never mind----I'll see to it. Are you on your way to your apartment or to the ranch?"
            "I have to go home, my secretary is out sick and she didn't finish all the files on the Hemming’s case---and the secretary that the pool sent over is not to swift with the computer. Honestly, I don't know how they get through secretarial school these days and not be computer literate!"
            "Maybe they hate computers as much as I do," Walker replies.
            The blonde giggles, "If that's the case, then they need to find other work, and I can't think of any occupation that doesn't deal with computers in some shape or form. And, also---sweetheart you did promise me that you would take some classes and try to learn more about the computer age?"
            "I'm not going to any class room, you can teach me all I need to know---and while you're at it, you can teach me about the computer, too!"
            The blonde is now laughing as her voice purrs back, "Honey---there is nothing you need to learn in that department----and we will work on the computer."
            Walker smiles, "Okay, hon---I'm going to try and get some sleep before Trivette comes back and turns on the TV again."
            "Where is Jimmy, he's not watching the game?"
            "Nope---had a date with----a waitress from I-Hop----actually she's not a waitress---but I don't want to get into that now--hon---I'm exhausted---you wore me out."
            Alex is smiling, "It's nice to know I have that effect on you, so Jimmy has scored again----umm, 200 miles away and he's still managing to pick up dates. So, tell me sweetheart----how many women are 'eyeballing' you?"
            Walker laughs, "I wouldn't know--I haven't been able to keep my eyes open long enough! ----Wouldn't do any good anyways----a certain blonde attorney has all of my attention."
              "Oooooh---good comeback, cowboy!  Okay, sweetheart I will let you get some sleep--call me tomorrow---okay?"
            "I will---bye hon."


                                 **********************************************


            Andy has picked Lisa up for their date, they are driving to down town Dallas. Lisa looks around at the car that Andy is driving.
            "Nice car, Andy---is it new?"
            Andy stammers as he quickly looks at the sticker in the left hand corner of the windshield. "Uhhh---it's almost a year old, yeah, it's new to me."
            "Did you trade your little blue car off for it?"
            Andy is racking his brain, "How does she know about my blue car?"
            "No," he explains, "I'm just borrowing this one for the night, why so many questions?"
            "No reason, Andy---I was just asking----hey I thought we were going to Arlington--to the Regal--Terms of Endearment is playing there."
            Andy frowns, "Well----I've changed my mind--I thought we would go to the Dallas museum--they are having a special documentary on archaeology, I would like to see it--is that okay?"
            Lisa nods her head, "Sure---that's fine, are you talking about dinosaurs?"
            "No, I'm referring to the ancient times of Egypt, mummies and all that cool stuff."
            Lisa moans, "It's not going to be scary, is it?  I can't stand bloody things."
            "Would you relax, it's going to be most interesting---pay attention---you might learn something about ancient times."
            "I can't imagine what there is so exciting about seeing mummies and learning about how the pharaohs were buried, who cares? That happened thousands of years ago."
            Andy is getting angry, "Don't be so close minded about something you know nothing about---just listen to the lecture first---okay?"
            They continue on to the Dallas museum, Andy pays for their admission and gently pulls Lisa towards the entrance to Egypt Antiquities; they find a seat and sit down. Andy is straining to see the exhibits on display, he nudges Lisa to join him before the lecture starts, but does so reluctantly.
            They are walking along the display, pictures show step by step on how the pyramids were built, and then they show the ancient weapons of years passed. Andy is talking as fast as he can, explaining things to Lisa that she's not the least bit interested in. He stops and stares at the different types of coffins that were built to encase the dead pharaohs, his heart is beating faster as he points to the one that is similar to the one that held King Tut. He's breathless as he looks to Lisa.
            "Do you know what these are called?"
            Lisa looks back at him nervously, "They're coffins."
            "Not just coffins---they're SARCOPHAGUSES!"
            Lisa tries to pronounce the name "Sarcpus---what?"
            "Sar-cuf-agus----I thought you liked to read----and you don't know about these kind of coffins?  They were built for only the greatest of the pharaohs----oh man---are you dense?"
            Lisa swallows, "Well excuse me---but I don't find this kind of reading interesting or educational. As for my being 'dense' I resent that remark, I have you know I read my Egyptian history and I scored 100% on my tests--I know about the Egyptian period, I detested reading about how their people were treated and how the pharaohs were like Gods---I still detest it---so there!"
            Andy is speechless, and then the guest speaker enters the room and everyone takes their seats. A giant screen is brought out and a projector is set up. The speaker clears his throat.
            "For the next hour you will see step by step on how the embalmers prepared their bodies for mummification. I warn you that some of the scenes are not for the faint hearted, if you have trouble with the sight of blood, this is definitely not for you and I advise you to leave now."
            Lisa starts to stand, but Andy grabs her hand, he whispers--"Just give it a chance---you might learn something."
            "Please, Andy I don't care to see this," she argues.
            "Five minutes---just give it five minutes----okay?"
            Lisa sits down nervously as other spectators are watching her. A young page walks over to them and whispers to Andy, "Perhaps your lady friend would prefer waiting in the lobby?"
            Andy pulls the page down to him by his collar and snarls----"My lady friend is staying---is that clear?"
            The page stands up, adjusting his tie and looks to Lisa. "Ma'am----if you want to leave---you can."
            "It's okay---thank you---I'll try to stay----thank you for being concerned."
            Andy is doing a slow burn, "The imbecile, I would like to embalm him."
            The speaker again clears his throat, "If everyone is ready, the film will begin."
            The lights dim and soon Andy is all engrossed in the step-by-step demonstration. The young page is watching Lisa closely, she turns and catches his eye, and he nods back to her. She watches the screen with one eye closed.
            Andy is watching the screen intensely, his eyes following every move of the demonstration. Lisa watches him, she whispers, "Are those real bodies?"
            Andy answers her without taking his eyes from the screen, "They're cadavers, of mostly homeless people that the medical colleges use for their experiments. Some of the cadavers are then donated to the museums for exhibits like this--to show how the Egyptians mummified their pharaohs."
            Lisa opens both eyes to see someone pouring a white substance into one of the body cavities, she gasps, "What are they doing?"
            Andy is getting aggravated at so many questions, "They're pouring natron into the cavities."
                     "Natron? What is that and why are they doing it?"
            Andy stares back at Lisa, "Look, I want to watch this and I can't with you asking so many questions."
            Now Lisa is getting angry, "How will I learn anything, if I don't ask questions?"
            "Okay, okay---natron is a salt that the embalmers pour into the cavities, it coaxes moisture from the flesh and reduces odors, in this case there is no body order, and the cadaver has long been preserved. Anyways, it's packed into the cavities, and then later the wrapping begins."
            Lisa takes a deep breath, "I've got to get some fresh air, and I’m going to the lobby."
            "Fine---go to the lobby--you missed the best part anyways!"
            Lisa walks past the young page, he follows her into the lobby and asks her if she would like some water, Lisa nods. The young man returns, he keeps looking at Lisa and shaking his head.
            "I sure can't picture someone like you---being with a 'weirdo' like that one. This is the third time this month that he's been here---is he a medical student--or something?"
            Lisa looks at the page, he's very homely looking, some would call him a 'nerd'. He wears horn-rimmed glasses and his hair is slicked down, he's tall and lanky.
            "No, he's not a medical student, not that I know of anyways, he works in a law office---and why do you call him 'weird?"
                "Because anyone that would find all of that---that trash 'interesting' has got to be weird----some of that stuff gets really gruesome."
            Lisa nods, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but bad enough."
            The page adjusts his glasses, "Yeah, well you should have seen the first half of the lecture, when they first start getting the body ready to be embalmed."
            Lisa grimaces, "There were more demonstrations?"
            "Of course, they had to first empty the body of all organs----they showed that in the first two segments----and your boyfriend was here for both sessions---totally into it---just like he is now."
            "Ugh," replies Lisa, I know I will kick myself for asking, but what else happened?"
            The young man starts to reply and then he sees the double doors opening, the session is over.  He looks quickly to Lisa and whispers.
            "I can't get into this right now, here, take my phone number---call me---I'll explain to you later---my name is Wesley."
            The crowd files out, and Lisa walks up to Andy slowly she tries to smile. "How was it?"
            Andy looks to her and then over to the young page, Wesley turns away quickly. "It was most interesting---I'm hungry--let's go eat."
            Lisa's stomach gets queasy, "How can you think about food after what you just saw?"
            "When I'm hungry, nothing bothers me---I'm in the mood for spaghetti and meat balls---with lots of sauce
---you coming?"
            Wesley watches as the couple heads to a brown mustang, he gets an uneasy feeling. "Damn, why didn't I ask her name so I could call and check on her---that clown is up to no good---I can feel it."

 

Sarcophagus Part VII

            Denise listens as the front door slams and Andy walks in, throwing things around. He's mumbling under his breath, "The bitch--I knew she would do this to you, to embarrass you---who does she think she is?"
           
Denise has the blanket thrown around her and she's sitting up against the radiator, hoping that Andy doesn't see that the pipe is almost broken. Andy is walking towards her, cursing. She looks at him and asks nervously.
            "What's wrong----why are you so angry---and who are you angry with?"
            "What do you care?  All of you are just alike-----whiney, and always wanting everything your way---you're like little titmouse’s----always complaining."
            Denise looks quickly towards the kitchen she prays that Tom Stevens will keep quiet. "Andy, where did you go earlier---talk to me about it, who are you angry at---is it Miss Cahill?"
            "Miss Cahill----never! I could never be angry at her, she's the love of my life--I will die for her!"
            Andy continues to walk in circles and cursing under his breath, "I have to work fast---I haven't got much time----that boyfriend will be coming back tomorrow. I thought he would be angry at her because another man sent her flowers---I've got to go to step 2----he's going to pay for trying to take her from me!"
            Denise stammers, "He hasn't tried to take her from you---it's the other way around---can't you see that she loves him?"
              "NEVER!  Alexandra doesn't know what awaits her, she just thinks that he is the one she wants, but soon she will know better---when we are together for always and eternity."
            Denise starts to cry, "Andy, please let me go--I can help you get medical help---it's obvious that you need a friend, and I want to help you---to be your friend."
            Andy stares at her for the longest and then he answers slowly, "Do you really want to help me, Denise?"
            "Yes," she answers hesitantly.
            He gets down on his knees in front of her, "And, you'll do anything I ask you to do, right?"
            She grimaces, thinking of the previous evening when he made her perform oral sex. She ponders her agreement, saying to herself, "I've already been raped by this creep and made to do god awful things, what else can he make me do?"
           
Denise nods her head, "Yes----wh---what do you want me to do? Will you let me go---if I do as you ask?"
            He smiles that sardonic grin, "We have a guest--would you like to meet him?"
            She swallows, "Yes---I would like to meet him, where is he?"
            "Come with me," he undoes the lock around her ankle and jerks her up, he nudges her towards the kitchen, "Just keep walking--he's on the back porch."
            Every bone in Denise's body is tensing up, and she's shaking uncontrollably. She prays that Stevens will not let on that they have talked. Andy pulls her back, and kicks open the screen door, leading out to an enclosed back porch. The form is laying in a fetal position, Andy yells at him.
            "Get up---you piece of scum and meet your reaper."
            Andy kicks out at Stevens, the man screams and tries to stand up, his hands bound behind him, making it impossible for him to get his balance. His eyes are blindfolded, as he keeps trying to follow the voice that he is hearing. Andy stomps over to him and jerks him around, facing Denise. He yanks the blindfold off and Denise screams, Tom Stevens has no eyes!


                             ***************************************


            Alex Cahill has a visitor, Jack Mooney, the head district attorney.
            "I'm telling you Alex, if Tom Stevens doesn't walk through those doors in the next five minutes, I'm ordering a warrant for his arrest. He's already up to his eyeballs in sexual accusations, and now he fails to show up in court!"
            Alex sighs, "What that man does, doesn't surprise me! I read the reports on some of the things he's done to women, especially his last two secretaries."
                 "Nothing has been proven yet, Alex---you know better than to form assumptions without proof, Mooney warns.
                  "Proof?" Alex asks, "I saw the pictures, and I heard the last victim describe how he made her do sexual acts-----in front of her small child---the man is a pervert, I'm glad you're prosecuting him, and not me!"
            "Only because you went before Judge Barnes and declined Stevens' case," he snaps back.
            "I could not have been unbiased--and besides I have too many cases already, Judge Barnes said I needed a vacation----and I agree with him."
            "I would like a vacation myself, Miss Cahill---I hardly get to see Margaret and the kids anymore----the other day my young nephew was spending the night, I thought he was one of my own---hell, I can't even remember how many kids I have."
            The blonde laughs, "Yes---you definitely need a vacation. So, when are you going to put the warrant out on Stevens?"
                     Mooney scratches his chin, "Right now, I'm tired of wasting time." The head DA turns and walks out of Alex's office.
            Andy has been watching the scene through the window of Alex's office. He studies Alex's body and the way she carries herself. Alex is wearing white slacks with matching jacket, and her blouse is a powder blue that makes her eyes even bluer. A narrow chain belt wraps around her slender waist, and her heels are low. She has her blonde hair swept up on one side, with blonde ringlets down around her ears. She wears a simple gold chain along with another necklace that has a small star dangling down. On her left wrist she wears a simple wristwatch, the right wrist has a bracelet that looks a little out of place with the attire she is wearing. The bracelet is turquoise with a silver band.
            He smiles, and whispers to himself, "Only you could wear something like that and look like a princess, my love."
            He continues to watch her, every now and then the fragrance of her lilac perfume reaches his nostrils. His thoughts go back to the previous night when he watched her from the closet as she applied body lotion--all the way up to her sexy thighs. His body begins to warm as he recalls watching her hands smooth the lotion over her abdomen, he could see the blonde ringlets of hair in her pelvic area and swallows. Her body looks so smooth; he closes his eyes and visualizes touching her. He can see himself going down her smooth body with his hands, and then his tongue. He sighs slowly. Suddenly someone hits his desk and he jumps.
            Andy is staring back at the UPS man, the man smiles at him and then stares in the direction that Andy has been looking.
            The UPS man is wearing his summer attire of shorts and he stares back at Andy, popping his gum. He nods towards Alex's office, "She's quite a looker, isn't she?  Don't mind telling you that every time I see her, my shorts 'hike' up, and my flag rises to full attention."
            Andy's anger is showing, "Get out of here, and don't be talking about Miss Cahill that way."
            "Hey----I'm not the only one that has their underwear getting all scrunched up, I can see that you're almost ready to raise that end of the desk."
            Andy stammers, "You don't know what you're talking about, you're obscene and dirty minded."
            The man continues to pop his gum, and looks into Alex's window just as the blonde is bending down to retrieve something out of the lower drawer. The UPS man groans and makes a slight gesture with his lower torso.
            "Man---what I wouldn't give to ride that rear----she's hot!"
            Andy stares back at the man, "Get out of here, before I call security!"
            The man turns and leans over Andy's desk, "Yeah, you would have to call someone else to throw me out because you're in no shape to even come out from behind your desk.  I have a better idea, why don't you call the Texas Rangers----maybe that bearded one that has been sharing the sheets with your 'dream girl’?"
            Andy lowers his voice, "How do you know about him?"
            The man laughs, "I don't live on the moon, and I’ve seen the two of them together! They try so hard to be discreet when they're in the building, but I see the little touches here and there.  I had to deliver a package out to his ranch once she was there; I saw her little convertible in the driveway parked next to his truck. I guess I interrupted something, cause it took forever for him to get to the door and when he did, he was only half dressed.  But hell, if I was sharing the sheets with someone that's as hot as that lady is---I wouldn't be in any hurry to answer the door either!"
            Andy is getting angrier, thinking about the scenario that the man has just described, he can't stand the thought of another man touching Alex Cahill.
            "You need to go, before Miss Cahill comes out and sees you standing around--doing nothing. Don't you have more deliveries to make?"
            The man stares back at Andy, "Listen kid----I've heard about that Rangers' temper, you don't want that man breathing down your back. You better cool yourself off, before he gets wind of your little 'observations', cause if he ever finds out, you'll be pulling your head out of your ass hole!

"I don't need your advice, and I’ll have you know--I'm not afraid of Ranger Walker."
            The man shakes his head, "You're crazier than you look----just put your 'John Henry' down at the bottom of that receipt---I got to get out of here, before I laugh myself to death."
            Andy signs the receipt and shoves it back at him, the man shrugs----"See you in the obituaries, kid!"
            Andy watches the man walk away, he mumbles to himself, "Not if I see you first--you idiot!"
            A soft voice calls out, "Andy, will you come in here please?"
            The young man jumps up from his desk, "Coming, Miss Cahill."
            Alex looks back to her young law clerk, "Andy, I'm going to be in court, probably for the rest of the evening, will you take my calls? If it's important, have me paged---if not--tell the caller I will return their call as soon as possible."
            The young man smiles, his eyes watching Alex's blouse rise up and down, he answers softly, "Yes, Miss Cahill----anything you say."
            Alex grabs her briefcase and then turns to Andy, "Ahhh, Andy--if Ranger Walker should call, please have me 'paged'----is that clear?"
            "But, Miss Cahill---pagers are cut off while court is in session."
            "My pager doesn't beep, it just gives a slight vibration--I can press the button, indicating that I will call back as soon as possible. I won't be cross examining anyone on the witness stand, I'm just assisting Mr. Mooney."
            Andy nods his head slowly as he watches Alex walk away, watching her buttocks as they sway back and forth. "Poetry in motion," he sighs.


                                         ***********************************


Abilene, Texas.
            Walker has awakened early and drives over to the I-Hop for his breakfast, Trivette still hasn't come back to the motel room. The Ranger orders The Grand Slam, the whole works. The waitress smiles at him.
                "Someone has gotten their appetite back, the last two mornings you've ordered nothing but coffee."
            Walker smiles as he hands the menu back to the waitress, she too, is young and very pretty. "Well, hopefully my testimony will be over today and I can head home."
            The waitress lingers as she fills his coffee cup, she glances at his left hand. "Anxious to get home to someone special, huh? I see no ring, but that doesn't mean anything, does it?"
            Walker watches her as she looks at his hand, "I'm not married, but yes I am very anxious to get home."
            "My name is Tammy---what's yours?"
            Walker sips his coffee, "Walker," he answers.
            "Well, Walker----Abilene can get very swinging once the evening comes, lot of nice places to go---to dance---and so forth. My shift ends at six, so maybe you can hang around instead of heading back to Dallas so quickly?  I promise I can show you---a nice time."
            Walker takes another sip of his coffee, "No thanks, Tammy---I'm involved with someone."
            She leans over in front of him for the sugar, so he can get an eye full of her extra tight uniform.  "Doesn't bother me---what she doesn't know can't hurt her, right sweetie?"
            Walker takes the sugar and puts it back where it was, and looks back at her and says very clearly, "Sorry."
            Tammy walks away and then looks back over her shoulder to see if the Ranger is watching, she sees him take out a cell phone. She sighs, "Well, can't win 'em all." 
            Walker calls Alex's office, and Andy takes the call.
            "Sorry Mr. Walker, but Miss Cahill is in court and she can't receive any calls."
            Walker starts to object, then he sees Trivette and Lynn walking in. "Tell her I'll call later." He then looks up to Trivette, he's smiling as Lynn goes to clock in.
            "It's about time you showed up, you know we both have to be in court in less than an hour."
                  "Noooo problem, Walk-man--I'm wide eyed and bushy tailed as C.D. would say--by the way, what does that mean exactly?"
            Walker is downing his coffee, "Okay, when did you see through Lynn's phony story about working for the FBI?"
            "Almost immediately, I just didn't let on, the poor girl was desperate for us to listen to her story. She thought if she came on as just a hysterical woman that wouldn't let something die, we wouldn't be so quick to listen. Anyways, after a few questions, she broke down and confessed that she does have a personal interest in the case---so I went with her to check out the funeral home, what's left of it."
            Tammy brings Walker his breakfast, smiling as she sits it down in front of him, "Enjoy, sweetie."
            Trivette is watching the eye contact and grins, "What's going on, partner?  What have I missed?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh, "You haven't missed anything--now can we get back to the funeral home, what happened out there?"
            Trivette watches as Walker breaks the yolk on his eggs, reaching for the pepper and hot sauce. He then breaks open his biscuits and sops up the yolk. Trivette grimaces.
            "Your stomach must be going into overdrive with all of that cholesterol you're putting into it."
            "My stomach is just fine, now are you going to tell me what happened out there?"
            Trivette motions for Lynn, she walks over quickly, "Did you ask him yet?"
            Walker looks to Lynn and then back to his partner, "Ask me what?"
            "Lynn wants to know if you will ride back out there with us, after we get out of court?"
            "No way," answers Walker, "as soon as that stupid lawyer releases us, the Ram is heading East--back to Dallas."
            Lynn looks hopelessly at Trivette, the Ranger motions for her to leave, "Just bring me some poached eggs, and plenty of orange juice----fresh squeezed."
            "Don't try to change my mind, Trivette----I've got to be back in Dallas in time to take Alex to her awards' dinner, we've got to leave no later than 5pm."
            "It's only a hours' drive, we'll be back in plenty of time."
                 "Trivette---that case has been closed for nearly 15 years, what is so important to Lynn about opening up old wounds?"
            "How familiar are you with the case, Walker?"
            "I remember that the owners of the funeral home were keeping unburied bodies in the basement--family members thought their loved ones had been buried in the cemetery. If it hadn't been for that flood coming through and washing the bodies out of the basement and upon the streets, they may never have been caught. However they were, and last I heard they were all serving time."
            Trivette nods as he reaches over and takes the strawberries from Walker's pancakes, "Yep, you're right, except for one thing. The older couple only served 10 years of their sentence, the older boy is doing life."
            Walker motions for more coffee and Tammy is there immediately. "Actually, Trivette---I always thought that sentence was rather light, after what was written about how those bodies were found and the shape they were in."
            "Yeah, the media said that it looked like some experimenting was done after the embalming, some of their organs were missing."
            Tammy almost drops the coffee pot, "Organs? Embalming? I thought you two were Texas Rangers, you sound like medical examiners?"
            Trivette laughs, "Sometimes we must feel like we are, right, Walker? We've had to witness a lot of gross things in our jobs, some things are not too pretty, trust me."
            The waitress shivers, "Yuk, how can you stand to eat while you're talking about such things---my stomach is getting queasy just thinking about it."
            Trivette smiles and looks to Walker, he just shakes his head. "Sorry we've messed up your morning, Tammy---you ready to go, Trivette?"
            "Go?  I just got here and I haven't finished my breakfast. I haven't even got my breakfast yet!"
            Walker grins as he lays a $20 down on the table, "Tell Lynn to pack your breakfast and let's get to court---get this over with. I'll meet you in the truck."
            Tammy grabs Walker's arm and smiles. "If you change your mind, my shift ends at 6?"
            He takes her hand away gently, "Sorry, Tammy---I don't play those games."
            The waitress watches as the bearded Ranger walks out, she turns to Trivette, "The lady that has his heart is one lucky woman."
            Trivette is motioning for Lynn to wrap his breakfast as he looks back at Tammy. "Yep, Alex is a classy lady----and my partner has definitely been bitten by the love bug." He stops and observes Tammy's body, and before Lynn reaches the table, Trivette whispers, "How do you feel about threesomes?"
            Tammy stares back at him, her eyes go up and down his muscular frame then looks out the window as Walker is getting into his Ram. "Only if the 3rd party is your partner."
            Trivette chokes on the water he's drinking, "No way----I was thinking more along the line of you, me---and Lynn?"
            "Forget it, you wouldn't be able to handle both of us."
            "I sure would like to give it a try---what do you say?"
            Tammy smiles back at the black Ranger, "I tell you what, you convince your partner to stay another night----and we'll work on that threesome---later."
            Trivette sighs, "There's no way I could convince Walker to stay another night----he told you--he's involved with someone---and when he's in a relationship---it's strictly monogamous! But me, on the other hand---I have no such morals, I was put here on this earth to satisfy as many women as I can before I walk down that aisle of holy matrimony."
            Tammy reaches out and touches Trivette's face, "You're cute---I'll think about it."
            Lynn reaches the table as she sees Tammy stroking Trivette's face, and her jealousy is showing. "What was that all about, is your partner going with us, what did he say?"
            "Whoa--one question at a time! No, Walker has to be back in Dallas. His girlfriend has a very special awards ceremony that he has to take her to. We have to leave as soon as my testimony is over with."
            "Are you sure you can't convince him to stay---to at least drive back out to the funeral home with us?"
                    Tammy's eyes narrow, "Funeral home?  You people sure talk about weird things---Lynn--is this how you spend a date---at a funeral home?"
            Lynn's eyes start to mist up as she turns on Tammy, "How I spend my dates is of no concern to you, and furthermore, keep your hands to yourself. Just because you couldn't get to first base with his partner doesn't mean you can move in on mine."
            The restaurant's customers are starting to stare at the arguing waitresses, as the owner is walking in their direction. Trivette grabs his breakfast, kisses Lynn's cheek and hurries to the door. He looks back as the owner is giving both of the waitresses a scolding, he mumbles to himself,  "Well---there go the threesome."
            Trivette is still grinning as he slides into the Ram; Walker is staring back at him. "What are you grinning about?"
            Trivette eyes his partner, "Just for curiosity’s sake, Walker---have you ever been in a threesome?"
            Walker stares his partner down, Trivette shrugs---"Just thought ---I'd ask."
            They head for the courthouse.


                                ***************************************


            Denise has been allowed to stay on the back porch with Tom Stevens, she's now chained to several cinder blocks, making it almost impossible for her to walk. She has to drag the blocks with her, moving only inches at a time. She has cried all night as Tom Stevens has also, the pain is now excruciating for him.
            Denise was given water to wash away the blood from Tom's empty eye sockets. She talks to him as gently as possible, trying to keep him from going into shock. The blood has congealed, which Denise hopes to be a positive sign; at least he won't bleed to death. She fights to keep her voice steady. Andy took his hands from behind him and bound them in front. Stevens keeps trying to put his hands up to his eyes, Denise fights to keep him from doing so.
            "What's wrong with my eyes---Denise?  I can't see anything, everything is black----and there's so much pain."
            Denise starts to cry, "You have---no eyes---Andy---gouged them out--don't you remember anything that has happened?"
            "My head hurts so bad and the pain across my face is worse than I could ever imagine. I remember going on a long drive---it seemed we drove forever, the 'hooker' said she was taking me to her place, then she gave me something to drink, it made be feel lightheaded."
            "There was no hooker---it was Andy dressed like a woman---and he drugged you. He brought you here, to this old farmhouse.  I heard screaming in the night, but I didn't know how much of it was a dream. Did the 'hooker' tell you why you were being brought here and why this was happening to you?"
            Stevens shakes his head, "All I remember is being forced to lay on something hard, and then the pain of something sharp going to my head. I couldn't even rationalize what part of my head was feeling the most hurt, my brain was on fire--I kept losing conscious, I heard a voice screaming--I know now it was mine."
            "Listen to me, Mr. Stevens----"
            "Tom----will you please---just call me---Tom?"
            "Yes, Tom. We are in a old farmhouse, I have no idea how far we are from help, I was driving, but the night was so dark, and just like you---we drove for a long time. There are no utilities, so the hope that a service repairman could ever venture out here is almost impossible. I'm chained to several cinder blocks, as near as I can figure I'm pulling an extra hundred pounds or so. I wish Andy had left me chained to the radiator, I had the pipe almost ready to break----I could have gotten away."
            "Who is this Andy? Why does he hate me so, I don't even know him."
            "Andy works in Miss Cahill's law office, he's possessed with her, he thinks he's in love with her. He saw you making moves on her at C.D.'s bar and grill and he can't stand the thought of another man being with her, or even talking about her. He dressed up like a 'hooker' and tricked you into coming here with him----or her--whatever."
            Tom reaches out for Denise's hand, "But--why are you here?"
            Denise takes his hand, "I was stupid enough to think I was attracted to him----we were at C.D.'s on a date, then he asked me to drive him home---and like a fool I did. Then his multiple personality took over and his female side attacked me, saying she was going to kill me. Andy got that side of him calmed down, and then----he raped me. But, it wasn't me he was raping---it was Miss Cahill."
            Tom groans, "He's sick, he's going to end up killing us--you've got to get us out of here----I can walk---I can help you pull the cinder blocks."
            "You're right--he's definitely going to kill us----are you strong enough?"
            "We have no choice----just point me in the right direction."
            Denise looks around and decides their best choice is to go out the back door and down the steps. She sees a cluster of trees, and that will be their destination. She grabs two bottles  of waters and their trek begins.
            She wraps the blanket around her the best she can, to hide her nakedness, then urges Tom to stand up and get behind her, holding onto the chain. They start towards the steps.
            "This will be one of the hardest parts, getting down the steps--there are six steps, we have to take them one at a time, are you ready?"
            "Yes---we're wasting time--let's go."
            They both start pulling on the chain, the blocks begin to gradually move, they inch forward.
            Denise reaches out with her right foot and steps down on the stoop, she gently urges Tom to follow her movement. He moves forward slowly, loses his footing and the two of them go stumbling down the steps. The blocks are caught in between the first two steps, the third block goes crashing into the ankle of Tom, he screams out in pain.
            Denise is struggling to get up, "It's okay Tom---stay calm----we're out the door, but the first two blocks are caught up."
                        Tom is screaming out in pain, "My ankle---oh my God-----it's broke---I know it's broke!"
            Denise is shifting around to try and look at Tom's twisted ankle---"It's not broke----just twisted---can you stand?"
            The man is still screaming, "Hell no, I can't stand--what's the matter with you, I'm in pain!"
            Denise draws a deep breath, "Don't yell at me, I'm doing the best I can.." She shifts the bottles of water to her underarm and yells back at him. "You have got to try and stand up, I can't pull your weight and the blocks too---I'm not superwoman."
            It takes almost an hour for them to get the two blocks unstuck, and now they are on solid ground. Denise urges Tom to take a drink of water. "We have to go easy on the water, this is all we have and I don't know what is on the other side of those trees. Are you ready, can you walk?  You have to walk--Tom---do you hear me?"
            "YES---I may be blind and a cripple, but I'm not hard hearing," he snaps back.
            Denise wants to lash back at him, but she laughs instead. "When we get out of this---you're treating me to a steak dinner!"
            Tom tries to laugh, "Hell, I'll buy you the whole restaurant---just get us out of here!"
            They move forward slowly, putting only inches between them and their prison of hell.


                                     ***********************************
            Walker is staring back at his partner and Lynn. He sighs. "Okay--I will take the drive out to the funeral home with you two, but what do you plan to prove? Trivette, you said there was nothing left but the shell of the parlor, what do you plan to accomplish, there's nothing there."
            "Please, Walker---this is important to me, no one else will listen to me---I just lost my job-----I need your help."
            "I'm not going anywhere till you tell me what your interest is in all of this---you first lie to us about being a agent---explain!"

 

Sarcophagus Part VIII

            Lynn looks back to the bearded Ranger and sighs, "Okay---I will tell you why it's personal----my parents were among those victims of the Gateway funeral home. My Mother had cancer, she suffered for many months before she died, my father died a few months after her. I was about 12 at the time, my aunt and uncle took care of all the funeral arrangements--I thought my parents had a decent burial, there was the services and everything---I was just a kid--I didn't suspect anything."
            Trivette moves forward and puts his arm around Lynn, "It's okay, Lynn--no one is blaming you---now just slow down and tell us everything you know."
            The young waitress takes a deep breath, "I never suspected anything about my parents' burials--but I did know that there were some weird things happening in that funeral home. My Dad worked at the funeral home, doing odd jobs and taking care of the cemetery. I used to go to the home late at night to take my Dad something to eat and just to keep him company. I could hear weird sounds coming from the basement where the bodies were prepared for embalming, weird sounds like---like---like muffled screams!"
            Walker keeps looking at his watch; it's now 1:30pm. "Are you sure they were screams?"
            Lynn shakes her head, "I'm not sure of anything----I wanted to check out the basement, but my Dad wouldn't let me go down there. I was scared---I didn't know what to do."
            "Lynn---funeral homes are sometimes very spooky and sometimes a person's mind can play tricks on them---maybe these sounds you heard were the instruments used in preparing the body for the embalming fluid?"
            Walker nods his head as he looks to Lynn, "Maybe you're right, Trivette, but why was this procedure done at night time, it's usually done during the day----unless there are numerous bodies to prepare and from what I remember about the home, it was rather small."
            "Yeah," agrees Trivette, "And so numerous bodies would have been sent to a bigger city, like here---Abilene.”
            Lynn runs her hand through her long dark hair, she looks to Walker---"I know you don't want to believe me---but I have proof."
            "What kind of proof?" asks Trivette.
            "Would pictures be proof enough for you?"
                   "Pictures?  You have pictures----of what?"
            "Of what was being done to those bodies, what do you think I mean?"
                   Walker's eyes narrow, "Who took the pictures and where are they?"
            "I took the pictures----and they are in my safety deposit vault at the bank."
            "Wait a minute, you said earlier that you never went down to the basement, how could you take pictures?"
            Lynn sighs as she looks to Trivette, "I went down there without my Dad's permission, he never knew about it. Look---all of this can be proved if I show you the pictures."
            The Rangers exchange glances, Trivette nods his head in agreement, "Go get the pictures, Lynn."
            Walker looks at his watch again, "You better hurry, the bank will be closing in half an hour," he then looks to Trivette and groans, "and if you want to drive out to this place where the funeral home was, we're going to have to get moving, I want to be on the road back to Dallas by 5pm, can you do that?"
            "Yes, yes, I'll be back as soon as possible, then we can drive out there," Lynn turns and starts running to the parking lot for her car.
            Tammy has watched as Lynn is running out the front door, she reaches for the coffee pot and starts towards the Rangers' table. She looks to Walker and smiles.
            "Warm your coffee up, handsome?"
            Walker looks quickly at Trivette, who is starting to grin, he whispers "Handsome? Ohhhh Walker---is she hot for you?"
            Walker sighs, "No thanks Tammy---we got to go."
            "Go?  Go where? We have to wait till Lynn gets back with those pictures!"
            Walker looks up to Tammy as she keeps smiling back at him, he reaches for his hat, "Well, you can stay here if you want, but I think I will check out that florist shop down the block."
            As Walker is leaving the restaurant, Tammy stares at Trivette---"Couldn't talk him into staying, could you?"
            Trivette shrugs, "I told you--my partner has been bitten by the love bug---he's going to the florist shop to buy her some flowers---there's no way that he would stay another night in this town. If it wasn't for Lynn and her problem, my partner and I would already be on our way back to Dallas."
            Tammy looks at the black Ranger curiously, "What problem does Lynn have?"
            "Sorry---can't discuss it---it's personal."
            Tammy laughs, "Personal, huh?  Well, handsome, did you discuss our little threesome with Miss Lynn?"
                   Trivette's eyes light up, "Hey---are you serious, you're game?"
            Tammy smirks, "Well, I would much rather your partner be the third party---but since he's so wrapped up in some blonde back in Dallas---I guess Lynn will do."
            Trivette smiles, "Alex Cahill is not just 'some blonde' she's as smart as she is beautiful---not just beautiful—gorgeous."
                      "Sounds like to me you have a little crush on this woman."
            "Yep--I've always been smitten by her---Alex just has this way about her, she can make any man 'cream his pants' just by smiling at them---I know---it's happened to me----several times."
            Tammy smirks, "So---why didn't you put moves on her?"
            Trivette shakes his head, "I never stood a chance, she's always had her eye on Walker, it took awhile for him to get the message but believe me, he's got it now---- he's hooked."
            "If this woman, Alex, is so irresistible, why did it take so long for her to get her claws into your partner?"
            Trivette can hear the sarcasm in Tammy's voice, "Oh--Walker was well aware of Alex and he was 'hot' for her, but since we all work in the same building, they didn't want to start anything personal. They were friends for a long time, but anyone could see that he was fighting his true feelings for her."
            "What happened?"
            "Well, Walker was engaged to a woman named Ellen, she was murdered right before his eyes, it took a long time before Walker ever allowed himself to get involved again.  To make a long story short, Alex talked him into going on a rafting trip after he was hurt---and then---things changed for them---he hasn't been the same since."
            Tammy sighs, "So I don't suppose he would be interested----in the threesome?"
            Trivette shakes his head, "No way! He's got eyes only for Alex---but---I can make you forget all about Walker---I see the way you're 'eyeballing' him---he's not interested, Tammy---save yourself the hurt."
            Tammy fills Trivette's cup with decaf---"Okay, handsome---I'll see you later."
            Trivette watches as Tammy walks away, swaying her hips. He grins as he thinks about having both Lynn and Tammy between the sheets, "Ooohhhh, I haven't had a threesome since my days with the Dallas Cowboys and those beautiful cheerleaders.  Wait a minute, I forgot about that married woman in Tyler and her sister---how the hell could I have forgotten them two---I couldn't walk straight for days."
            The Ranger finishes his coffee and tells Tammy to tell Lynn that he's joining Walker at the florist shop.


                                             ***************************


            Andy's cell phone is ringing, he quickly looks around to make sure no one is seeing him take a personal call. He sees Alex putting things away into her briefcase.
            He whispers softly, "You better have good news for me."
            The woman's voice is soft, but nervous. "I'm sorry--I've tried to delay them, but it's not working."
            Andy's voice is getting angrier, "Are you saying that you have failed me---try harder!"
            "I am trying---the bearded one is too anxious to get back to Dallas, I don't know what else to do."
            "You disgust me, you are like all the others--you think you are so desirable, you flirt your 'girlie' ways and then when it comes time to pay back your promises--you whine---like you're doing now."
            The woman starts to cry, "Please---I have tried to do what you asked--- may I talk to him now?"
            Andy's voice is rising, as he desperately tries to keep his voice normal, "I'm at work, you imbecile--how can I let you talk to him----he's fine."
            "I don't believe you, you've lied to me before---now let me talk to my son."
                The woman's phone goes dead, she desperately redials the number---she keeps getting a busy signal.
            Andy puts his cell phone away and curses. "Ignorant imbecile---now I will have to go to my next plan."
            "I told you, Andrew, that she would not do as you ask---they never do----get rid of her."
            "And I told you to let me handle this---you've already messed up by killing her son---you will not mess this up, too."
            "I was only doing as you instructed me to, Andrew----I always do what you tell me to do---because I'm the only one that loves you."
           
"Stop whining, must I do everything? Just let me handle this---I will make him pay."
            "Andy?  Are you alright?"
            Andy turns quickly in his seat to see Alex staring back at him; she has her briefcase in hand.
            "Miss Cahill---no---nothing is wrong."
            Alex eyes her young law clerk suspiciously as she looks around the deserted office, the new secretary has been dismissed early.
            "I thought I heard you talking to someone, you sounded angry."
            "Oh---that---that was nothing Miss Cahill, I was just remembering a line from an old mobster movie that was on last night. I like to rehearse the lines, you know---it was an old Bogey film---that's all."
            Alex sighs, "Well, okay---Andy are you sure that I didn't get any calls while I was in court?"
            "No calls, Miss Cahill---no one called," the young man lies. "Are you leaving for the day, its only 2:00?"
            "Yes, and you can go home early too. I'm leaving to go and get my evening gown, and I want to get my hair fixed."
            Andy smiles at the blonde attorney, "Your hair doesn't need fixing, Miss Cahill---it always looks so---nice----and soft."
            Alex smiles, "Well, thank you Andy--that is so sweet of you to say, but I think for the gown I'm wearing---I will wear my hair up."
            Andy stammers, "Yeah, tonight is the big night---I was wondering, Miss Cahill since---your-----your boyfriend, Ranger Walker is still out of town----maybe I could escort you to the awards?"
            "Thank you Andy, but I've already made plans to ride to the event with some friends, and-----Ranger Walker will meet me there."
            Andy starts to feel his anger rising, he bites his bottom lip, forcing a smile, "Well maybe, I'll just see you there-----and maybe you could save one dance for me?"
            Alex starts to looking for her car keys, "Are you and Lisa coming to the awards?"
            "Yeah, I mean, yes ma'am----I just hope she hasn't forgotten--she's a little---you know---forgetful."
            "Well, I’ve got to go.  Thanks again for your offer and I'll see you and Lisa at the awards---bye."
            Andy watches as Alex walks to the elevator, he sighs. "Guess I'd better call the little birthday girl and ask if she wants to go to the awards with me-----I'm looking forward to asking her so much---like going to the dentist."


                                                  ***********************


            The young man walks slowly into the cafeteria, he spots the young cashier and walks up to her.
            Lisa feels that someone is watching her, she looks up at the young man, then smiles, "Hi----what are you doing here?"
            The young man stammers, "I hope you don't mind me tracking you down, you do remember me, don't you?"
            "Of course I remember you---you're Wesley--from the museum."
            Wesley smiles and then adjusts his eye glasses, "Yes, I was hoping to talk to you about the other night, you never called me like I asked."
            The young redhead is trying to close her register down, "I'm sorry Wesley, I meant to--I just forgot."
            "It's okay--but I must talk to you, I was worried about you that night and since you didn't call, I got really worried and started tracking you down. I didn't have much to go on, just your first name."
            "Why were you worried about me and how did you find out that I worked here at the courthouse?"
            "One of the other pages heard that young man say that he was a lawyer, so I went back over the receipts and found the carbon copy of the charge card he used to purchase admission the last time he was there. I just took a long chance that you both worked in the same building, I hope you're not angry."
            Lisa smiles faintly, she's impressed that a young man would go to so much trouble to find out where she works, and she smiles back at Wesley.
            "No, I'm not angry. But, why do you want to talk to me so badly that you would go to so much trouble?"
            "It was no trouble, Lisa----please I need to talk to you, I have such uneasy feelings about that boyfriend of yours."
            Lisa points towards a table, and they go to sit down. "He's not my boyfriend, we've only had the one date----and personally---I don't much care to go out with him again---he can be really rude at times."
            Wesley breathes a sigh of relief, "Thank goodness you're not involved with him, he's one weird duck."
            "That's the second time that you have called Andy … weird, why do you say that?"
            "Maybe I'm just over reacting, but I couldn't help but notice the rude way he had towards you, forcing you to watch that demonstration when you really didn't want to. What beautiful young woman would want to sit through such trash----I knew you didn't---you got more class than that."
            Lisa blushes as she pushes her long red hair out of her eyes, "Thank you, that's so kind of you to say."
            "I'm saying it, because it's true. This "Andy", I think there are some things you need to know about him, he has strange likes and dislikes. I told you that he had been to the museum several times before to see earlier demonstrations?"
            "Yes----Andy likes the Egyptian times, he seems mystified with the way the Egyptian people treated certain Gods----personally I find it very repulsive."
            Wesley clears his throat, "Well, the demonstration that you saw the other night was nothing into comparison from the two earlier ones, believe me. If you had seen the others, you would have been spilling your lunch-----they were gory."
            Lisa grimaces, "I don't think I want to hear about them."
            "Please, I'm not trying to scare you----but this "Andy" seemed very interested in the procedures for mummifying bodies----too interested---if you ask me. He sat through the whole demonstration and never once even batted an eyelid---I know----I was watching him."
            "So?  What's wrong with that, some people like gory things---I don't and I don't intend to ever go out with him again, so what do I care about what he likes."
            "Are you serious?  You're not going to go out with him again, really?"
            "No, I'm not!  I thought he was my 'prince' but I kept remembering what Miss Cahill said to me about 'being true to myself' and suddenly I saw Andy---in a completely different light."
            "That's great, I'm glad you're not wanting to out with him again---would I be to presumptuous to ask if there is someone else you're seeing?"
            Lisa shakes her head softly as she looks back to the young man in the horn-rimmed glasses, "I'm not seeing anyone----are you?"
            "Me?  Heck no---I don't have a girlfriend---girls aren't too interested in guys like me."
            "I'm interested Wesley---I think you're real nice."
            The young man stammers, "Would you like to go out sometime---with me?"
            "I would love to go out with you, Wesley----do you like movies?"
                 Wesley's eyes light up, "I love movies---I love all kinds, except for the really gory ones, I see enough of that at the museum.  What kind of movies do you like, Lisa?"
            "I like romantic ones and comedies---have you see "Terms of Endearment" yet?"
            "No, I'm dying to see that movie---it's playing at the Regal---would you like to see it? We could have dinner afterwards, do you like pasta?"
            Lisa is almost giggling, "Yes, yes---I love all pasta, especially ravioli with gobs of parmesan cheese."
            "And---and salad with vinaigrette dressing?"
            "Yes-----so---is it a date?"
            Wesley smiles and holds out his hand to Lisa, she takes it. "Yes, I would love to take you out for the evening, it would be an honor to escort such a lovely young lady."
            He reaches down and kisses Lisa's hand tenderly, "I will pick you up at six---will that be okay?"
            Lisa swallows, "Yes---I'll write down my address-----
            "No need----I know where you live---763 Market—right?"
            "How do you know that?" she asks.
            "A 'prince' knows everything about his lady in waiting---until then, fair lady---my heart will continue to just pitter until I see your face again."
            Lisa watches in awe as Wesley walks away, her heart is doing flip flops as she whispers to herself, "You were right, Miss Cahill, my prince has come just as you said he would----my heart is beating so fast---it never beat this fast for Andy."


                                         *******************************

 

Abilene:
            The bearded Ranger is doing a double take at the price of roses, he turns to his partner, his mouth drops open.
            "$250 for a bouquet of roses? They got to be kidding!"
                 "Walker---you mean to say that you had no idea on how much roses cost---you've never sent a woman roses before?"
            Walker shakes his head unbelievably, "No--- I have never sent flowers and at this price I can understand why I never did!  They're just flowers---why do they cost so much?"
            The black Ranger sighs as he lays his hand on his partner's shoulder, "Oh man---are you hopeless!  Are you saying that Alex is not worth the price of those flowers, is that what you're saying?"
            "No, that's not what I'm saying----I'm saying----they are just flowers."
            "Walk-man, a woman doesn't see them as 'just flowers'---yes they are flowers---but to a woman they are like---like-----to us men---winning the Super bowl---or the World Series."
                       "Trivette---a ticket to see the Dallas Cowboys or The Texas Rangers play a game doesn't cost $250!"
            Trivette throws his hands up in the air, "You can't see a super bowl or a World Series for that much."
            "Who said anything about going to watch the World Series or a super bowl, and if a ticket costs more than $250 to see one---forget it!!! Do you know how much feed I can buy for "Amigo" for $250?"
            Trivette rolls his eyes up in his head, "Walker, I know you're cheap-----"
            "I'm not cheap------"
            "Yes, you are!"
            "No, I'm not---I'm just---- frugal."
            "No matter how you say it---You're Cheap!  Now if you don't want to pay that much for flowers, I have another suggestion."
            Walker stares back at his partner, "What?"
            Trivette tilts his head sarcastically, "We can stop along the highway and you pick Alex some wild flowers---she would love that. In the meantime, I'll bet the next time she receives flowers from her 'secret admirer' she won't bother to tell you about it, since you're so cheap."
                  "Cheap, huh?  I'll show you who's cheap--I'm buying the biggest bouquet they have, and I will also have them add a extra bouquet of lilacs---how does that sound?"
            Trivette nods his head, "Fine, you do that! Hope you have your charge card with you, because knowing you, you're not going to have enough cash to pay for it!"
            Walker hesitates, rocking back and forth on the heels of his boots, "Just being curious, how much money are we talking about?"
            "Here you guys are, I've been looking all over town for you two, what are you doing here---in a florist shop?"
            The Rangers look to Lynn, "Didn't Tammy tell you where we were?"
            Lynn grimaces, "That 'bimbo', why would I ask her anything, she's like a piranha----a man eating tiger-----a nymph-----"
                     "Lynn!"  Trivette reaches out and shakes the woman's shoulders, "calm down---where are the pictures?"
            She stares back at the Rangers, "They're gone---they weren't there!"
            "What do you mean they're gone, who else knew about the pictures?"
            "No one knew about the pictures except me---Jimmy---someone took them!"
            Walker shakes his head, "Wait a minute, you said they were in a safety deposit box, there are only two keys, you would have one, and the bank would have the other. You have to have both keys in order to open it, so what kind of trick are you trying to play on us now? Tell the truth, Lynn---I'm getting tired of all of these little games."
            "I'm not lying----I swear! Look, here's my bank key, doesn't that prove anything?"
            Trivette is seeing his partner's temper starting to rise, "It only proves that you have "a" bank key, what it opens is the main question here. Now, come on Lynn, who could possibly know about those pictures----are you sure you didn't tell anyone?"
            Lynn shakes her head back and forth and then she starts crying, "I'm not lying about the pictures-----and no one else knows."
            Trivette shrugs, "There's only one thing to do, go to the bank, talk to the president and ask to see the safety deposit box. That will prove to us that you had a safety box, but it won't prove what was in the box or how someone else could have opened it, without your key!”
            "The bank is closed, Jimmy," Lynn sobs.
            Trivette grins back at her, "Not for us."
            Walker shakes his head, "We don't have any legal cause Trivette, we would have to get a warrant first."
            Lynn stops crying, "Does this mean that you're not going out to the site of the old funeral home with me, as you promised?"
            "I can't see what the point would be, there's nothing out there," argues Walker.
            "Come on partner, let's drive out there, we did promise her."
            Walker takes a deep sigh, "Okay, okay----let's get this over with."
                    They spend more than an hour going through the ruins of the old funeral home and they find nothing more than the media released 15 yrs before.
            "Okay, we've checked it out----for what I don't know---there is nothing here---I'm heading back to town, gassing the Ram up and I'm out of here---you coming, Trivette?"
            The black Ranger looks to his partner and grins, he looks over at Lynn who is leaning up against her little car.
            "Uhhh---give me five seconds, Walker, I got to run something by Lynn first---I may not be riding back with you----to Dallas--I mean."
                 "Whatever---you got five minutes---or I'm leaving without you, I'll wait for you in the truck."
            Walker returns to his Ram as Trivette approaches Lynn and they start talking. Walker takes out his cell phone and dials Alex's office, but the answering service says everyone has left for the day. He then dials her home number, and gets the answering machine there, too. He then dials her cell phone, it rings and rings---suddenly he hears a loud "whack", he looks around to see Trivette getting slapped by Lynn.
            "A threesome----who the hell do you think you are----and with Tammy---that nymphomaniac-----how dare you?"
            As Trivette grabs his face, Lynn kicks him in the groin, then hurriedly enters her car and burns rubber. Trivette has a stunned and painful look on his black face, he groans as he makes his way to the Ram. Walker helps him to get inside, and looks to his partner and shakes his head.
            "I tried to warn you, Trivette---these threesomes can be very painful---in more ways than one."
            Trivette tries to talk, his voice comes out in a hoarse whisper,  "Could we just go home now----I need some TLC from Minerva?"
                  "Minerva, who the hell is she?"
            "The nurse, and believe me---I need a nurse-----bad!!"

Sarcophagus
-Part VIV
 

            Denise and Tom Stevens are still inching towards the tree line, they've only managed to pull the cinder blocks a quarter of the way. Tom keeps stumbling on the rough terrain, and Denise is trying to hold him up. She's panting heavily as she sips on the bottle of water.
            "Water, I got to have water---I'm so thirsty," begs Tom.   

Denise opens his bottle of water and closes his hands around it, "Go easy---you've been drinking too much, you got less than half a bottle left."
            Tom pays her no mind as he throws his head back and takes a long drink; she pulls it away from him. "I told you, go slow!!  This is all the water we have!"
            The man is reaching blindly for the bottle, "I got to have more, my throat is so dry."
            Denise shakes her head as she takes the lid and fills it, "I'm giving you the lid full, slosh it around in your mouth----and swallow slowly---we have to make it last."
            Tom does just the opposite of what Denise tells him, he swallows it quickly. "Easy for you to say, you're head is not splitting from all the pain I've had to endure----he took my eyes out---for Christ's sake."
            "I know you are blind, and I know you have got to be in the worst pain, but if we don't conserve the water---we'll dehydrate! Is that what you want?"
            Tom reaches around for the hard ground, he sits down and starts rubbing his head. "My head feels like it's going to come off---Denise----how do I look?"
            The young secretary grimaces as she forces herself to look at his empty eye sockets; the blood has dried to an ugly red. She answers slowly, "You don't look bad, Mr. Stevens. I'm sorry for the pain you are feeling, I guess the pain killer has worn off."
            "How far have we come, are we almost there? I don't know how much longer I can go on."
            Denise looks to the tree line then pulls the old blanket tighter around her to cover her nakedness, making her body even hotter. She sighs, "I can't tell him the truth that we haven't even made it half way yet, if I do---he'll quit on me."
            She looks back at him, "We're almost there----Tom---I have an idea---I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier."
             He's following the sound of her voice, "What?   What did you think of?"
            Denise takes the blanket from around her, and then takes Tom's hand and pulls him gently around. "I'm going to take this blanket and try to put the cinder blocks on top of it, hopefully this will make the pulling easier----but I need your help."
            Tom starts shaking his head, "I'm so tired----I can't possibly lift those blocks again---I counted five---do you know how much weight that is?"
             Denise is starting to get agitated, "Yes!---If I remember right, each block weighs around 35 lbs----that's  175 lb-----of dead weight!---Now listen to me, I need you to help me pick them up and lay them on the blanket. We wrap one end around the chain, and then we pull, the blanket will help to make the blocks glide easier over the rough ground----do you understand?"
             Tom stammers-----"Blanket?  Why are you carrying a blanket----in this heat?"
              Denise stares back at him, "Have you forgotten---I'm nude! I'm as naked as a jay-bird!!"
             A slight smile crosses Tom Stevens' face, "Nude?  Imagine that---and I'm blind----who would ever believe such a scenario?"
             Denise is trying hard not to get angry, then she smiles, "And you----a known sex offender----where's the irony in that?"
            They both remain silent and then Tom says softly, "What do you want me to do, you will have to show me."
            Denise takes the blanket from around her, she wants to fold her arms over her naked breasts in one final act of decency. She wants to cry, but she reaches out for Tom's hands and gently pulls him to the cinder blocks.
            "We will have to take one block at a time and roll it over on top of the blanket. Here---lift this one up just high enough so I can slip the blanket under."
            The process is slow as every time Tom bends over, the pain in his head increases. Denise can hear his stifled crying and she reaches out and touches him.
            "You're doing fine, Tom---wait a minute---I have another idea."
            "For Pete's sake, would you hurry up and let's get these damn blocks on top of the blanket----and----and…"
            He hears a ripping noise and then the faint sound of water. He then feels something cool going across his eyes and he can feel the moisture.
            "What did you do?"
            "I ripped a small piece of the blanket off and put some of my water on it, I'm now going to tie the cloth around your head--does that feel better?"
            The man nods his head up and down, "Yes----oh God----that feels so good---thank you---Denise---thank you!"
            Denise smiles, "You're welcome-now let's get back to our chore-----it's the middle of the evening, and it's getting hotter."


                        ***********************************************


            Andy has gone down to the cafeteria to ask Lisa to go to the awards with him but he's been told she has left for the weekend. He then calls her at home but there is no answer. He curses to himself.
            "Guess I will just have to go alone---but first---I have that other little matter to take care of." He dials another number and a woman answers.
            "Andy!  Don't you dare hang up on me again---I need to talk to my son."
            "And I told you---little Michael is just fine---I'm at home now----and he's sleeping like a baby."
            The woman's voice gets hysterical, "I don't believe you---wake him up--I want to talk to my son-----if you have hurt my baby-----I'll----I'll--------"
            "You'll what?  You do not threaten me---you know what happens when people threaten me----haven't you learned your lesson?"
            "Okay---okay--I'm sorry----what do you want me to do now----the Rangers have already left, they're on their way back to Dallas."
            "How long ago did they leave?"
            "About half an hour ago," the woman answers.
            Andy smiles to himself, "What about the little matter I told you to take care of, did you do it?"
            "Yes!  I did it---just like you said----now can I please come home?"
            Andy nods, "Yes----you can come home now. Annie and I will take care of the rest, I can always depend on my sister---she never lets me down, and soon that Ranger Walker will not know what has hit him."
            The woman hesitates, "Andy----don't hurt them---they seem like decent human beings----you don't have to hurt them. That Ranger Walker is a nice person, and he sounds so much in love with that woman, what's her name?"
            Andy draws a deep sigh, "Alexandra------even her name is poetic---and soon she will be with me----for eternity."
            "But why?  Andy----if this woman is in love with the Ranger, she will never accept you, especially if you hurt the man she loves."
            "Listen, bitch----you have your orders---and what I do to the Ranger is of no concern to you, do you hear me? Or do I have to give you a friendly little reminder of what I'm capable of---maybe I should wake your son and we-------"
            "NO!  Oh please Andy----don't hurt him!" Her voice lowers, "I won't ask any more questions---I'll do as you ask---please don't hurt Michael again."
            The woman's phone goes dead again and she falls to the floor, crying uncontrollably.


                                 ****************************************
I-20--- Almost 6pm
            The Ram's radio is blaring with the Spurs/Lakers game, the score is now tied at halftime.
            Trivette gives out a loud expletive, "Ooooh man----what I wouldn't give to be at center court watching this game----can you believe the way the Spurs have come back, huh, Walker?"
            Walker nods his head and reaches for more coffee and grimaces. "Yeah----the Spurs have really pulled this one out---the critics were saying they couldn't do it---but they've proved them wrong."
            Trivette is grinning, "I got $300 bet on this game, they had better win!"
            "Three hundred dollars?  Geez-----I could think of a lot of other ways to spend $300---and not on some damn basketball game!"
            "You know, Walk-man---you are afraid to live----and you are so tight you squeak. 'Big dog' was right, you squeak when you walk."
            "Maybe so, but I know how to hold onto my money---I work too hard to just throw it away."
            The black Ranger smirks, "Yeah, you know how to hold onto to your money, because you never let it go! Now, I ask you, how many times have I paid for our meals on this trip?"
            Walker downs the last of his coffee, "What are you complaining about, the money will be reimbursed to you once we fill out the expense account."
            "That's not the idea of it all, take for instance---you talked yourself out of buying those flowers for Alex----because you're too cheap to spend the money."
            Walker smiles, "Well, that's where you're wrong---I did buy the flowers, and right now they should be being delivered to my ranch in about the next hour. Maize is going out to receive them, and I told her specifically where I wanted them."
            Trivette is all smiles, "Heeyyy---big guy, I take it back---you're not cheap---wait a minute----you did buy that bouquet that we were looking at, the one that cost nearly $250?"
            "Nope----I bought her a different one."
            Trivette shakes his head, "How much did it cost---$1.99?"
            Walker says nothing as he reaches into his shirt pocket and hands his partner a receipt. Trivette reads it slowly, "Three dozen red roses, one dozen yellow, with a spray of baby breath----and another bouquet of lilacs-----holy smoke---is this a telephone number or is this the actual cost?"
            Walker smiles, "It's definitely not a telephone number and for your information--I also bought that little item---in the glove compartment.  Go ahead----open it."
            Trivette stares at the glove compartment, and then back to Walker. "You bought something else---what is it?"

"Open it up and see."
            Trivette reaches inside the compartment and takes out a long blue velvet box, he opens it slowly, his eyes grow wide and his mouth drops.
            "Holy--sh------" he stares down at a wristwatch, on a silver band, inlaid with turquoise. The face of the watch is glimmering. "Are these real diamonds?"
            "They better be," snaps the bearded Ranger, "for what it cost me---they damn better be real diamonds!"
            Trivette is speechless, "I take it back, Walker---this is some gift----Alex is going to be blown away."
            Walker reaches over and takes the wristwatch and smiles, "I chose this one because it will match that turquoise bracelet that I gave her that belonged to my Aunt Ruth—remember?"
            "Oh yeah, I remember that bracelet, she wears it a lot----how much did this set you back?"
            Walker hands the wristwatch back to his partner, "Let's just say that you're going to be buying my breakfast, dinner, and supper---for about the next 6 months----maybe the whole year!"
            Trivette returns the bracelet to its box and then puts it back into the compartment and locks it. He smiles, "Does this mean that things are really heating up for you and Alex?"
            Walker nods his head slowly, "I guess you could say that, I just have trouble----saying how I really feel about her---I just know that--she's on my mind constantly--- and hopefully all of this will be able to say what I can't seem to say."
            "Well, I know one thing, Walker---if the flowers and the watch don't say what's on your mind----then you may as well give up and become a monk!  But, there's just one thing that might go against you-----"
                    "What?"
            Trivette is stammering to find the right words, "Diamonds?  Walk-man when diamonds come into the relationship---women have a way of----wanting--more---like a commitment?"
            "I've thought of that, Trivette----and I know that someday Alex and I might someday decide to take that path---but for right now---we're happy with just the way our relationship is."
            The black Ranger stares back at him, "Boy--are you clueless! Women don't think that way."
            Walker sighs as he sees a small diner, "You're wrong, Trivette--Alex doesn't want to commit anymore than I do---but right now--I want to get my thermos filled up and go to the 'head'---you getting out?"
            Trivette turns the volume up on the Ram's radio, "Nope, the game is starting again----hey Walker---grab some doughnuts---you do have enough money for doughnuts----right?"


                                            **************************************


            Andy has followed Alex back to her townhouse, he sits in Denise's little Mustang and watches as the blonde reaches in the back for a garment bag. He watches until she's inside the building and then he points Denise's car west.
            He's driving steadily down I-30 till he sees the Jacksboro exit where he takes the right lane and exits. He's smiling to himself, "After tonight Alexandra, you will be so upset with your 'boyfriend' that you will never want to see him again. Then I will comfort you---and we will forever be together."
            "I'm so nervous, Andrew---I hope I can remember to say and do everything you have told me to---I do not want to make you angry with me."   

 "You will do fine, sister dear---I have everything else taken care of--nothing can go wrong---it mustn't go wrong---I want Alex Cahill with me tonight---do you understand?"
            "Yes Andrew----I will not let you down---you will see."
           
Andy continues up to the long gravel road, he finds a safe place among the mesquite trees to hide the little car then he continues on foot. He makes it to the front door but decides he will go in through the basement window instead. He pushes the window back as far as it will go and then he squeezes himself inside and drops to the floor. He walks slowly up to the stairs, and opens the door, letting himself into the kitchen. He looks around slowly, he's amazed at how neat everything is, then he remembers that Alex was there the night before and he recalls how neat she is.
            "Only a few more hours my love, and we will be together," he walks over to the refrigerator and then he swears under his breath, "not even a beer---but there are things to make sandwiches out of---I'm starved."
            He hurriedly throws a couple of sandwiches together, grabs a glass of tea and then heads for the stairs to the master bedroom. He's whistling to himself as he opens the door wide and whispers, "Oh Alex------I'mmmmmm home."
            He laughs out loud, "I remember this room, Alexandra and the way you stripped for me---you will again and you will be begging me to take you----and I will---all so eagerly."
            He walks around the room slowly, and sees the tuxedo hanging on the suit rack and smirks. "For a moment I would like to tear that to shreds, but it would mess up my plans---I have to stick to the plans---I can't let myself get angry."
            He walks to the bed and flops down on it, he visualizes Alex next to him, he starts making erotic sounds and pretends to be caressing her. He then sits up in the bed and pulls the phone closer to him, and then he takes out a small disc and inserts it into the answering machine.
            "It's just a matter of time Alexandra till you will be so angry that you will call your 'lover' and then---------what was that?  There's not supposed to be anyone here till close to 9pm."
            Andy walks cautiously to the top of the stairs, he sees an elderly lady walking in ahead of a man carrying flowers. He curses to himself, "What the hell---what are they doing here?"
            He walks closer and then he hears the woman talking.
            "I almost beat you here, you were suppose to be here half an hour ago."
            "Yes ma'am," the young man answers, "but I had another delivery in Springtown, I knew Ranger Walker wanted these here as quickly as possible."
            The old woman is smiling and sniffing the roses, "Umm, they smell so heavenly---put the red roses by the fireplace, the yellow ones go to the foot of the staircase---the lilacs go upstairs----never mind---I will take them!"
            Andy watches as the young man arranges the roses in front of the fireplace, he looks back to the old woman, "Will this be okay, ma'am?"
            Maize smiles as she puts her hand up to her mouth, "They are perfect, thank you so much, I will get you your tip---hold on."
            The young man looks at the $20 and smiles, "Thank you ma'am-----thank you so much."
            As the young delivery man leaves, Maize picks up the lilacs and smells them, "Ooooh Alex---this fragrance is out of sight as the young folk would say----now I got to find the perfect place in the bedroom."
            Andy starts scrambling for the closet as the old woman is carrying the huge bouquet of purple and white flowers. She walks into the bedroom and looks around, "Now where would be the perfect place---oh---now I remember what Cordell said---he said to put them on the nightstand to my right as I come in."
            Maize walks over to the nightstand and places the flowers down gently, she shakes her head, "No---I'm sorry, Cordell---but this is not romantic enough-----I know what I will do, I will place little rose petals all over the bed----yes---that's what I will do---got to run and get some red rose petals."
            The woman scampers back down the stairs, Andy grunts, "For an old woman---she sure moves fast."
            He stares back at the flowers, "Why wasn't I told about this---this spoils everything?"
            Andy hears Maize running back up the stairs, she has a handful of rose petals and under her other arm is a champagne bucket. She sprinkles the petals all over the center of the bed, she then takes one single lilac and places it on the pillow to her right as she faces the bed. She's mumbling to herself, "Oh dear, I hope I got this right, Cordell said to the right as I walk in---so it's the pillow to the right----right?"
            Andy is listening to the woman talking to herself, "Hurry up and go---you cackling old hen."
            Maize turns around quickly, "I almost forgot, I got to chill the champagne, oh my----I hope it has time enough to get cold----the ice---I got to get ice into the bucket---first of all I got to go downstairs to the basement----for the champagne----C.D. you old coot, I told you I should have came out here earlier."
            Again the old woman runs back downstairs, Andy stays in the closet. A few minutes later the woman is back as she places the ice and the bottle into the ice bucket. "Now, what am I forgetting?  The music----yes, yes---the music--Cordell said to put the disc out called 'PURE COUNTRY'----now where is it?"
            Andy is shaking his head back and forth as he listens to the old woman opening drawers, he then hears a loud gasp.
                      "Cordell Walker---you dirty old man-----what kind of contraption is this?" The old woman holds up a small cylinder shaped like a toothbrush holder with a hole at one end. She studies it for the longest, and then she turns on the button, it starts vibrating. The old woman is laughing, "I know this has got to be for Alex's benefit----umm, maybe I should get me one of these. Hell, who am I kidding? C.D. has too many dirty thoughts going through his head as it is---but still---I wonder if Cordell and Alex would miss it?"
            Andy is trying to get a better look as the woman then goes to the other nightstand. "Oooooohhhhh---exotic creams------chocolate? Ummmmmm---peaches and cream-----now this tastes good---of course---I'm not the one that is suppose to be tasting it----what will I find next?"
            Andy groans and sits down inside the closet, "You're going to find your head up your ass old woman, if you don't hurry up -----and leave."
            "I found it," the woman exclaims! "Yes George Strait's Pure Country!"
            She takes the disc and puts it in the small stereo, and then she looks at the picture on the nightstand of Walker and Alex taken on the rafting trip. She sighs.
            "No offense, George---but old Cordell still looks better in those tight fitting jeans than you do!  Wow---is it getting hot in here?  I'd better get out of here before I find some more of those little 'sex items'----old C.D. is going to have his hands full tonight---I guarantee! -Ain't gonna be no 30 seconds and I'm through. No sir---I'm all hot and bothered---hell, I may even let the old coot stay on the bottom this time."
            Maize takes one last look around the room and then she walks out, pulling the door behind her. Andy sighs, "Finally!”
            He walks over to the bedroom window and watches as the old woman drives away. He stares back at the bed, "You will never share the same bed again----after tonight, Alex---you will never want to speak his name----again."


                        *****************************************************


            Denise and Tom Stevens have finally reached the shade of the trees, they both fall to the ground, breathing heavily. Denise looks all around her, Tom is pulling on her arm.
            "Do you see anything, what do you see?"
            Denise sighs, and she starts to cry softly. "I don't see anything---just open field---wait----I see an old truck and it's coming this way."
            "It's not him, is it?  It's not that 'sicko' coming back, is it?"
            "No, it's not Andy---as far as I know, he's still driving my car---no this is a old, old truck, a farmers' truck and I see someone behind the wheel---an old couple."
            Tom is trying to stand, "Try and get their attention, wave your arms, Denise----Help! Help!"
            Denise pulls him down gently, "It's no use, they turned down that side road over there---about a quarter of a mile away."
            The man groans as he tries to find his water bottle, Denise hands it to him. "There's only about a swallow left---and I've got less than half a bottle myself."
            Tom Stevens drinks the water, then throws the bottle away.  "Damn it----what did we do to deserve this?  I don't even know this "Andy" and he blinds me? What did I ever do to him?"
            Denise takes a small sip of her water and lets it slosh around in her mouth slowly, she watches as the sun is setting. "At least it's getting cooler----the sun is almost down it will be dark soon."
            Tom groans as he puts his hand up to his forehead, "The pain is getting so bad, I don't know how much longer I can last."
            "Tom, do you remember anything about the night that Andy---took your eyes out?"
            The man shakes his head back and forth, "All I remember is drinking this drink that tasted almost salty, I started feeling queasy and this woman---or this idiot 'Andy' is whispering to me, "You will never slap me again" and then I felt something going into my head, I felt pressure around my eyes----my head was hurting so bad--I thought he was splitting my head into. Then I heard a shrill voice laughing--the pain was just so bad----I must have passed out!"
            Denise grimaces, "It's probably for the best that you did pass out. I'm just afraid that he intends to do far worse to both of us----that's why we have to keep moving. He usually comes back to the old farmhouse about this time---unless he's got another victim at his mercy-----oh no-----I almost forgot."
            "Forgot what?"
                   "Tonight is Friday the 13th----it's the annual women’s lawyer's convention."
            "So?  What does that have to do with us?"
            "Alex Cahill will be attending that event----and if Andy is stalking her---this could very well be the night that he tries to take her!"
            Tom Stevens groans, "I hope the idiot has plenty of insurance, because once that Ranger 'boyfriend' gets hold of him, he's going to need it!"
            Denise smiles, "That's true, and you would have thought that you had learned your lesson with Miss Cahill when Ranger Walker threatened to throw you out the 4th floor window if you didn't leave her alone."
            "Yeah, well, with a 'hot babe' like Alex, a man just doesn't know when to quit--and I figured while the cat was away----maybe the mouse would play---you know the old saying?"
            "Yeah," Denise frowns, " I heard my grandmother say that---years ago. But, the mouse didn't want to play, did she?  And, you almost got a frying pan up beside your head."
            "And, that old codger would have done it, too---I've seen that old man in action--------he takes care of his customers, especially Alex Cahill."
            Denise ponders their next move, "We will rest for awhile then we’ll move towards that side road. Hopefully, Andy has not returned to the farmhouse, and for once in my life I'm praying that he is after another victim. We have got to have time to reach that road, maybe the old couple will be coming back."
            Denise and Tom Stevens huddle together. As Denise begins to shiver from her nakedness, Tom asks very softly.
            "Can I put my arms around you---for body warmth?"
            Denise tries not to laugh, "Can I trust you to be a gentleman?"
            "I may be blind, but I can still feel----and if I remember right Denise---you are a very attractive young lady----yes-----you can trust me."
            They lay gently down on the grass, Denise shakes her head as she hears Tom Stevens breathing steadily, then snoring.
            She looks back at him shaking her head. She whispers, " I can just see the headlines now- Naked woman attacked by blind man while both are chained to cinder blocks." 


                                        
*********************************

Orland, Texas------8pm
            The sports announcer's voice is rising in disbelief----"I can't believe it---the Spurs have missed two of their last three free throws ---sorry to say--I told you so-- but this game is almost over with. The Lakers lead 110---97."
            The black Ranger swears and hits the dashboard, "Damn it---Smitty, what's wrong with you, pass to Nryant----you stupid idiot."
            Walker stares at his partner, "Hey, take it easy on my truck, will you? There's still half an hour to go, the Spurs have come back once, they can do it again."
            "You're wrong, Walker--there's only 22 minutes to go---it's over---I've lost $300---I just know it."
            Walker looks to his watch, he's making good time, he should be back at the ranch in plenty of time to dress and get to the awards.
            "Have faith, Trivette-----Nryant has made some fantastic throws, he'll get them back in the game again."
                Trivette's voice rises, "Not if they don't get the ball to him----holy crap---what was that?"
            The loud pop has caused the Ram to swerve as Walker tries to get his truck back under control. "Damn it---got a blowout!"
            The Rangers both exit the truck and walk to the front left wheel, where the tire is barely hanging on to the rim. Walker swears again as he kicks out at it.
            "I knew things were going too smooth--------okay, Trivette---start undoing the lug nuts, I'll get the spare out from under the carriage."
            Trivette is stammering, "Walker---what about the game?"
            "What about the damn game--it's just a game---for Pete's sake!"
            Trivette runs to the drivers' side and turns the engine back on, turning up the volume. He's mumbling, " Just a game, my ass----I got $300 riding on this game."

 

 Sarcophagus – Part X

            Walker goes to the rear of the Ram and inserts the long jack handle, bringing the spare tire down, he reaches out for it: then he swears.
            "Damn it----what the hell happened to this----hey Trivette--we have a big problem"!
            Trivette is straining to loosen the lug nuts and listen to the truck radio, "No problem, Walker---the Spurs just scored!"
            Walker carries the spare up to Trivette and throws it down beside him, "Take a look at this!"
            "What the hell happened to it---looks like someone took a knife to it."
            Walker shakes his head and reaches in to turn the radio down, then reaches for his radio. Trivette runs around to the other side and sticks his ear up to one of the speakers, "Walker---I can't hear the game---turn the volume up."
            "Would you forget that damn game, we got to get hold of a garage to come out and fix the tires, or we're going to be walking back to Dallas."
            As Walker is trying to call for help, a DPS squad car is slowing down and approaching the truck. Walker breathes a sigh of relief, "The Calvary has arrived."
            The two troopers approach the truck slowly as they see Trivette hanging halfway out of the door, with his head stuck to the door's speaker. Finally one of the officers recognizes Walker.
            "Hey, Walker---what's going on?" The trooper asks as he keeps looking towards Trivette.
            "Sure glad to see you guys--we got two flat tires, including the spare," answers Walker.
            The troopers look at the spare tire and then again to Trivette, the black Ranger lets out a holler----"It's about time---give the ball back to Nydrant!"
            The second trooper frowns, "Hey Trivette---it's hopeless---the Spurs are going to lose---again."
            "Up yours, McGee---it ain't over yet."
            "What can we do to help you, Walker---there's a garage back in Orland, about 30 miles back?"
            Walker keeps looking at his watch, "Got no time to go all the way back there, we're really pressed!"
            The second trooper is still laughing at Trivette, "Hey Tanner--call your brother-in-law and have him bring out a spare."
            The trooper starts reaching for his radio, "Yeah, why didn't I think of that---yeah---get me Rose's garage. Hey, Walker, what happened to your spare, what did you run over?"
            Walker takes a deep breath, "That's a brand new tire---someone got to it with a meat cleaver, and I'll just bet that once we look at that other tire, we'll see that someone has messed with it, too."
            They both look at the tire and find a small puncture is near the valve stem. "Yep. You're right, Walker---just a small puncture---letting the air out slowly."
            "I could kick myself for not feeling the tire going down, or hearing the air escape when we stopped at that diner back there---" he looks towards Trivette---"but, my partner has had the radio up so damn loud, I couldn't hear myself think."
            McGee nods his head, "Yeah, we were trying to listen to the game too, but when the score got down to 110 to 97---we gave up."
            "What about your brother-in-law---is he on his way?" Walker asks impatiently.
            "It'll be a few minutes, he has to find that particular size---- about half an hour."
            Again Walker checks his watch, "It's going to be close," he mutters.
            YES---YES---The Spurs have tied it up again----only 3 seconds to go!"
            The two troopers run to Trivette's side, "Turn it up, Trivette---hurry!"
            "Oh great, "mutters Walker, he reaches for his cell phone and dials the all too familiar number. The answering machine picks up at Alex's, he quickly calls her cell number, it's not turned on. Walker has walked away from the truck, he's getting angrier. "Damn it!  For months, that's all I hear--"Walker---you have to get a cell phone, you need a cell phone!  I buy one of these damn things like she asks and she doesn't turn her's on---and forget those damn answering machines---I hate those things with a purple passion!"


                              ********************************************


            C.D. does a double take as he looks to Alex, "Alex---sweetheart---you are the cat's meow!"
            Alex smiles, "Well, thank you C.D.-I take it that's a good thing?"
            "You better believe your sweet Dixie it is-----you are so beautiful in that new gown, ole Cordell's eyes are going to pop right out of his head when he sees you!"
            Alex again thanks her dear friend as she climbs into the "74" Cadillac, she looks around for Maize.
                "Where's Maize, I thought she was coming?"
            "She is," C.D. stammers, "but she had something to take care of first, she'll meet us at the ceremony."
            Alex glances at her watch, it's almost 7:30, "I hope she doesn't miss the dinner, they changed things around this year, we eat first and then the awards."
            "Good, I'm starved---I just hope they remember to season the food this time---dad burn morons----haven't they ever heard of salt and pepper."
            Alex laughs, "Oh C.D.---don't you know that no one seasons their food like you do---you are in a class all to yourself---no one can come close to your cooking."
            "Guilty as charged, Alex! Have you heard from Cordell?"
            Alex's tone suddenly turns to hesitation, "No, I haven't--he hasn't called since Thursday night, I wonder why I haven't heard from him?"
            "No news is good news, honey girl---" the old man smiles to himself, knowing that Maize is at the Walker ranch, arranging the flowers that Cordell has sent. "He's probably on his way back as we speak."
            Alex tries to smile, "I hope so, I just can't understand why he hasn't called, and there are no messages on my machine at home."
            "Don't get upset, Alex honey---you know Cordell is still trying to come into the computer age and you know he hates those machines."
            "Yes, I know! He certainly balked enough when I asked him to buy a cell phone, and I thought I was never going to talk him into buying a answering machine. Half the time he never turns the machine on to get his messages."
            The old man cackles, "That's Cordell alright---he would be perfectly happy living back in the days of the old west---and Hayes Cooper."
            Alex sighs, "I'm going to call the ranch, maybe he's in already."
            She reaches into her purse for her cell phone, then she groans---"Oh no---my phone isn't on---the batteries are dead!"
            "Could be the reason you haven't heard from Cordell, sweetheart, " C.D. turns and looks at her with raised brows.
            "I feel like such a fool---but my phone was working fine up until my appointment with my hair dresser, cause I called Walker earlier and couldn't get him or Jimmy."
            "Stop fretting---we're almost there---you can call him once we get inside."

                                     **********************************
            The front tire has been changed and Walker is tightening the lug nuts, he stands up to shake hands with McGee's brother-in-law.
                 "Thanks again for getting the tire out here so quickly."
            "No problem, sure sorry I only had the one in that particular size-----but I'm sure you'll make it back to Dallas okay now.  Here's the receipt."
            Walker signs the piece of paper as Trivette and the two troopers give out rebel yells, "We did it!"
           
The three men are slapping each other on the back and giving high fives, Walker just shakes his head. The mechanic sighs, "Hey----don't you two have some bad guys to catch?"
            The troopers say their goodbyes, the mechanic shakes his head mumbling, "And to think they are out there on the road- protecting and serving---not to mention that one is married to my sister."
            Trivette is bouncing around, "$300 Walk-man-!!  I just won $300---how about that, not bad for hours work, huh?"
            Walker looks at his watch, it's now 8:33, he shoves the receipt into his shirt pocket and motions for Trivette to get in. "That's great, Trivette--I'm happy for you---now hold onto your seat because we are about 60 miles from Springtown and I'm going to be putting the pedal to the floor."
            Trivette groans, thinking of the way that Walker drives---he mumbles to himself---"Great, I just hope I live long enough to spend that $300."


                                  ************************************


            Andy can stand to look at the flowers no longer. He grabs them up and starts shredding them as fast as he can, the rose petals going everywhere. He then runs back up the stairs and throws the bouquet of Lilacs down the stairs.
            "Why wasn't I told about the flowers---she's going to pay for this lack of information."
            "Who will pay, Andrew---the Cahill woman?"
            Andy's voice keeps changing back and forth, he takes a deep breath---"No, not my Alexandra----I will not raise my hand to her----she will suffer from only---my love. I will suffocate her with my love, she will beg me to take her over and over again."
            "Then---who are you talking about---who will pay?"
           
"Little Michael's Mother, that's who," Andy hisses.
            "I don't like her, Andrew--she is evil---she tried to trick you too--but you were too smart for her. You saw her deception, and you---took care of it."
            Andy smiles his sardonic grin, "Yes, I did, didn't I?  No one lies to me, not even her----I thought she had learned her lesson when I punished Michael the last time."
            A shrill voice giggles, "Her kind never learns, Andrew----Michael is no longer an embarrassment to you----just like the others---they are forever lost."
           
"Yes, Annie-----you did a good job on taking care of Michael, I may let you take care of his Mother too. But, right now---we have to clean this mess up---there can be no evidence there were flowers here. I have to clean up the upstairs too, get rid of those damn petals on the bed---how sickening. And, the music-----hurry sister dear---we have to get busy."
            "Do you think that the woman will be calling soon?"
            "Oh yes," he replies softly, "by now she's probably getting very agitated on where her 'boyfriend' is---are you ready, Annie---this is very important! Have you got everything ready as I instructed you?"
            "Yes Andrew--I am ready."

                                      **********************************


            "
Tom, wake up, we have to start moving again---we have to make it to that side road, are you ready?"
            "Could I have one small sip of your water, I promise---just a sip?"
            They each take a small sip and then their trek begins again. The night air is cool, a slight breeze has picked up.
            "We're making good time, Tom---just keep up with my pace---you're doing great!"
            The couple is more than halfway to their destination when Denise sees the headlights of a car coming from the opposite direction. "Oh my God----what if it's him?"
            The two are desperately trying to get to the cover of the trees, Tom keeps stumbling as Denise reaches out to support him. "Is it him? Oh my God---please don't let it be him," Tom begs.
            The headlights are upon them, they hear the car slamming on the brakes, a woman calls out to them. "Are you alright?"
            Denise is laughing and crying as she looks back at the woman, "Please help us---he's going to kill us!"
            The woman approaches them slowly, she stares at Denise's nudeness. "My God, what happened to you," and then she sees Tom, the headlights from her car shinning onto his face.
            The woman approaches Tom slowly, she pulls the rag away from across his eyes, she screams.
            The woman is screaming out of control and Denise is trying to calm her. "Please---would you please help us to get out of here, he'll be coming back soon, we have to hurry."
            "I don't understand, what has happened here---who are you running from?"
            "It would take too much time to explain---please, Andy will be coming for us once he knows we have escaped."
            The woman stops and stares at Tom and Denise----"Andy? Someone called Andy has done this to you?" The woman quickly looks around her, "Where is he?"
            Tom is getting impatient---"Would you please listen---help us to get out of these chains----do you have something to break them?"
            The woman starts nodding her head up and down, "Yes, I think so---I have a tire jack, maybe we can break the chain with that."
            The woman reaches inside to pop the trunk, then she runs to the rear of the car and comes back with a tire jack, she and Denise are trying to pry the links loose.
            Denise is watching the woman, the woman is starting to cry, "Oh my God---what has he done?"
            "Excuse me----what are you talking about-----do you know Andy?"
            The woman starts to cry harder, "This place where you were held captive, is it an old farmhouse, was there anyone else there?"
            Denise is getting scared as she stands up and tries to move away from the woman, "You do know Andy, don't you? Are you going to hurt us, are you working with him?"
            The woman starts shaking her head, "No, I'm not going to hurt you---was there----was there a little boy there?"
            Tom is straining to hear the words between the women, "A little boy---what little boy?"
            Denise shakes her head, "There was no one else there----at least not that we know of---who is this little boy that you keep talking about?"
            The woman is crying harder, "Michael----oh God---where is my baby?"
            Denise kneels back down in front of the woman, "Please---who is this Michael----and who are you?"
                  "Michael is my son-----my name is Lynn Masters."


                               ********************************************


            Dinner has been served with Alex is pecking at hers very slowly. Maize has joined them as she keeps looking at C.D. and smiling.
            C.D. leans into her, "Everything taken care of?"
            The old woman continues to smile at C.D., "Oh yes---everything is fine--and I have a surprise for you."
            "A surprise?  What kind of a surprise?"
            Maize winks as she reaches for her purse and pats it gently. "Let's just say that---you're spending the night at my place tonight---Romeo."
            C.D.'s brows go up in a arch as he looks back at the old woman, "Maize---have you been nipping the apple cider again?"
            She pulls her chair up closer to C.D. and then she whispers, "It's going to be a long night."
            Alex pushes her salad away from her as she observes the flirting going on between Maize and C.D. "Someone is in a good mood tonight--glad to see that the night hasn't been completely wasted."
            Maize reaches out and grabs Alex's hand, "He'll be here, Alex---the night is still young," and then Maize rubs her foot up against C.D.'s leg.
            Alex looks at her watch again, it's almost 9:00 pm She taps her long manicured nails down on the table. "I'm going to call the ranch again--I'll be right back."
            Alex finds a courtesy phone and dials the number. A woman's sultry voice answers, "Hello."
            Alex stares at the phone, "Excuse me, I must have dialed the wrong number, I'm sorry."
            She looks back at the phone, shaking her head, "I could have swore I dialed the right number---767-4803---Alex---you're tired---try it again."
            The phone rings three times, the same woman answers, Alex is confused. "Excuse me, but what number is this?"
            The woman hesitates; her voice is all very sexy. "This is the Walker residence---who did you wish to talk to?"
            Now Alex is not only confused but getting angry, "I would like to talk to Cordell Walker," she answers firmly.
            Again the woman hesitates like she's putting her hand over the mouthpiece, "I'm sorry---but he's in the shower---I'll get him, who should I say is calling?"
            Alex's bottom lip is starting to quiver, "This is—Alex."
            "Oh---just a moment---he's coming out of the shower now," the woman replies.
            There's a pause and then Alex hears Walker's voice asking, "Who's on the phone?"
            Alex is listening intently as again, it sounds like someone putting their hand halfway over the mouth piece, "It's her."
            Alex listens unbelieving as she hears Walker's voice say, "Just hang up the phone."
            "Wait a minute---let me talk to Walker---" the phone goes dead.
            Alex is now fuming as she redials, but gets a busy signal. She slams the phone down, completely confused. She dials the number again, another busy signal. She stands there for the longest, her anger is getting to the boiling point.
                  "Games?  You think you're going to play games with me, Cordell Walker---I'll show you." she stomps back to her dinner table.
            "C.D.--may I please have your car keys?" She snaps.
            Both C.D. and Maize stare back at her, "Keys?  Why do you want my car keys, sweetheart---Cordell will be here any moment."
            "I doubt that---please C.D. your keys---or do I take a taxi?"
            "A taxi?  What in tarnation are you squawking about?"
            Alex's voice is starting to crack, "Please C.D. no questions."
            The old man stands up and reaches for his keys, "I don't know what this all about---but it's obvious that you're in no shape to be driving---come on Maize---now where the hell do you want to go Alex?"
            Alex turns and starts walking away quickly, "To Walker's ranch!"


                                     ****************************************** 


            The sultry voice has turned into a squeal, "Did I do good, Andrew?"
            Andy's voice is deeper as he paces the floor of the master bedroom, "You did perfect, Annie---her voice was getting so angry----she will be so upset---she will need to be comforted."
            The other side of Andy is prissing around in front of the mirror, "You will comfort her, right Andrew, we have to leave now, she will be here soon, right?"
           
"No," snaps Andy's masculine side, "I don't want her to come here, she will be going to her own apartment, she will not want to see the Ranger----will she?"
            "I'm not sure---she's mad, Andrew and women behave strangely when they are made angry----I think she will come here---to confront her boyfriend."
           
"You could be right---if she comes here--then I will have to make sure she sees me---or rather you, sister-dear."
            The feminine side is giggling, "This is so much fun---what do I do now, Andrew?"
           
"The Ranger should be coming home anytime now, if my calculations are right and if Lynn has followed my instructions. If not, she will pay dearly.  Listen closely sister---this is what we do next."
            It's a good 45 minute drive to the Walker ranch, and C.D. has hit heavy traffic, he has to slow down. He keeps looking to Alex, she's staring straight ahead, but her bottom lip is quivering.
            Maize is sitting next to C.D, and they exchange glances. Maize takes Alex's hand, "Alex dear---from what you told us---I can't believe this is Cordell you are talking about."
            Alex remains quiet, she's fighting back the tears. C.D. lets out a curse word, "There's got to be an explanation to all of this, Alex---are you sure you dialed the right number?"
            "Damn it C.D., don't you think I've dialed that number enough times to know it by heart---and that was Walker's voice I heard in the background, telling that woman to hang the phone up on me."
            Maize shakes her head, remembering how anxious Cordell's voice was on the phone asking her to go out to his ranch and be there when the flowers came. She could hear the anticipation in his voice and the eagerness to get back to Dallas. She looks at C.D. helplessly, she whispers, "Something is not right."
            C.D. is now pulling off highway 199 and starting up the first leg of the old gravel road, suddenly a small car swerves in front of the Cadillac, and flies past. C.D. shouts an obscenity.
            "Did anyone see who was in that car?"
            Both Maize and Alex have turned around to look at the car, Alex is now crying. Maize looks to C.D.----"It was a woman---with long hair."
            C.D. hesitates about driving the rest of the way, Alex is reaching for her door handle, "Never mind---I will walk the rest of the way."
            "Get your hinny back in this car---we started this together and by damn--we'll see it through."
            As they pull up to the ranch house, they can see the Ram sitting in the driveway. Alex throws open the door and goes stomping up to the front porch, the door is not locked, and she walks in. C.D. and Maize are scrambling to catch up to her. Alex is in the middle of the living room, she's walking in circles as she stares at the staircase, leading up to the bedrooms.
                 "Walker!"
            A few seconds pass and Walker is running down the stairs, buttoning up his tuxedo shirt. He stares at his unexpected guests, they are all staring back at him.
            "Alex--hon---what are you doing here--I thought I was suppose to meet you at the awards?"  He asks as he walks towards her.
            Alex backs up, her voice is shaking---"Who was that woman that just left here?"
            Walker stares at Alex, "Woman, what woman?"
            Alex's temper is boiling as her lip continues to quiver more, ""Don't act innocent with me, Cordell Walker--I asked you a question---now who was that woman, and I want the truth!"
                 Walker's brow arches as he looks to C.D. and Maize and then back to Alex, "What woman, there was no woman here."
            Alex is taking deep breaths as she walks closer to the Ranger, "Are you denying that you didn't tell that woman to hang up on me?"
            Now Walker is getting impatient, "Hang up on you? Alex, what the hell are you talking about--I haven't been on the phone---I just got home---not more than half an hour ago! I've been upstairs, showering and trying to get into this damn monkey suit------"
            "I heard you Walker, I heard your voice--I didn't just imagine it."
            "I don't know what is going on here, and I don't know what you think you heard, but it wasn't me on any damn phone---and now that we're on the subjects of phones----why haven't you been answering yours?"
            Alex yells back at Walker, "Don't you dare try to change the subject---I want to know who that woman was, and how long have you been seeing her?"
            Walker is speechless as he looks to his dear friend, C.D.  "C.D. did I just step into the Twilight Zone or something?  For the last time, there hasn't been anyone here and least of all---another woman!  Alex---you know me better than that, I have never lied to you, and I'm damn well not lying to you now."
                   Everyone is silent as Maize is quietly looking around the room, "Cordell---where are the flowers?"
            Now Walker's voice is angry, "That's what I would like to know, Maize---where the hell are they?"
            "Now just calm down Cordell---there is no reason to jump down Maize's throat, she did as you asked."
            Walker runs his hand through his hair, "I'm sorry, Maize---I didn't mean to yell at you----you were here when they came, right?"
            Alex is looking back and forth, "What flowers?"
            "Yes, Cordell--I received the flowers and I arranged them just the way you asked."
            Alex is tapping her foot, "Maybe the other woman thought they were for her, and she took them with her." She stares back at Walker.
            Walker is straining to keep his voice under control, "Alex---I have told you, there is no other woman, not tonight--not any night---not since our relationship started getting serious!!! Now, would someone please tell me what this is all about, why am I being accused of being with another woman?"
            C.D. looks to Alex to explain, she turns her head. The old man relays the earlier conversation to the confused Ranger. Walker stares back at him, "Here?  You're saying that I was heard in the background telling someone to hang the phone up on Alex?"
            C.D. nods, "Yeah, Cordell----and that was definitely a woman that just left here---she practically ran us off the road, she seemed to come out of nowhere."
            Walker looks to Alex, he approaches her slowly, "Hon, what time did you say that this all was happening?"
            "What difference does it make?  Walker, I thought we had an agreement?" Alex is crying harder, "We both said when we started our relationship---that we would be honest with each other-----" (sob) and we said if there was ever a time that we wanted to be with someone else---that we would have the decency to tell the other and not-----try being dishonest abut it."
            "Alex, that's true---and we also said that we would trust each other. Alex--the clients that you defend everyday are getting more trust than I am---I've already been tried and prosecuted."
            Alex is shaking her head, "But---I heard you--I heard your voice----"
            "Alex, I don't know all the answers but it's obvious that someone is playing a cruel joke and when I find out who it is, I'll kick them across Texas and back----and-----and I'll just bet that Stevens' creep has something to do with this."
            "Tom Stevens?  Walker---the man knows I detest him."
            "Well, apparently he's not getting the message clear enough---he was still making moves on you at C.D.'s the other night."
            Alex stares back, "The other night?   What night are you referring to---the night you drove back from Abilene?" She looks to C.D., the old man wants to crawl into a hole.
            "Now, Alex---sweetheart----it just sort----of slipped out----when I was talking to Cordell---I didn't mean---damn it--I did mean to tell Cordell about that scumbag----he was coming onto you and I told Cordell about it!  So there---ride me out of town, tar and feather me----I was just thinking of you, Alex."
            Now Alex is fuming again, as she looks back to Walker, "So--that was the reason you drove back, because you thought Tom Stevens was coming on to me-------"
            "Alex, come on---one argument at a time---okay?  I drove back to spend time with you---not because I wanted to confront that s.o.b. and yes---I was angry that he was still coming onto you and I wouldn't be surprised that it was him that sent you those flowers----but my main reason for driving back was----to be with you."
            C.D. and Maize look quickly to each other, the old woman smiles and nods her head, "Umm."
            "What are you mumbling about, old woman?"
            Maize squeezes her purse tighter to her body, "You'll see, you old coot-----and you're not playing 'minuteman' tonight--I guarantee."

               
   


   

Sarcophagus – Part XI

By Sasquaw

            C.D. is staring back at Maize, who’s acting completely different than usual. Walker and Alex are staring back at the couple.
            "Alex----could we just sit down and talk this out?  What time did you call?"
            Alex is trying to clear her voice as she wipes the tears away, "About 8:30---somewhere along that time."
            "Yep, Cordell that's about right---they were getting ready to give out the awards."
            Walker sighs, "Then, I know I can prove that I wasn't here---I have a receipt from the mechanic that brought out my tire, hold on, I'll get it."
            The Ranger runs back up the stirs, returning with the small wastebasket, he's pulling trash out. "It's here somewhere, I know it is, I just threw it away when I changed clothes---here it is!"
            He hands the receipt to Alex, "You see hon---the date and time are right there---Orland, Texas----that's over 60 miles away and the time I signed for the tire was 8:33---there's my signature! Now, how can I be in two places at once?"
            C.D. nods his head, "He's right Alex, I know where Orland is and it takes over an hour to drive that distance."
                  "Actually, it only took me less than 45 minutes to drive it, C.D. I kept the flashers on all the way. I got home a little after nine, I went straight upstairs and started showering----alone-----and there was no one else here."
            Alex looks to Walker and then she starts walking in circles,  "Am I losing my mind? Walker----I heard your voice," she sobs.
                    "Hon, like I said, I don't know all the answers but we both know that voices can be imitated--and maybe someone has recorded my voice and pieced the words together. I'm going to find out who's behind this, someone is trying to set us up."
                 Suddenly Maize yelps, scaring C.D., causing him to jump. "I just remembered---I have proof too that the flowers were delivered---right here in my purse----give me a second."
            The old woman starts handing C.D. things to hold, an object drops to the floor, she quickly scoops it up and turns her back to her friends.  "I got it---here Alex----here's the receipt that I signed, showing that there were flowers delivered. And, Cordell----I placed them right where you told me----I just arranged them a little differently-----I put some of the red rose petals on the bed-----and I put a single lilac---on the right pillow----I think it was the right pillow."
                 Walker's face turns a light shade of red as C.D. looks to him and grins. "Dat burn it Cordell----you do have a romantic bone in your body."
            Alex tries to smile as she looks to Walker and the receipt, "You bought all these flowers for me?"
            Walker stammers, "I damn sure didn't buy them for any other woman----those flowers cost me a fortune----and you don't even get to see them!"
            The two look at each other and then Alex walks slowly towards him, "I'm sorry---I've acted like a complete fool---an over jealous woman."
            Walker reaches out his arm for her and pulls her into him---"It's okay, hon---I would have reacted in the same way had the situation been in reverse." He kisses the side of her head as she buries her face into his chest.
            Maize nudges C.D. "I think we better go."
            The old man is clearing his throat, "Yeah, yeah---we better be going-----we'll see you two later----everything is okay----isn't it?"
            "Would you come on, you old coot---can't you see they want to be alone." Maize pulls on C.D.'s arm.
            C.D. is shoving the purse contents back at Maize, "Here---take this junk----why do you women carry so much junk----and what is this crazy contraption?"
            Maize jerks him to the door, "You'll find out-----or rather----I will!"


                           *********************************************


            Andy pulls the long dark wig off and tosses it to the other side of the car. He smiles to himself and gloats.
            "I know that they saw me, I was so clever to wait until they were almost on the last stretch of road before pulling out in front of them. There is no way they could missed seeing the long hair----sometimes, I amaze---even myself."
            His voice giggles then takes a falsetto pitch " Yes, you are so smart, Andrew. I know that woman had to have seen you, thinking you were a woman with the long hair and all. I'll bet she is so angry with her boyfriend, I'll bet she is throwing things at him, and calling him every name in the book--thinking that he was home---with another woman."
           
Andy nods his head in agreement, "Yes, and soon she will be leaving and going back to her apartment, she will be so vulnerable, she will be easy to overtake."
            "But, Andrew---what about the doorman? He will not let you near the apartment, and even then he will ring her apartment before letting you in."
            "You worry too much, sister dear---dead men can do nothing."

           
Andy is so busy arguing with himself that he almost fails to see the vintage Cadillac coming towards them, he slinks further down into the seat of the little Mustang. The mesquite trees are covering the car as Andy strains to look into the old car he only sees two figures.
            "Damn it----this can't be happening---where is Alexandra, she's not with that old couple."
            His voice changes back and forth as he argues with himself. "There is no way that Alexandra stayed with that Neanderthal--not by choice! He's making her stay---he's telling her all kinds of lies---how could she believe what he's telling her?  She needs me---I must go to her---I must take her away from him---I'm coming, Alexandra---love of my life---I will save you."
            The Mustang creeps closer to the Walker home, he pulls the little Mustang over into another cluster of trees, and turns it around, facing the road. Andy smirks, "Just in case we have to make a fast get away----I have to be prepared. ‘Daddy' always said---'be prepared'---I think those were his last words---right Annie?"
            "Yes, Andrew----right before you split his scull open with that axe----the look on Mama's face when you held up his brain---was priceless!"
           
Andy takes a deep breath as he reaches under the car seat and takes out a similar weapon, but smaller in length. "I will enjoy bashing the Rangers' head in with my little 'toy'--- and you sister, dear can have what is left for your little 'experiment'.”
            The door to the Mustang opens and Andy walks slowly up to the house, staying in the shadows of the trees. He approaches the porch slowly as the living room light goes out and the sentry lights come on. He scrambles quickly to the side of the house, breathing heavily. He circles the house slowly, and goes up on the back porch, leading to the laundry room. He tries the door, but it's locked. He shrugs, "Guess, it's time to try my old 'standby' in the basement."
            He walks slowly towards the basement window, he reaches out to touch it--when the light suddenly comes on, and he backs up quickly. He's trying to look into the basement when he spots the Ranger coming down the stairs and looking around. He sees Alex stop at the top of the stairs.
            "Alex, stay at the top of the stairs, I don't want you tripping over your gown, trying to maneuver those steps---I just want to check the windows."
            Andy pulls back out of sight as Walker is coming closer to the window, Andy snarls as he clutches the axe tighter.  "Get a little closer, Ranger-- and I will bash your head in."
            Walker sees that the window has been pushed back---"Just as I thought--this will definitely be fixed, come morning. In the meantime---it will be locked and the steel grate will be pulled down---not even a squirrel will be able to get through it."
                  "Walker---do you see anything?"
            "I found the basement window open--don't worry---I'm locking it," Walker yells back.
            Walker quickly looks around the basement, making sure there is no one hiding in the shadows. He breathes a sigh of relief and starts back up the stairs, then stops and heads for the other end of the basement..
            Alex is getting nervous as Walker has vanished from her sight, "Walker---honey----where are you?"
                   Suddenly, Walker reappears with a bottle of wine in his hands, "Right here, hon---I thought maybe we could both use something to help us unwind."
            She smiles as she reaches out to take his hand as he's coming up the stairs---"I definitely agree---and maybe a nice, warm, shower?"
            Andy's anger is rising as he watches the couple pause at the top of the stairs to share a kiss and Walker's left hand goes gently to the back of the strapless gown that Alex is wearing. He hears them laugh, and the Ranger's hand goes lower to her buttocks, squeezing gently.
            "You are making me angry, Alexandra---why do you let him  'paw' you like that?"
            His voice changes again, "Because she is like a 'dog in heat'---they are all like that----''
                
"Silence!  Do not talk about her like that, she's not like the others----he is making her do things that she does not wish to do."
            "You are so blind, Andrew---the others lied to you and betrayed you---this one will do the same thing---you will see."
                 Andrew sits down on the hard ground, rocking back and forth, "No----nooooo--you're the one that is wrong---you are jealous---you've always been jealous of every woman that I have been interested in---I will prove to you that Alexandra wants to be with me---and not him! I have to find a way to get to her and take her away from all of this."
            He looks around the outside of the house and finds the master bedroom and observes the small ledge that runs along the windows and the oak tree that grows nearby--it's mighty braches reaching out towards the ledge. He smiles, "What do we have here----another entrance? For a man that is suppose to be a smart lawman--he's not too smart in the security field."
            Andy tucks the axe away under his belt and starts to climb the tree very slowly.


                                        ***********************************


            The woman throws the tire jack down on the ground, "It's no use, I can't break the chains."
            Denise is exhausted as she looks around her, "There's only one thing we can do---Lynn, you have to help us put the cinder blocks inside your car-----then take us to the nearest police station."
            Lynn starts shaking her head, "I can't do that, I have to find my son first."
            Tom is getting angry, his thirst is getting worse, "For Christ's sake----get us to the police first, then you can come back and look for your son."
            Lynn is crying harder, "Noooo--don't you see---if Andy comes back and sees that the two of you have escaped, he will take it out on Michael---he's done it before----he's hurt Michael real bad---he's done some very bad things to my son."
            Denise is trying to console Lynn as she starts to shiver from the night air---"We can't stay here and take the chance on Andy finding us---look what he did to Tom's eyes---he gouged them out----and he will do worse to us if he catches us. Please take us to the police first and they can come back and help you to look for Michael."
            Lynn nods her head, "I will help you get into the car and get the blocks loaded, but first I am going back to the farmhouse---for one quick look---then we will go to the police—agreed?"
            Tom groans as he tries to follow the sound of Lynn's voice, "Do we have a choice?"
            Denise and Lynn maneuver Tom into the little car lifting the blocks in after him, next Denise crawls in beside Tom, in the back seat. Lynn gets behind the steering wheel and starts driving back to the little farmhouse.
            "Be careful, Lynn---if there is a brown Mustang in front---please don't stop---drive like hell and get us away from here."
            "I will, I will----I don't see any autos in front or anywhere around---it's safe for me to go in---I'll only be a moment."
            Lynn jumps from the car and runs to the front door, Tom is shaking his head. "I don't have a good feeling about this, I'm not so sure we can trust her."
            Denise looks to the front seat, Lynn has left the keys in the ignition.  "Tom, we may have to do some Houdini magic here, I need to get on the other side of you so I can climb over the seat----can you help me to lift the blocks?"
            Tom groans, "Are you saying that we're going to drive away, then yes--I will help to lift the blocks again---for the umpteenth time."
            The two start climbing over each other and for a moment, Denise is sitting directly over Tom's lower body--he has his hands on her naked waist. Denise clears her throat, she had forgotten what a handsome man, Tom Stevens is. She quickly moves over him, and Tom begins to weep.
            Denise is halfway over the seat, she turns back to her friend, "What's wrong, why are you crying?"
            Tom shakes his head, "I guess I suddenly see--or rather 'feel' that I am no longer a whole man. I'm scared, Denise-----at least you can see---but I have to rely on you to tell me what is out there."
            "You trust me, don't you?"
            "Yes," he replies weakly.
            "Then, you listen to me---and listen good. We're going to get out of this and when we do---you and I are going to have that steak supper----do you hear me?"
            The man nods his head, "Is that all that you want to share with me---I was thinking we could go to a nice romantic place for a night together---we owe it to each other to fulfill our needs."
            Denise shakes her head in disbelief, "I can't believe you----we're in a dire situation and you're wanting to fulfill your sexual desires--is that all you ever think of?"
            Tom tries to smile, "Apparently a few seconds ago you were having the same desires--I could feel your body tense up when you were straddling my midsection--you want me as much as I want you----admit it."
            Denise sighs, "Okay---so I confess that I find you attractive---but you know as well as I do that if you could get your sight back, you would be off and running with any woman that looks at you twice, and I would be left in the dust."
            Tom grins slowly, "You're probably right--about wanting to be with all beautiful women--but losing my sight has made me 'see' the light---so to speak---but I wouldn't hurt you, Denise---we wouldn't owe each other any commitments--we could just follow our instincts."
            Denise is still trying to climb over the front seat, with her left foot dangling over the seat. "Tom, would you please just think about the present right now---you're going to have to try and stand up, so I can have more leverage to get behind the wheel---can you do that?"
            "I suppose," Tom groans as he tries to stand, his head hits the roof of the car--"can you get over the seat now, how far are you from the steering wheel, can you turn the key---can you get us out of here?"
            "One question at a time---okay--my left leg is almost to the floorboard, I'm turned sideways--but I can reach the key---steering is another question though."
            "Can you hit the gas pedal?"
            "Just barely, "Denise groans---"I guess if I have to--I can drive in this position to get us out of here--but--we can't just drive off and leave Lynn here."
            Tom is still standing backwards, his head hitting the headliner, he swears, "I've got to sit down, this position is killing me---why can't we leave---drive to the nearest police station, then tell them where Lynn is---they can come back to help her find her son."
            Denise has to shift her body back to the seat, giving Tom enough of the chain so he can sit back down. "You heard what Lynn said about Andy hurting her son, if he came back and found us gone, he would take it out on both of them."
            "That's her problem!” Tom yells--"Let's just go before that maniac comes back and does us all in."
            Denise remains quiet as she keeps looking at the front door, "I would say it's about 10pm or so, the awards ceremony should be over with----"
            "What ceremony? What are you mumbling about?"
            "The lawyers' convention---it should be winding down, it's a sure bet that Andy has attended, and if tonight is the night that he tries to take Alex Cahill, it should be happening soon and he would be bringing her back here."
            "Why do you say that, what purpose would he have for bringing her back here---of all places?"
            Denise is looking around their surroundings the best she can, "I don't know, I just have a funny feeling that this place holds a lot of mystery--come on, Lynn---what is holding you up/"
            Tom kicks the back of the seat, "If she's not out here in exactly 5 minutes---start this damn car---and let's get the hell out of here."
            Denise nods her head, "For once I agree with you--------"
            The front door is slammed open and Lynn comes running back to her car, "He's here---my son is here, but I can't find him."
            "How do you know he's here?" Asks Denise.
            "I saw his little jacket, the one I bought for him on his 7th birthday, he's here---I know he is---and I found this," she replies, holding up a set of bolt cutters!
            "Thank God--now get these chains off of us."
            Lynn steps back from her car and stares at Denise being behind the steering wheel, "You were going to drive away and leave me here, weren't you?"
            "No Lynn----we were waiting for you---if I had wanted to leave---we would have."
            "I don't believe you----I'm not cutting those chains till you promise to help me find Michael."
            Tom is swearing, "Not again---Denise---start the damn car--- let's get out of here."
            Denise studies the fear in Lynn's eyes, "I promise to help you look for Michael, I will give you 15 minutes to find him--then we are out of here."
            "Okay---I trust you," and Lynn goes around to the passenger side to climb in, and puts the bolt cutters over the chain. She groans as she tries pulling the links together. Denise is helping her to squeeze it together, it finally snaps. Denise gives out a victory yell, and Tom breathes a sigh of relief.
            He whimpers, "That's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard----now please---get me loose from this damn prison."
            Lynn starts scampering for the back seat and snaps Tom's chain into. They all breathe a sigh of relief and Lynn replies softly. "I think I may have a change of clothes that will fit you in my baggage, Denise---would you like to put some clothes on?"
            Denise starts to laugh, "I would be so grateful, playing Lady Godiva is not my forte."
            Lynn motions for Denise to follow her. Denise turns to Tom and touches his arm gently. "Tom, I am going back inside with Lynn, wait right here, don't go wandering off—okay?" Denise has found a pair of pants and a blouse to fit her, she's still barefoot.
            "How long will you be, you said 15 minutes---do you promise that we will leave then?"
            "Yes, I promise—okay, Lynn---you have 15 minutes, and if we don't find your son in that length of time, I'm leaving---and going straight to the police---understood?"
            The woman shakes her long dark hair, "There has got to be another section to this old house, it's not the typical place that Andy generally picks."
            Denise stares back at Lynn, starting to get that uneasy feeling again. "What do you mean 'generally picks'--you've been through this before--with Andy-haven't you?"
            "I've known Andy for a long time, I knew his whole family--and believe me--they were 'one screwed-up family'---to say the least."
            The women move slowly to the inside, Denise whispers. "How did you get mixed up with Andy---how did he get your son?"
            "I made a very bad misjudgment--I thought I was in love with him, in the beginning he was a very nice person, but that was before---his sister was killed."
            "Sister?  You mean there really was a sister—Annie?"
            Lynn laughs, "You've met the other side of him; you've met Annie---sweet---isn't she?"
            Denise has a chill run down her spine, "Oh yeah--real sweet---the first time I met her, she came after me with a knife! He's got a spilt personality, how could you ever get involved with someone like that?"
            "I could ask you the same question, Denise---how did you end up here---and naked? He had his way with you, didn't he?"
            "He raped me," Denise snaps, “but I'm not his intended victim---he was using me to get to my boss-----"
            "Alex Cahill?"
            Denise stops in her tracks and glares back at Lynn---"How do you know about Miss Cahill?"
            Lynn is heading towards a closed door, she turns to Denise--"Relax, I know all about your boss lady and Andy's obsession with her---I also know all about that 'boyfriend' of her's, that Texas Ranger."
            "How?  How do you know all of this---unless you're working with Andy."
            Lynn takes a deep breath, "All I did was try and stall the Rangers into staying in Abilene longer---so that----so Andy could--take Miss Cahill!  But, I failed and Andy said he was going to hurt Michael---that is why I'm here---to get my son----and get as far away as I can from that sick maniac."
            "I don't like the sound of any of this---we have to warn Miss Cahill--we got to go--let's get to a phone."
            Denise turns to run, but Lynn grabs her, "You promised me--you said 15 minutes----we're wasting time, I got to find Michael."
            "Okay, okay---let's get this over with----have you been here before---where do you know to look?"
            Lynn starts to cry as she puts her hand over her mouth, and replies, "Yes, I've been here before----this is where ---I conceived my son."
            "Here?  In this old farmhouse?" Denise looks at Lynn and then she starts shaking her head slowly, "No----please don't tell me that Andy raped you, too?"
            Lynn is sobbing, "He didn't rape me---I was in love with him, I consented!"
            "You're saying that Andy is your son's Father?  How could he hurt his own son?"
            Lynn is now opening the closed door, "You do not know what Andy is capable of-----you will see things in here that only your worst nightmare could hold---are you ready?"
            Denise backs away, "I'm not so sure, could we just leave-------oh my God----sweet Jesus----what is this place?"
            Lynn pulls Denise into the room, the light from the full moon shines in through the window, it's all the light that Denise cares to have as she stares back at the gruesome sight.


                                               *****************************


            The couple stumbles through the bedroom door as Walker struggles to gain his balance. Alex's left leg goes around the Ranger's midsection as he gropes her body hungrily, his mouth taking all of hers inside him.
            They're both breathless as Alex purrs, "What was I saying----about---a nice, warm----shower?"
            Walker reaches down and scoops her up into his arms, walking slowly towards his bed, laying her down gently. He whispers, "Forget the shower--I can't wait----any longer----I want you now."
            Alex begins trying to get her gown off, but Walker is too impatient as he pushes the gown upwards, and pulls her stockings and underwear down, spreading her legs with his knees. She gasps as she lays back and tries to help him undo his belt, she can feel his hardness.  She closes her eyes as she feels him climbing on top of her, then he enters her with one quick thrust.
            He continues to kiss her deeply, pulling the gown down from her breasts and taking them both and squeezing them together, Alex moans.
                 "Walker---slow down---let me catch my breath."
            His pace quickens as he kisses her neck, going down to her breasts, "Can't," he whispers" I'm too hot---ready to explode."
            At almost the same moment he releases his fluid deep within her loins, Alex gasps as her body becomes completely engulfed in ecstasy. She breathes deeper, and she screams out in rapture. Walker collapses on top of her.
            "I'm sorry," his voice is raspy, "I know you don't---like---it quick----but I couldn't wait----I owe you."
            Alex is still trying to catch her breath, as she starts kissing Walker's chest---"You're damn right---you -----owe me--Cowboy---and I expect-----full payment within the half hour."
            Walker is laughing and nodding his head, he reaches down and kisses her tenderly---"You can count on it, hon---now----how about some of that wine?"
            She nods her head in agreement as he rolls off of her and begins to shed his clothes. He looks back at Alex as she is looking down at the new gown she just bought. Walker groans.
            "Oh no---your gown---hon---I'm sorry----I wasn't even thinking--I'm sorry----is it ruined?"
            Alex tries to smile, "No---nothing that a good cleaning can't take care of--you never even noticed it earlier, did you?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh, as he reaches for the bottle of wine. "I confess---I didn't----so much has happened and then that stupid argument over your thinking that some woman was here with me----I didn't have much time to notice anything."
            Alex tilts her head, her mouth sets firm, "Stupid argument?  I didn't think it was stupid---"
            "Alex---hon, come on---I didn't mean it that way," he starts towards the bed, completely in the buff---crawls back up on the bed and starts admiring her gown. He purses his lips in a little boy look, "I like your gown--I really do."
            "So much for the gown, I've had it on for a full 5 hours, you never even noticed it, now it's all wrinkled---I never even got to show it off for you, I never got to see you in your tuxedo, and we never got to dance, I never-----"
            He silences her with a kiss, "Enough already---- honey---your gown was--I mean is---beautiful--but don't you know by now that everything you wear---or don't wear can't compare to your beauty?"
            Alex is trying to keep from crying, "But, I wanted to look extra nice for you tonight, I had my hair done---I took a mud bath----------"
            Walker starts to snicker as he begins to nibble on the side of Alex's neck, "Mud bath?  I seem to remember another mud bath that we both took, just awhile back--damn it woman---you look good in anything----even mud!"
            Now Alex is laughing, "You're not off the hook yet, Cowboy---I still insist on getting you into a tux---and taking me dancing" She takes a long drink of the wine as Walker holds the bottle up to her.
            Walker traces his forefinger down the blonde's cheek, pausing at the little mole to the left side of her mouth. He kisses it gently, "If that's what you want, that's what we will do. We won't be able to do any dancing there, but----what do you say------we go to see that play you've been talking about?"
            Alex's eyes look back to the Ranger in confusion, "What play?"
            "You know----the one with that guy with the mask over his face---at the opera?"
            "The Phantom of the Opera?  Are you serious---Walker--are you teasing me---you don't like that kind of music." Alex is jumping around in the bed and climbing on top of the Ranger. She stares back at him, her eyes are wide, "Please tell me---you're not teasing me?"

Sarcophagus – XII


            Walker is grinning as Alex is climbing on top of his naked body, "I'm not teasing--and "no", I don't like that kind of music---but I figure since with all that's happened this evening and all---it won't hurt me to sit through it for a couple of hours.
            Alex grimaces, "Uhhhh, honey--it's more like 4 hours."
            "Four hours??  How can anyone stand to listen to that kind of mus------never mind-----guess I should have checked out the time before volunteering."
            Alex lies down gently on top of his solid body and starts playing with his chest hairs, "I'm sorry about the argument and not believing you."
            He massages her back gently, letting his hands seek out her soft flesh--"It's okay, hon---I would have reacted the same way, had it been in reverse----and I too, am sorry for getting upset with you. We were both angry, and when I see that Tom Stevens, we're going to have it out."
                  "Walker----what about that night you drove back from Abilene, did you have words with Stevens that night?"
            "No, I never even talked to him---but I assure you if I had we would have had more than just words----but, he was pre-occupied."
            "What do you mean?"
            "After C.D. told me what happened, I was pretty angry---and I was hoping that I would run into him at C.D.'s---but C.D.'s was already closed by the time I hit Ft. Worth. I saw Stevens' fancy car in the parking lot, but it was having some activity--so to speak---he was with someone---I assumed it was one of the streetwalkers. I waited a few seconds and sure enough he emerged with some young lady, ---I didn't want to get her involved in even more problems, if she got busted by the police---so I just left and drove to your place."
            Alex traces the hairline going from Walker's navel down to his mid section, she purrs--"Oh yes---I was so shocked to see you standing at my door--but pleasantly shocked. That night was magical, just like all of our nights together."
            The Ranger smiles as he reaches down and pulls her gently up to him, kissing her long and tender. He stops and looks into her eyes, "Alex--how could you have thought that I was with someone else--after all that we've shared?"
            She touches his lips, "I don't know---call me jealous----when I heard that woman's voice and then she said 'you were in the shower'--I just lost all of my logic--but--what was I suppose to think? Another woman answers your phone, and I heard you--or rather I hear someone that sounds like you--telling this woman to hang up on me--what was I suppose to think?"
            Walker nods his head, "I guess you did what was expected----what about this woman's voice, have you ever heard it before?"
            Alex rises up and looks back at Walker, "No--I've never heard it before, I don't know what your old girlfriends sound like."
            The Ranger can still hear some anger in Alex's voice, "Okay, hon---that came out wrong----and just for the record--I don't think it was one of my ex-girlfriends, this is more along the line of what Tom Stevens would try and pull----paying some woman to try and cause trouble between us."
            Alex shakes her head, "I'm not so sure--"
            Walker begins taking the little flowers out of Alex's hair, her shoulder-length hair cascades down, he brushes it back from her eyes, "All I'm sure of is this," and he kisses her deeply. She begins to return his kiss, slowly at first then intensifying. They do not hear the light thud coming down onto the rooftop outside of the master bedroom. They are too wrapped up in the promises of ecstasy to see or hear the figure looming closer to the window, it quickly peers in.
            Andy watches as Alex is moving slowly atop the rancher's long, hard, muscular body. He listens to them both moan as their bodies are aching for the other. Andy shakes his head in anger and disbelief as he watches the blonde attorney slither downward on the rangers' body, kissing him slowly, and nibbling gently at his abdomen.
            "No," he whispers, "that should be me, enjoying the fruits of your labor--not him---he doesn't deserve you, my love."
            Alex watches as the Ranger begins to breathe heavier, "I told you I would want my pleasure, too—slowly."
            Walker exhales as he anticipates the pleasure to come, "You just take all the time you want---I'm not going anywhere."
            The blonde giggles, "Don't be so sure, I may just take you to the moon------"
            "You don't even have to bring me back, just circle the universe with me--let's visit every planet."
            Alex starts at the scrotum, and gently starts a licking motion, moving slowly upward, her hand circling his manhood in slow upward motions. She continues to watch her lovers' eyes as he reaches for the top of the sheet to hold on to. She stops and blows a gentle, warm, breath onto his manhood as he exhales deeper.
            Andy is tightening the grip on the little axe, as he moves closer to the window. He's breathing heavier as his anger begins to rise higher, "I will smash his head in, and then I will make him watch as I take Alexandra and make mad, passionate, love to her----- and then----"
            He stops and watches as Alex has taken all of Walker's manhood into her mouth, rising up and down, letting it come halfway out, then inhaling it again, moaning softly.
            Andy's anger starts to fade as he can feel his whole body starting to get warmer, his eyes begin to close and the vision of Alex with her lips caressing his manhood overtake him. He's breathing heavier as he feels his legs becoming weak, so he kneels down on the roof, putting the axe down beside him. He continues to observe Alex as his own hand begins to find his crotch, rubbing slowly.
            Walker has his eyes completely closed; the sensation overtaking him has his body convulsing. He reaches down and touches the top of Alex's head, he whispers, "My turn now----what planet do you wish to visit first?"
            Alex is purring as she leaves her treasure and climbs back up his lean body, she stops momentarily and kisses him hard. "You choose the planet----I will refuel the launching pad," and she rolls off him gently, reaching towards the nightstand.
            Walker rolls over and starts kissing her breasts, taking each nipple and biting down gently, then letting his tongue encircle them. He moans as his tongue licks downward and stops at her navel.  He sticks his tongue in and kisses her softly, he then takes his forefinger and rubs it gently, whispering, "The portal of all life----"
            Alex is licking her lips as she's fumbling inside the drawer with her left hand, mumbling to herself, "Where is it?"
            Walker seems to be pre-occupied with Alex's navel, "Did you say something, hon?"
            "I can't find the cream--I know it's in here--maybe it's on your side?"
            Walker continues to massage Alex's navel with his forefinger, "Not on my side--- just your 'little friend'---you want him?"
            Alex sighs as she watches the little game that Walker is playing with her navel, "If I don't get some action out of you soon, I may need 'him'---honey, what is so fascinating about my belly-button?"
            He kisses it again and then reaches up to find Alex's hungry lips, "Everything about your body fascinates me," he continues to kiss her slowly and then retraces his previous route, going lower to her pelvis. He watches her as she too, anticipates the pleasure that is about to waken every inch of her body. He flicks his tongue out in one complete sweep of her vaginal area, and then back again.
                   "Oooohhhh, yes," Alex whispers, "that's where I want you---at least for a few moments."
            Andy has stopped massaging himself as he takes another look into the window, seeing the Ranger in a kneeling position angers him more. He grits his teeth, as he watches Walker continue his onslaught. He can see Alex squirming, her body arching upward to the Ranger’s mouth. Andy can feel himself getting warmer, and his voice begins to change, as he begins to massage his chest.
                  "Ohhhhh, Andrew, I feel so warm, it's been a long time---since I have felt this way."
           
"Be quiet, Annie----I have to--- plan my next move---to get Alexandra."
            Andy turns back to the window, he throws all caution away as he moves closer to the window---and watches.
            Alex is coming up off the bed as she groans, "Walker----I'm about to explode---I don't want to 'cum' yet---please----come up here."
            Walker is grinning, "Want your 'little friend'?"
            Alex grabs the Ranger and kisses him, her whole body is jerking----"No---I couldn't take the both of you---not just yet," she purrs.
            "Roll over," he whispers, "you are still so hot that my throttle is going into overdrive."
            Andy watches as Alex rolls over on her stomach, reaching for a pillow to place under her, she raises her right leg higher as Walker massages her buttocks in a circular motion. He then caresses her tenderly with his tongue, going into her vagina from the rear. He pulls her vaginal walls backwards gently with his teeth, and then he inserts his forefinger, going deeper and deeper. His right hand caresses the length of her leg, then he gently lifts it higher as he positions himself behind her, entering slowly.
            The thickness of him causes Alex to gasp, then she relaxes her muscles taking him in slower, and deeper. Her pace is slow as he gently pushes back against him, he lets her come all the way back, repositions himself and thrusts harder each time her body comes back to him. He breathes out slower as he bends over her back and starts kissing her backside.
            Andy's eyes are going up into his head, and his manhood is getting harder as he envisions himself to be the one making love to Alexandra. He's groaning as he is constantly re-positioning himself to get a better grip against the ledge. He can feel his right foot starting to lose its grip, he swears to himself, and forces himself to stay in the same position. He opens his eyes wider, taking in the beauty of Alex's body.
                 "Sooooo soft," he whispers-"I can almost feel her---her skin is so soft, and hot."
            Walker straightens back up, his hands going around Alex's slim waist, pulling her back against him, inhaling deeply. He stops and gently takes her left leg and positions it higher, letting the right one come down. Alex again gasps as his manhood enters from a different angle. She waits till his pace has equaled her's, then they both began a slow tempo.
            The Ranger has sweat dripping down into his eyes as his tempo increases, Alex is moaning. "Ooooh yes---right there---oooohhhh, just a little faster----yes---that's it."
            Walker is gasping for his breath, "Woman, you're going to have to make up your mind--slow---or fast?"
            He can hear her giggle, "I'm a woman---I  can change my mind---if I want to----now slow down-----oooooh---yes---oooooohhh right there----slow."
            Walker stops and pulls out of her slowly, rolling her over on her left side, pulling her right leg straight up, and entering her from the side. His left arm goes under upper torso, massaging her left breast. His manhood enters in an upward motion; she has to again---take him in slowly, then increases her tempo to his. Their bodies are starting to sweat more, as their tempo rises to an ultimate pitch. Alex reaches back to touch Walker's right thigh, and motions that she wants to change positions.
            Andy watches as the 'love of his life' positions herself on top of the bearded Ranger, backwards. Alex begins a fast tempo as Walker's hands steady her up and down in a steady motion. Andy is starting to get light headed as he hears Alex moaning each time she comes down the full length of Walker's manhood. Alex then stops and turns around, facing the Ranger and leans forward. He raises her up lightly and inserts his penis into her from behind and then a slow pace begins as he pulls her forward and then back down against his throbbing membrane.  They both reach for each other's lips, their tongues going deeper each time. Walker rolls her over onto her back, pulling her left leg up and over his shoulder, thrusting deeper.
           The view from this angle is even better as Andy watches every thrust from the Ranger going deeper each time, Andy groans as his own tempo has increased, he can feel himself ready to ejaculate.  He watches as Alex's body has inched upward on the bed and Walker pulls her back into him, now putting her other leg over his shoulder, thrusting harder and faster. The sweat is dripping off him as Alex is caressing both her breasts and moaning. She stops and whispers.
            She puts out her arms to her lover, "I want you against my body----I want you inside me."
            Walker lowers her legs gently as they encircle around his waist, pulling him down to her in a nice slow tempo. Her arms go around his massive shoulders and back, massaging and whispering in his ear.
                      "OOOOOhhh yes---this is the way I like it--feeling every inch of our bodies against each other------"
            Walker is breathing even harder, "Did I ever tell you"---(pant) that I think you're "--(panting more) a nymphomaniac?"
            Alex is purring as her body takes him deeper into her loins, "Yes---you have----and you love it."
                Walker's pace is increasing faster as he feels himself getting lightheaded, his legs are starting to become weak, and he can feel the rush coming over him. He can feel Alex's legs going tighter around his mid-section, he lays gently on top of her as their bodies move in a slow and rhythmical movement with one another. He kisses the side of her neck as he feels her breathing getting more intense.
            Walker groans, "I could stay like this forever---your body is so soft and intoxicating---begging for more, but I feel you're about ready to explode------"
            Alex inhales his body scent deeply, pulling him closer, "Nooo, not just yet---I don't want this moment to end," she finds his lips again, his right hand cups her buttocks into him, "I love this closeness, I love holding you tight like this."
            Walker can feel himself getting warmer, a sensation is starting to shoot through his loins as he thrusts deeper, he throws his head back and they both climax. Alex's whole body is shaking as she feels the room spinning. Walker exhales as he lowers his spent body down on top of her, gliding his right hand up and down her back, soothing her.
            Andy has ejaculated, his right foot misses its hold and he scampers to grab on to something. He can feel himself sliding downward, and in an effort to stop himself he grabs hold of the window. Alex has her head tilted to the side as she continues to massage Walker's body on top of her. She hears the slight thump and looks towards the window, she sees a figure staring back at her.
               "Walker!" She's pushing him upwards; "there's someone at the window."
            Walker is trying to climb off of her as he's looking over his shoulder, "What----are you sure?"
            Andy turns quickly and tries to get his footing secure, he starts rolling off the roof as Walker is running nude towards the window.  He sees a figure hit the hard ground and give out a yelp.
            Walker hits the side of the wall, "Son-of-a bitch---wait till I get my hands on that bastard!"
            He starts running back to his chair, grabbing his jeans and reaching for his boots. He's hopping around, trying to get them on and Alex is grabbing a sheet, "Did you see him---Walker---be careful."
            Walker is swearing as he gets his second boot on, he reaches under his side of the mattress and brings out a .357. Spinning the chamber, he grumbles, "It's not me you need to be concerned about--'cause if I get a clear shot, I'll blow that bastard away!" He runs to the door, jerking it open.
            Alex scrambles to get out from under the twisted and damp sheets, runs to the window and sees a man running down the driveway. She looks back towards the garage and sees Walker jumping into his Ram and burning rubber and gravel to give chase. Andy has reached the little Mustang, guns it and takes off flying down the gravel road. He fails to stop as the gravel road meets with the exit road off 199, the Mustang starts spinning, throwing up the gravel. He flies across the highway and almost goes headfirst into a semi. The truck jack-knifes and starts sliding off the highway.
            Walker is swearing at all the dust and gravel that the little car has kicked up, and as he hits the highway, he too almost hits the semi---broadside! The Ram comes to a screeching halt as the truck driver gets out of his rig and starts towards Walker, shaking his fist at him. The man stops and reaches for a tire iron, he stomps angrily towards the Ranger.
            Walker is straining to see which direction the little car took, then yells at the trucker to get out of the way. The truck starts swinging the metal bar at Walker.
            "You caused me to wreck my rig---I'll split your head into," the trucker swings the bar and Walker ducks. Walker reaches out and grabs the trucker's arm, spinning him around and shoving him into the side of the Ram.
            "Take it easy---I'm a Texas Ranger---I was trying to stop that car."
            The trucker is still angry as he swings at Walker, hitting him in the face. The trucker outweighs Walker by a good 100 lbs, Walker hits him with the back of his elbow, the man falls backwards, then comes at Walker again. He gets a foot to the chest as the Ranger slams him into the Ram again. Walker shakes his fist at the man.
            "Stay down! I told you I'm a Texas Ranger," Walker reaches into his back pocket for his badge when he remembers that his wallet is in the tuxedo pants.
            Other cars are beginning to stop as Walker runs around to his side to grab his radio and begins telling the dispatcher to tell the DPS to look out for a small, dark, car, traveling south down 199 at top speed.
            The dispatcher is asking for more info, "That's all I can tell you---get back to me as soon as possible." The Ranger looks up to see the trucker coming at him again. The trucker stares back at Walker and swears.
            "Don't look like no Ranger to me---where's your badge?"
            Walker looks down at his bare chest, he sighs----"I don't have a place to pin it---but if you don't drop that tire iron--and pronto---you're going to be wearing the butt of this .357--is that clear?

            The two men stare at each other, the trucker sees a look in the bearded man's face that he doesn't like and drops the tire iron. Walker exhales, "Did you see the car---is there anything you can tell me about it, make, model?"
            The trucker grunts, "No---it all happened too fast---it came off that side road, doing 'lickety split'---I didn't have time to see nothing--look what happened to my rig---and I just made the final payment on it last week."
            Walker looks to the rig, lying on its side. He shakes his head and slaps the trucker on his shoulder, "I'm sorry for your loss---are you okay---was anyone hurt?"
            "No---just my pride----if I ever get my hands on that idiot---I'll rip him into!
            Walker nods his head, and replies angrily, "Wait your turn---I get him first." The Ranger gets back into his truck and starts back to his ranch.


                                  ***************************************


            The brown Mustang has hit I-30, it's driver is furious as he weaves in and out of traffic. He keeps hitting the dashboard and swearing obscenities at the motorists he's passing.
            "No, no, no---it wasn't suppose to be this way--Alexandra is suppose to be with me tonight---that Ranger----he's to blame----why was she letting him do those things to her when I'm suppose----to --be the one----she wants to be with."
            "I told you, Andrew--she's like the others--you saw the way she writhed and moaned at the things her boyfriend was doing to her--she liked it, Andrew---she's trash."
           
Andy begins to cry, "You're right, Annie---she is trash--I will make her pay, she will be sorry she lied and teased me with her flirtations, you'll see, Annie--I will make her pay."
            "How, Andrew? Are we going back there?"
               
Suddenly Andy begins to laugh, he slows the Mustang down, his eyes turn a deeper green, the sardonic grin appears, and he answers slowly, "I wonder what our two little friends are doing back at the home front--I think it's time that they learned their lesson too.  Annie---are you up to some experimenting?"
            His voice changes again as he starts to giggle---"Oh yes, Andrew, I'm ready to play---can I have him again?"
           
"Why sister dear, are you feeling hot after what we just witnessed?"
            Andy rubs his chest again and pinches his nipples, "Oh yes, Andrew---and this time---he will know who I am and what I am doing to him.  What about her?"
           
Andy grins, "Denise?  Oh, I have plans for her--you might say she will die laughing as she watches that helpless and blind rodent find his 'cheese'----his bait."


                                        *********************************


            Denise stares into the room, and Lynn backs up slowly, putting her hand over her mouth. She's starting to have trouble breathing as she looks at what is before her. The two women inch more into the room, Denise starts coughing.
            "It's stifling in here, I can barely breathe, what's that smell?"
            Lynn starts shaking her head, "I'm not sure, but it smells like chloroform--I'm going to bust that window open."
            The woman crosses the room and picks up an old chair and slams it into the glass, shattering it. She steps back towards Denise as she is looking at all the instruments lying on the table. She picks up a tool that resembles long needle-nose pliers. She observes knifes of all shapes, scalpels, vice-grips, saws, battery charged drills, and sacks of salt. At each corner of the table are handcuffs, linked to lead pipes that are cemented into the floor.
            Denise swallows as she looks to Lynn--"What on earth does he need with all these things---Lynn, what is going on here?"
            Lynn starts to cry, "Michael---oh my God----where are you, Michael---what has he done to you---this time?"
            "This time? Lynn what do you mean---'this time'?"
            Lynn starts to shake, she looks to Denise---"We have to get out of here--before Andy comes back---" she runs towards Denise, grabbing her hand, ---"hurry---we got to go."
            Denise is scrambling after Lynn and looking back towards the room they just exited---"What did you see in there?  What about your son?"
            "No time to explain--I'll tell you on the way--hurry, Denise."
            The two women hit the front screen door running, they come to a sudden stop as they see Andy standing by Lynn's car, he's got Tom's head in a hammer lock. He sees the women and he starts taunting them.
            "Now, look who we have here---Lynn--welcome home, sweetheart---I've missed you," he spits-- then says quietly, "like the plague."
            Tom is squirming to get out of Andy's grasp, "Denise----help me!"
            Andy slams Tom's face into the front window of the car, the glass shatters and Tom screams out in pain. Denise is running to them screaming, "Stop it!!! Don't hurt him anymore."
            Andy reaches out and backhands Denise across the face, she falls to the ground. He then stares at Lynn, "You want some of me, too?  I seem to recall how you would beg me to stop beating you, want to try again to ---make me angry?"
            Lynn is backing up as she starts to whimper, "Where's Michael, what have you done to our son?"
            Andy's rage is elevating as he again slams Tom's head into the windshield, "He is not my son---stop saying that!"
            "Okay, okay---I'm sorry----please don't hurt these people anymore---please tell me where my son is----please?"
            Andy's sardonic grin overtakes him again as he mimics Lynn, "My son--my son--you are pathetic, Lynn!"
            Denise is trying to stand up as Andy kicks her feet out from under her---"Whoops!!!---You fall down."
            Andy is laughing as he turns Tom around and sees all the slithers of glass protruding from his face, he laughs harder as he adds---"And---you're ugly!"
           
Lynn starts towards Denise and tries to help her up, Andy glares at her. "Take her back into the house---now."
            "No," she pleads, "just let us all go and we’ll forget all of this ever happened!"
            "Do you think I'm stupid?" He yells back at the woman, and takes out a long slim knife and holds it up to Tom's neck, "take the bitch back inside or I slit his throat---move."
            Lynn is crying harder as she keeps trying to apologize to Denise, they stumble back inside the farmhouse. Andy half drags and half shoves Tom into the living room, throwing him down onto the floor. He nods towards the room that Denise and Lynn were in earlier, "Drag this piece of crap in there---and hurry it up."
            The women go to each side of Tom and steady him in between them, walking him into the room. Tom's face is bleeding profusely, and he starts to cry.
            "Help me, Denise---please help--I'm so scared."
            Andy begins to laugh even harder as he smirks back at Tom Stevens, "Big Romeo----you're not so big now, are you? And 'help'?   You're beyond help, lover boy---you sealed your death warrant when you slapped me that day in the cafeteria----you nailed your own coffin when you made improper advances towards Miss Cahill!  Now you will get to experiment first hand what I do to people who annoy me."
            "No Andy---please, don't hurt him, he's blind----he can't hurt you anymore," Denise is begging.
            Andy stops and looks at Denise and then to the cowering Lynn. "I see you have found some clothes to wear---compliments of Lynn--no doubt--but they will do you no good---corpses don't need clothes."
            Denise starts to shake as she stands up and tries to run for the door, Andy reaches out and grabs her, dragging her to the table where his instruments lay. He picks her up bodily and slams her down on the table, she screams to the top of her lungs.
            Tom is hysterical at Denise's screams as he is trying to crawl towards her voice, "What's happening?  Denise----where are you--where------"
            Andy silences him with a kick to the head, Lynn turns and start to run out, Andy yells to her---"Take one step more and you will never see your son again---get over here."
            Lynn's body is shaking as she inches her way to the table then Andy slaps her. "Imbecile---you haven't changed---get the handcuffs on her hands and feet---do it woman---or you'll be sorry."
            Denise is crying as she keeps looking up at Andy's eyes, she has never seen them so green---so angry. She softens her voice, "Andy, what's wrong, why are you so angry?"
            Andy is shoving Lynn out of the way, "Work faster---do you think I have all night---get her hands cuffed."
            "I'm sorry, I'm, sorry---" Lynn whispers to Denise.
            Denise is now cuffed to the table and Andy looks around the room and smiles. He looks back to Denise----and shakes his head---"It's all her fault for making me mad--she shouldn't have done that."
            "Who's fault, Andy?"
            Andy's body takes on a childish gesture as he moves back and forth on the heels of his feet, and pouts his lips--"I don't like it when people make fun of me----my mama used to make fun of me--and so did my daddy--did you know that?"
            Lynn gasps, "Oh no---he's resorting to his childhood-and his parents."
                 Denise's eyes grow wide, "What?  What about his parents?"
                   Another voice overtakes Andy, it's deep and masculine---"What are you doing in there boy---playing with yourself again?"
           
"No, daddy, I'm being a good boy--you said if I were good, I could go to your office with you and help you work."


Sarcophagus – Part XIII

            Walker has returned home, Alex is meeting him at the front door.
            "Did you catch him?"
            Walker shakes his head as he approaches the porch, putting his arm around her and walking back into the house. Alex is shivering under the little gown she is wearing.
            "No, hon---couldn't even get close! He was kicking up dust and gravel all over the place---when I hit the highway, I almost plowed into a semi."
            Alex's eyes grow wide, "Are you alright, were you hurt?"
            Walker kisses her quickly at the side of the head, and then walks to the downstairs closet, grabbing a shirt and a flashlight, "I'm fine, I'm going up to the roof to see if I can get any clues as to who it was."
            "I'm going with you---this makes me so angry--to know that someone was--watching us."
            Walker starts up the stairs, "I'm just as upset about it as you are, and believe me when I find the little pervert---he's going to wish his daddy had been sterile."
            They go back to Walker's bedroom and the Ranger opens the window and steps out on the roof, he looks back to Alex.
            "Stay inside, hon--this roof can be pretty slippery---as our 'little friend' found out---the hard way."


                           ********************************************


            The young couple has made a feeble attempt at having intercourse for the first time, the young man is totally embarrassed.
            "I'm sorry," he keeps repeating himself, pushing the horn rimmed glasses up on his nose, "I'm not any good at this--you must think really bad of me."
            "No, I don't Wesley---I don't know what to do either--we're both------virgins."
            Wesley keeps his head down as he rolls off of the young girl with long red hair. He swears under his breath, "I've never been this far with a girl before--I feel so inadequate--I'm sorry, Lisa." He turns the small lamp on.
            Lisa sits up in her bed and covers herself modestly with the sheet. "I'm not blaming you, Wesley---I've never been this far with a boy either, we both have to learn together."
            "I've watched a lot of x-rated videos, I thought I would know what to do and how to do it----I thought it would come naturally--this is so embarrassing."
            "Stop it---Wesley--stop putting yourself down--I'm glad that I'm your first--it makes it special."
            Wesley looks back at the young girl, "It does?  I'm just surprised that you haven't been with another guy---what about that---Andy?  Did he try--to make it with you?"
            Lisa smirks, "No way-----I was really shocked at the way he acted on our date, he was very rude at times---and downright obnoxious!"
            "What can you expect--from a weirdo like that guy?  He probably gets his 'jollies' by going to all of those demonstrations---I'm telling you, Lisa--that guy has a screw loose."
            "You keep referring to Andy as weird, what has he done that is so weird?  Without all the gory details, what was involved in those demonstrations at the museum---please don't tell me they embalmed a real cadaver?"
            Wesley just stares at Lisa, she grimaces and asks timidly--"Are you serious?"
            "I'm afraid so, that's what these lectures were all about, showing how the Egyptians entombed their pharaohs, putting them in those coffins that are called sarcophaguses. There were several lectures and demonstrations on how to do it, and believe me, your boyfriend was very interested."
            "Would you please stop referring to him as my boyfriend--we had one date---that's all! I don't think that entitles him to be called a 'boyfriend'!”
            Wesley smiles nervously, "We've only had one date---do you refer to me as your 'boyfriend'?”
            Lisa blushes, she nods. "One date and we tried to be lovers---I guess you're more than just a date--after all we did try to be intimate--I guess you're my boyfriend---if you want to be."
            Wesley grabs Lisa's hand, "Yeah, I want to call you my girlfriend, can I?"
            She giggles, "Miss Cahill was right."
            "What, who are you talking about?"
            "Miss Cahill, she works in the federal building, she's a lawyer----and very smart---not to mention----beautiful."
            "Oh yeah, I think you've mentioned her before, is she a good friend?"
            Lisa smiles, "Oh yes---and she's so nice--she doesn't look down her nose at us--'little people', she's always so polite and gracious----we had a very nice discussion about----dating and stuff---and she was right----she said that I would know when my prince has come, and I definitely see you as my prince."
            "That's good," Wesley blushes, "does this Andy work for her, you said he was a lawyer."
            "He's not a lawyer, at least not yet---he's Miss Cahill's law clerk--in other words he does a lot of running around and getting testimonies and stuff for Miss Cahill."
            Wesley is puzzled, "Then, I don't understand, why he's so interested in all the lectures and stuff, you would think that he was going to med school--to be so interested in all that. He was asking the lecturers a lot of questions. Some of them were getting a little angry at all the questions that he was asking."
            "What were some of the questions?"
            "You said you didn't want to hear the gory details, but Lisa--there is no to other way to describe what happens at those lectures.  To put it bluntly, after sitting in on those demonstrations a lot of sickos could be tempted to try some of the things they are witnessing."
            "I said Andy was rude and obnoxious, but I don't see him as trying to hurt someone," replies Lisa.
            Wesley pushes his glasses back up on the bridge of his nose, 'I'm not so sure--he was asking how long it would take to empty the bowels and the rest of the organs, and he was very interested in taking the brain matter out through the nose------"
            Lisa's face goes white, "Stop it, Wesley--I don't want to hear anymore--that's so gross---no one could do that to another human."
            Wesley takes Lisa's hand and kisses it, shifting around on her bed, "I'm sorry Lisa, but you did ask---and things like that really did happen back in the Egyptian period.  It says so in the history books."
            Lisa shakes her head back and forth, "You can't believe everything you read---and I don't care if it did happen--I don't want to hear about it---and Andy could never be that cruel----he was just curious."
            The young couple remains silent, and Lisa slides down in the bed, "Let's talk about something more pleasant---maybe you could play some music."
            "Sure, what kind of music do you like, I brought some of my CD's--do you like opera?"
            "Some of it, you're not talking about the long haired opera, are you?"
            "Naw, I was talking about the sounds of Giovanni, Clayderman, and all those guys--the soft classics--but I wanted to ask you, have you ever read the book, "The Phantom of The Opera?"
            "Sure---it was a little spooky---but it was romantic---I like romantic novels."
            "That's great!  Because you know that the play is coming to the Dallas Opera house---next weekend---right?"
            "Yeah, I heard something about it—why?"
            "Would you like to go---Mr. Evans, my boss, can get us complimentary tickets--would you go with me?"
            "Sure, I would love to go. I have a cousin that lives in New York, she said the music was beautiful, she sent me the disc---my favorite song is "That's All I Ask of You" sung by the heroine, young Christine."
            "All of the songs are great, but I vision myself as the Phantom." Wesley smiles and stands up in the middle of Lisa's bed and starts singing in a uplifting voice, spreading his arms out.
            "Sing once again with me:
                                          A strange duet
                                         My power over you
                                         grows stronger yet.
                                         And, though you turn from me
                                         to glance behind--
                                         The Phantom of the Opera is there
                                          inside--your mind."
            Lisa giggles and starts clapping her hands, "Wesley---you have a beautiful voice--you sound just like the man that sang that song."
            Wesley plops down on the bed, "Michael Crawford, he's great, isn't he?  I love his voice, I wish----I wish I could sound more like him--his voice is awesome."
            Lisa smiles softly, "Well, I think you sounded great---I think you're pretty awesome yourself."
            Wesley finds himself getting rather warm, and his manhood is starting to rise. Lisa looks down at his erection and smiles sheepishly, "Maybe---we should try again--if you want to---that is?"
            The young man pulls his glasses off and slides up to Lisa's side, "I want to----and this time---the glasses stay off."
            A soft giggle fills the room as the lights go off again.


                                     ************************************


            The sounds filling the room of the old vacant farmhouse are that of pure horror. The screams from Denise mingle with the cruel laughter of Andy, as his voice switches back and forth to the masculine, and then to that of his other self, Annie.
            Lynn is shaking her head back and forth in horror, as she keeps praying. "Stop him---God---please stop him."
            Tom is trying to stand again as he stumbles back and forth, trying to hold onto something. He's screaming out Denise's name as the sounds of a drill is being used; the whirring, gut-wrenching sound brings back faint memories to him.
                "Denise! Denise---where are you?  What's happening?"
            Lynn is trying to pull Tom down onto the floor beside her, "Please, sit down------don't anger him---there is nothing you can do for her."
            Tom is crying, his whole body is shaking as he holds onto Lynn, "What is he doing--oh God--what is he doing to Denise, what are those sounds?"
            Lynn cannot answer, her voice is choked as she reaches out and pulls Tom's head down into her chest.  "Let it be over with---please---let it be over with."
            Denise continues to scream, and Andy yells back at her. "Be still----you're only making it worse!  I told you not to make me mad, you got no one to blame but yourself and her."
           
The giggling of Annie takes over, "They never learn, do they Andrew?"
           
The screams start to fade as a gurgling sound is heard----and suddenly the room gets very quiet. Lynn looks up to see Andy walking towards her and Tom. He's holding something in his hand. Lynn is trying to scoot further away from him, but Tom is struggling to hold onto to her.
            "What's wrong--what is he doing now---I don't hear Denise------what's happening --where's Andy?"
            Tom is jerked up to his feet and he feels something warm and wet being shoved into his hand. He feels Andy's hot breath breathing down on him, and hears the sick laugh.
            "You want to know where Denise is-----HERE!"
            "What is this?  Lynn----where are you?"
                    "Answer him, Lynn----tell him what he is holding in his hand!"
            Lynn opens her mouth to speak, but nothing is coming out. Andy is grabbing her and shoving her into Tom---"Tell him, Lynn---he deserves to know!"
           
Lynn is choking back the tears, as she whispers-"Its-----her---brain!"


                                     ****************************************


            Alex is straining to look out the bedroom window as she sees Walker moving slowly across the roof.
            "Do you see anything?"
            "No---it's pretty dark up here, a lot of dark corners, even with the flashlight, I may have to wait till morning to continue looking-----wait a minute--I just kicked something."
                     "Honey---please be careful," warns Alex.  "What is it?"
            Walker is walking back to the window, climbs in and holds up a small, sharp, object----"It's some kind of axe."
            Alex's body starts to shiver as she looks at the weapon, and what could have unfolded. "An axe-----oh my God----he wasn't just a peeping tom---that person meant to hurt one of us----or both of us."
            Walker is holding the axe as careful as he can, he nods his head--"I'll get the lab boys out here---try to get some prints."


                                       ********************************


            The farmhouse is quiet except for the crying of Lynn and Tom. Their bodies shiver together as Andy watches them.
            He whistles as he continues to work on Denise's still body. Lynn is watching him, keeping her hand over her mouth.
            "What's he doing---oh God----I wish I could see," whimpers Tom.
            "Be thankful you can't see----I thought he had changed---but he's gotten worse--he's sick--oh my God--what has he done to Michael--I can't bear to even think about it."
            Tom wipes his bloody hands onto his shirt---"I know Denise is dead and the ungodly way he killed her---but I hear strange noises, I can't make them out-----what's that smell?"
            Lynn is trying to keep her voice down as she tries to answer Tom's questions. "It's chloroform---why is he using it now, why didn't he at least put her to sleep---before he killed her?  He's so sick---I’m so afraid for my son, I don't think he's even here."
            "What's he doing now?"
            Lynn grabs her stomach as she pukes up vomit, "Oh my God, he's going to embalm her---I can't stand to watch---I'm so sick."
            Andy is smiling down at his work, he whispers, "Now, I have to decide which one of your friends over there, do I bury you with? Remember me telling you, Denise--that I would never entomb you because you didn't have anyone to be buried with---well----I've changed my mind. After I get through with my little experiment, I will let Annie take care of our Mr. Romeo----and I will entomb you with both of them."
            "What about that other woman, the one that is causing you so much trouble, Andrew---will you bury her with the rest of them?"
            Andy smirks as his personality keeps changing, "Alexandra? No---she is special, I have a special place for her, maybe our guests would like to see the very special coffin that I have ready for Miss Cahill."
            The feminine side of Andy is prissing around as she saunters over to Lynn and a terrified Tom Stevens. "My brother has something special to show the two of you, and you will watch with great anticipation as he shows you what he has in mind for that 'bitch'--Alex Cahill."
           
The door is locked behind them as Andy's counterpart reenters the masculine side, he laughs. "I will be right back, with my prize possession."

Tom is pulling on Lynn's arm, "Let's try to make a run for it."
            "We can't, the door is locked---and how far could we get---you're blind---you can't see."
            The minutes feel like hours as Lynn hears a dragging noise coming down the hallway. Their eyes fill with fear; their hearts are beating faster, as Tom manages to speak.
            "What in the hell is that noise, what's he dragging?"
            Lynn is looking all around her, "I don't know---"
            The door is thrown back and Andy steps in, pulling a rope-----"I’m home---did anyone miss me?"
            Andy pulls the object in, Lynn's mouth drops open, as she looks at the most beautiful of coffins that anyone could imagine. The coffin is smoothed with a shiny, glassy look, and about twice the width of a normal casket. There are all kinds of hieroglyphic writings and pictures of bulls. The bull was a common element in Egyptian mythology as was identified with the pharaoh.
            Andy watches as Lynn's eyes go over the artwork of the coffin. She stares back at Andy in fright, "I've never seen one so beautiful, why is it so wide?"
            The young man glares back at her, "Because I want 'the love of my life' to be comfortable in her new life, her journey into eternity."  Andy runs his hands over the smoothness, "Do you like the color?"
            Lynn swallows as she takes in the beautiful shade of lilac, against the hues of a darker blue and a faded orchid and gray. "Yes," she stammers--"the colors are---beautiful."
            Tom is grabbing Lynn's arm, "What are you talking about--it's a damn coffin, isn't it? What can be so beautiful about a coffin?"
            Tom feels Andy's fist crashing into the side of his head, "It's not just a coffin, you sightless imbecile---it's an anthropoid, the utter most in all sarcophaguses!! It's the elite, only the most worshipped of all the pharaohs had the pleasure of being entombed in them. The anthropoid, or person shaped coffins were important to the Ancient Egyptians as they were believed acted as a substitute body for use after death. This is why the dead persons are young and powerful to ensure them health in the afterlife!  Don't you know anything?"
            Lynn puts her hands up to protect Tom, "He didn't mean any harm---don't hurt him---please.  Andy, why is the coffin---or rather the anthropoids so wide?"
            Andy smiles as he walks back to the coffin, he runs his hands over the sleekness, "Do you think Miss Cahill will like it---I painted it especially to suit her, I know she loves lilacs, their sweet smell, and that body perfume that she wears-----is so heavenly. I did all of this for her---and for me."
            Lynn groans as Tom is shaking his head, "What's wrong now, what did I miss----before that idiot knocked me out?”
            "Andy---you can't be serious at what you're thinking----leave the Cahill woman alone-----her boyfriend will kill you if you try to hurt her."
            Andy throws his hands up in the air in disgust, "You just don't get it, do you, Lynn?---You've always been so stupid---Annie tried to warn me about you, but I wouldn't listen, I thought-----you were different--I thought I could have feelings for you--when I brought you here----how long has it been, 6 or 7 years ago?"
            Lynn's eyes begin to fill with tears, "Almost 8 years ago, I came here with you to prove how much I loved you, we made love and…”
            "We didn't make love, you bitch---we had sex----I had my way with you, because you wouldn't leave me alone--always hanging onto me.  Then you had to spoil it by saying you were with child----you tricked me into thinking that I had planted my seed within your womb---Annie was right---she's always right about everything."
            Lynn sobs harder, "You can believe what you want--but Michael is your son---please tell me where he is. I will take Michael and we will go far away, we will never tell anyone what you have done---please Andy."
            Andy smirks, "There is no place that you could go that I wouldn't find you, haven't I always found you in the past? And, just like a sniffling little bitch in heat, you always do my bidding."
            "I do your bidding because you always threaten to hurt Michael if I don't----we could have a decent life if you would just leave us alone.  But, every time you want to hurt someone--you come looking for us, just like this time with that Ranger and his lady friend."
            Andy laughs, "Yeah, I give you one little chore to do, to keep the Rangers busy and away from Dallas---but you couldn't even do that, could you?  It proves you are not a real woman or you could have kept her boyfriend 'occupied'?"
            Lynn shakes her head, "I tried to do as you ask, didn't I quit my job in Lubbock and move to Abilene to get that job at I-Hop to keep an eye on them? I begged to get that job as it was the closest eating-place to the courthouse and was a popular eating-place for employees! The manager must have thought I was crazy, but I begged him, telling him all sorts of lies to get that job!"
            Andy's sardonic grin reappears, "Yes---you even slept with the man to get what you wanted."
            Lynn drops her head, "Only because you told me to do so---if all else failed---I did what you asked, because you took our---I mean 'my' son. What else did you expect me to do?"
            "You could have used your feminine ways to seduce the Ranger too---why didn't you, Lynn?"
            Lynn shakes her head back and forth. "He wouldn't even give me a second look, half the time he was in a such a big hurry that he wouldn't stay in the restaurant to even eat with his partner! He would have coffee, and then he would be heading for the courthouse-----I tried to get his attention--I wasn't the only one! There was another waitress that was trying to get his attention too---she too----struck out! He wasn't interested!"
            "That's because--neither of you were real women---right, sister dear?"
            "You're right, Andrew---maybe I should have been the one to work on the Ranger--after all---I fooled Mr. Ladies' Man---I fooled him good--he didn't even know that another man was giving him a blow job!"
            Andy's laughter gets louder and Tom Stevens starts to grimace, "Oh God I'm going to be sick again."
            "Okay, okay---so I failed to keep the Rangers in Abilene---just let me have my son--and we will leave."
            "I can't do that---I may need your help again, Lynn---and this time you had better come through with your end of the deal--or you and your son----are dead."
            Andy turns back to the coffin, and asks, "You want to know why the anthropoid is so wide---because--Alexandra will have company."
            Tom clears his throat and asks softly, "You're going to bury the Ranger with her?"
            Andy slams his hands down in disgust---"Another stupid question!!! No, you idiot---that boyfriend of hers will have no need for a coffin, he will be a walking, slobbering, idiot when Annie gets through with him! I am the one that will be buried with Alex Cahill---and the two of us will live in eternity!”
           
Tom laughs to himself and then he says quietly--"Yeah---you're right about one thing---you will be buried--but I know Ranger Walker and I know his temper---- he'll bury you-but not before he pulverizes your body."
            Lynn begs, "Tom, please be quiet--don't anger him anymore than what he already is."
            Tom becomes quiet and then he stammers, "Easy for you to say, he plans to keep you around for more of his dirty work---but  what about me--what plans does he have in store---for me?"
            Annie giggles, "Oh, I have big plans for you, Mr. Ladies' man---something you couldn't ever imagine----even in your wildest dreams---or should I say---nightmare?"


                                       *************************************

 
           
The four boys have been playing by the river on the opposite side of the old farmhouse from which Denise and Tom Stevens had tried to make their escape . Had they had gone to the opposite side of the house to escape, Denise would have seen the river, not more than a quarter of a mile away.
            The two older boys are almost 13, the third one is 9, and the little one is almost five. They are catching bullfrogs and doing a little fishing. The two older ones are looking towards the old farmhouse as the two younger boys have started chasing fireflies.
            "Did you hear that screaming," asks the oldest one, called Barry.
            "I thought I heard something--what was it?”
            "Beats me---I could have swore it was coming from that old farmhouse over there."
            They continue to stare in the direction of the old farmhouse, but the second boy is looking at his watch. "We better be getting home, it's almost midnight---and my dad will shit a brick if he finds out that we've snuck out of the house again--and brought my two younger cousins with me."
            "Forget that," argues Barry, "let's go check out that old farmhouse."
            "For what? It's just an old farmhouse, there's nobody there."
            "Duh!  Justin--that's the point--there's no one there---let's go check it out.”
            Justin moves forward, then he stops, "We better not---my old man says that sometimes old drunks and even drug users might be 'holed' up there'."
            "That's all the more interesting, maybe we can find some old joints that have been thrown away, maybe some crack."
            Justin turns and looks at his younger cousins, "But, what about that noise we heard earlier, it sounded like a scream?"
            Barry shrugs, "You're such a wimp---it was probably some teenagers making out, and the scream was the girl having a orgasm---during sex."
            Justin squints his eyes, "I've always wondered why they have sex if it hurts that much."
   "You idiot--sex makes you feel that way---and when you feel good---you scream out---especially the girls."
            "What makes you such an authority, have you ever had sex?"
            Barry stammers, "No---but I've watched my sister and her boyfriend go at it, she screams the very same way--especially----when he gets behind her and they do it 'doggie style'!”
            The other two boys approach them, the one with glasses on asks, "What you two talking about---Justin---it's time to go home."
            "Justin, are you going with me or not?"
            Justin shakes his head, "No, I'm not going up there-----maybe tomorrow when it's light----but it's too spooky-----there's no light at all, except for the full moon."
            The smallest boy grabs his brother's hand, "Let's go home, Cody, I'm scared."
            "Okay, Korbin---we're going. Justin, we're going home."
            Justin shrugs as he looks to Barry, "You can go up there if you want to---but the three of us are going home, come on Cody, Korbin----let's go."
            Barry waves them off as he starts walking towards the old farmhouse, he turns around and gives out a cackling sound---"Chickens---you're all chickens."
            Barry has walked about a 3rd of the distance, he then hears another scream, this time it's a man's scream. He stops and looks back in the direction of the other 3 boys, he gets a chill going up and down his spine, he whispers to himself, "I ain't never heard any of my sister's boyfriends scream out like that---not even when they were being 'kinky'.”
           
The boy turns and starts running to catch up with his friends. Justin laughs, "So, who's the chicken now?"
            "You remember what you said about going up there in the morning, you better not back out on me!  I think someone is up there having a party---there's no telling what we might find---there's got to be all kinds of drugs---you're going with me, right?"
            Justin grabs the hand of the small boy, "Yeah, I suppose! That is---if we don't all get grounded--for life."
            Barry walks slower behind the other three, he keeps looking back in the direction of the old farmhouse, the hair on his neck is standing straight up.


                                             **************************


            Alex is on her second cup of hot tea and her hands are still shaking. She's pacing the living room floor as she looks out through the window and sees Walker talking with some DPS troopers.
            Walker and the trooper’s nod to each other, and the troopers leave.  He walks slowly back into the living room.
            "Was there any news, did they catch him?"


                              
                               
Sarcophagus
XIV

            Walker can still see the nervousness in Alex, her hand shakes as she tries to steady the hot liquid. He walks over to her and gently nudges her to sit down on the couch.
            "No--there's been no word, the lab boys will notify me as soon as they run the axe for prints. I went down to that clump of trees where the guy had his car hidden, there's no way that we can lift any tire tracks, the guy pulled out in a hurry, ground tore up pretty bad. I assume that's where the other car was hiding, the one with the woman driving?"
            Alex sips her tea, "Yes, that's about where the car came out----it was well hidden---it pulled out right in front of C.D.--I can't understand why she didn't just let us pass, and then pull out----unless----"
            "It was definitely a set-up, Alex--the woman wanted you to see her, this whole scenario was a set-up---and I think we're going about this in the wrong direction."
            "What do you mean?"
            Walker takes a deep breath, "I think that this is not a jealous woman but a jealous boyfriend----that would explain the peeping tom!  Hon--think hard----did you get any kind of look at him, can you describe him?"
            Alex shakes her head, "I only got a glimpse of him, all I saw was his face pressed up against the window--I screamed and then he started falling off the roof."
            "The lab boys were looking at the window real close, hoping to find some kind of print---our intruder was smart, he must have had gloves on."
                "You said you thought it was a jealous boyfriend, who?  And, please don't say Tom Stevens, this is not his way-----he's a sex pervert all right---but---climbing up on rooftops?  He prefers his victims more reachable than that."
            Walker stands up and starts pacing his living room floor, "No---that wasn't Stevens on the roof, this was a younger man-mid 20's and in good physical shape.  But, it still doesn't rule him out, I still think he's involved--in some way."
            Alex shakes her head slowly, "At first, I was angry---and a little embarrassed--but now---I'm scared!  Walker, that maniac had intentions of hurting us---he wasn't just watching us---getting his thrills of watching a couple make love---his intentions were to kill!  Tom Stevens is not a murderer!"
            Walker exhales, "Well--it's late--let's try and get some sleep."
            "I can't sleep--Walker--I'm scared to death."
            The Ranger reaches out and takes her into his arms, "I know you're scared, but the idiot will not come back here again---you're safe.  On top of that, I have a patrol car that will be patrolling every 30 minutes---I will re-check all of the windows and doors---and I'm going to check out the basement again---and the barn!  Will that make you feel better?"
            The blonde buries her face into the Rangers' chest, as her arms go around his waist, "Yes---but will you please hurry--I can't stop shaking."
            He kisses her gently, "I will hurry as fast as I can---why don't you go take that nice warm bubbly, try to relax some—okay?"
            As Walker goes outside to do his checking, Alex walks slowly up the stairs to the master bedroom.


                                         *************************************


            The old farmhouse has gotten deathly quiet, except for the lone figure that is trying to bury herself into the furthest corner, her hands are over her ears, her body is shaking uncontrollably. She's crying so hard, she is having trouble speaking.
            "You didn't have --to kill him too-----he was blind---he couldn't hurt you."
            Andy is exhausted, Tom Stevens was more of a burden to him than he could imagine, the sightless man had fought him feverishly. Andy is breathing harder as he approaches Lynn.
            "He---was a tough old bastard--I didn't----think he was that strong. Annie, I thought you were never going to get the drill through his head"!
            The voice is high pitched, "Are you proud of me, Andrew?"
           
"Yes," the masculine voice answers, "but, you were kind of messy--if you had done it the way I instructed, there wouldn't have been so much blood---and look--sister dear--his body still moves!"
            "It's just nerves, Andrew---he will stop jerking around soon.  He reminds me of the time we killed chickens by chopping off their heads---its just nerves."
           
Lynn is becoming sick again, "I have to have some fresh air--may I please go outside?"
            Andy is grinning, "Yes--but not until you've cleaned up this mess that your friends left behind----then you and I will be taking a little trip into Dallas."
            "What about my son, you promised that I could see Michael?"
            Andy's anger is rising, "You will see your son--real soon---but first----get this mess cleaned up!"
            Lynn is puking up what is left of her stomach as she strains and pulls to get Denise's body off the table, Andy throws rags to her to do the cleaning. Then he ties a rope around Tom's upper torso and he and Lynn pull it to the back room.
            "Make sure that his wallet is empty---tear up all identification---keep what money he has.  You don't have to worry about Denise having any ID, I threw her purse away a long time ago---now I have to get rid of her car---can't take the chance of driving it anymore---we'll take your car."
            Lynn begins going through Tom's pockets and hands his wallet to Andy, she starts to stand up when she sees Tom's hand move. She puts her hand over her mouth quickly and kneels back down to whisper in Tom's ear.
            "Please be still---he thinks you are dead--please don't move."
            She stands up slowly and looks back at Tom's head that is covered with blood, and sees small matters of brain tissue around the cranium. She swallows hard as she is fighting to keep from screaming----"My God---he's still alive---how can that be?" she whispers.
            Andy is trying to get all of the blood off his hands as he reaches out and grabs Lynn---"Get in the car--we got to go."
                 "You're---just going to leave them here?"
            "Why not? They're not going anywhere---I'll come back later to finish the entombing."
            Lynn's fears are widening as she reflects on the word that "he" would be coming back---she closes her eyes and whispers---"I will never see my son again---he's going to kill me, I know he will."


                          ***********************************************


            Walker is emerging from the bathroom with a towel around his mid section, watching Alex checking and re-checking the windows. He smiles softly and walks up behind her, putting his arms around her waist and kissing her neck.
            "Hon---how many times are you going to check those windows?"
            "I'm sorry---but this has got me all rattled----I keep thinking about what could have happened---what if I hadn't seen that maniac looking in the window---Walker--what if----"
            Walker pulls her tighter into him, "Alex---it's over now, honey---the 'what if's' are going to drive you crazy." He pulls her gently away from the window and walks her over to her side of his bed.
            "I know you're all upset and scared and I can't blame you with everything that has happened today---and I hope that I can help to make you feel more at ease.  I got something for you."
            He stands up and walks over to his jeans, taking out a little blue box. "I hoped to give you this under much happier circumstances---but--anyways--I hope you like it."
            Alex's eyes look into the Rangers' and to the box, "You bought me something?"
            "Yeah, I did." He sits back down on the bed and hands her the velvet box, and she opens it slowly.
            Her mouth drops open at the sight of the wristwatch, the jewels sparkle back at her. She tries to speak, but nothing is coming out.
            "Well----do you like it?"
            Tears begin to fill Alex's eyes, "I love it---oh, sweetheart---it's beautiful---it's the most beautiful watch----I've ever seen---oh, Walker---" she throws her arms around the Rangers' neck and kisses him hard.  "Thank-you--thank you---oh Walker----it's beautiful----I   love it."
            Walker returns her kiss, "I'm glad---I just wish you could have seen the flowers," he looks around the room--"where ever the hell they went to."
            Alex's face is filled with happiness--and she wipes the tears away. "I know----they must have been beautiful (sob)----oh, Walker---I'm so sorry for doubting you-----"
            Walker sighs, "The flowers were really beautiful--I had everything worked out--it was going to be a very---special and romantic evening.  I even told Maize to make sure that a certain George Strait song was up on the CD and to chill some champagne---and then-------well, so much for a romantic evening."
            Alex looks up at him and smiles, "I don't know about that--I thought our night was very romantic."
            Walker can feel himself getting aroused, "But I wanted you to see the flowers, too."
            "I'm sure that they were the most beautiful that flowers can be---Cordell Walker---you do know something about flowers, don't you?  Maize described them as 'heavenly'.”
            Walker shrugs, "Well, I just wanted you to know---that Tom Stevens isn't the only one that knows how to send flowers, and mine were in triplicate."
            Alex touches the bearded man's face gently, "I still say that Tom did not send those other flowers--and I could care less who sent them." She kisses him tenderly.
            She holds her left wrist up to the Ranger, "Sweetheart, help me to put my watch on, I can't wait another moment to wear it---it matches the bracelet that you gave me from your Aunt Ruth."
            Walker is trying to get the clasp to snap, "Yep---that's why I picked this certain one----I knew how much you liked the bracelet---darn it---I can't get the clasp to stay closed."
            Alex is trying to turn the watch around, "Wait a minute, honey---I think it's broken."
                "Broken?" Walker's face turns rigid, "It better not be broken---I just bought it."
            Alex sighs, "It is---honey---the clasp is broken—see."
            Walker lets out a string of curse words---"That damn jeweler is going to hear about this--I paid a mint for that watch."
            Alex is trying to calm him, "It's okay, honey---I’ll take it to my jeweler and he’ll fix it----you still have the receipt on it, don't you----and insurance?"
            "Yeah, I got it from Zales, the same jewelry store that you go to--but that's not the point---how can it be broken---that clasp is suppose to be 14kt gold?"
                  "Sweetheart, it's okay--these things happen." She touches his face gently and kisses him, "It's okay, I will take it to the jewelers' tomorrow, in the meantime, I still want to keep it on my wrist."
               Walker's brow arches, "You're going to wear it while you sleep?"
            She smiles and sighs softly, "Yes--I never want to take it off."
            The Ranger laughs, "Does this mean you're going to start timing me?"
            "No way, Cowboy----I will never put you--or rather our 'lovemaking' on a timer."
            "I knew I could get a smile out of you---come here woman----time is a-wasting."


                               ******************************************


            The little Chevy passes up and down the exit that leads to the Walker ranch, and it starts to slow down when the driver sees a patrol car coming in the opposite direction, and passes by slowly. The driver curses, the woman next to him is in a complete world of her own. She stares blankly ahead, she has cried so much that the tears refuse to come.
            "Damn it---the DPS is patrolling too thick," the dark headed young man replies, as he hits the dashboard.
            The woman turns and looks into the direction the driver is looking. "Andy---what are we doing here--who lives here?"
            Andy's distaste for the woman is rising, "She lives here---or rather that boyfriend of her's does---she's spending the night with him."
            Lynn shakes her head in disbelief, "This is the Ranger's home?  Andy--are you crazy--let's get out of here."
            "We will go when I say----is that clear?"
            Lynn looks up into the rearview mirror and sees one of the patrol cars turning around, "Well, you had better hurry up and decide when we leave--because you're fixing to have a highway patrolman down your back."
            "Damn it," Andy speeds up and heads for the interstate again.  "Nothing is going my way---and somebody is going to pay for all of these mistakes."
            Lynn takes a deep breath, "Two people have already paid with their lives---how many more have to die before you get it into your thick scull and realize that that woman doesn't even know you exist.  All of that talk about being buried with her into a life of eternity is bull."
            Andy's voice lowers as he hisses back at Lynn, "And, you're getting too uppity with all of your sarcasm--you don't have the slightest notion of how it feels to give all of yourself--body and soul--to the one person who is the 'love of your life'. To entwine our bodies together into the afterworld---where we will both be reborn and we will rule our kingdom."
            Lynn's eyes fill with tears, "Don't try to tell me how it feels to love someone---I loved you, Andy---with all of my heart. And, you said that things would be different after your parents were dead--that you had settled a debt. We made a 'life' together, Andy--a beautiful little boy. And, I don't care how much you deny him---he is your son---your flesh and blood!"
            Andy stares back at Lynn for the longest, "I was just a boy myself when you 'lured' me into having sex--I did not know the consequences of how that night would unfold, you tricked me!"
            "I did not trick you, you knew damn well what was happening---we created a life, Andy---a part of both of us-please take me to our son."
            "I told you that Michael is fine---and you will see him soon---but first--you must try again to lure the Ranger away from my love."
            "I can't do that," Lynn yells back. "He's not interested in anyone----but her."
            Andy's hand reaches out and slaps Lynn hard--"Make him interested---use your feminine ways to trick him the same way you tricked me--do whatever you have to do to get him away Alex Cahill--do you understand?  Do it, Lynn---or you will never see Michael again!  Are we on the same page?"
            Lynn grabs her cheek, she starts crying and nodding her head. "Yes--yes--I hear you---I will try---please let me see my son first."
            "NO," Andy yells back, "when you have fulfilled your end of the deal, then you can take your bastard son and leave---I'll never bother you again--do you hear me?"
            Lynn can do nothing but nod her head. The little Chevy goes north towards Grapevine. Andy says quietly, "I have an apartment near Arlington, you can sleep there tonight--get your self cleaned up, you look terrible! In the morning I will go back out to the farmhouse and finish my job. In the meantime, you can start figuring out your little plan on how you plan to seduce Ranger Walker!"


                                      ************************************


            A soft rain has fallen, and the calm of the night has done its part in soothing the fears of the blonde attorney. She nestles deeper into the arms of her lover as again they have given themselves to fulfillment of ecstasy. She sighs as she turns her back to him, pulling his right arm tighter around her upper torso, her hand grips his tightly as he rests it against her right breast. The Ranger buries his head into her neck and kisses her gently.
            He's having a dream, but this one is different from the others. He dreams of the dark haired woman, called Ellen. They are riding side by side on horseback and the woman is smiling at him. The Ranger looks back to her as the softness in her eyes stare into his. They stop by the little stream where they have had countless picnics, and he helps her to dismount. They walk slowly by the water, and she turns to him.
            "It's been a long time, Cord---we have walked in these dreams for the last time.  It's time for me to go, it's time for you to let me go."
            The Rangers' eyes become misty as the woman's face begins to fade, "I can never let you go-I still think of you---every day."
            She smiles, "No, Cord--it is not me you're thinking of. I don't come to you in dreams as often as before---and that is the way it should be. In the beginning, each time you held her, I was in your thoughts, but not anymore, my love.  It's time for you to go forward.  And I too, must go forward.  I must follow his light!"
            The bearded Ranger wants to reach out to her, but the dark haired beauty is slipping away. He begins to walk towards her, but she puts her hand up to her lips, in a gesture for him to stop.
            "It's okay, Cord---it's okay for you to love again---that's what I want the most---for you to be happy. And, the blonde headed woman makes you happy--so very happy---doesn't she?"
            He nods his head, "Yes----yes---but sometimes I feel like I'm  denying your memory---I feel guilty for having these feelings-----"
            "No---you mustn't feel that way---you have mourned me long enough----I want you to be happy and if this woman is the one that you desire in your life---then I am happy for you. She loves you so much, and you love her, Cord---I can tell. I can see it in your eyes when you look at her---I saw the same look---many years ago.  It's time for you to let me go."  The woman starts to fade more as Walker steps forward to grab her hand, then he stops.
            He nods his head slowly, "Yes---I have to let you go--but I will never forget you."
            The Ranger watches as the woman fades away, he hears a soft voice---"I love you too Cord---be happy."
            Walker awakes and looks down at Alex, he smiles and whispers into her ear, "I love you, Alex--more than you will ever realize."


                                      ************************************


            It's almost daybreak as the two boys are walking cautiously towards the old farmhouse. They stop and look at each other.
            The one called Justin takes a deep breath, "Well, there it is---do we still check it out?"
            Barry, the older by only months clears his throat--"I'm game if you are."
            Justin is trying to build his courage up, "It doesn't look so scary in the daylight--and you were probably right--probably just some teenagers making out----and having those--what did you call them?"
                   "Orgasms," Barry answers quietly. He thinks back to the night before and hearing a man's voice scream out. He whispers to himself, "I guess guys have them too."
            "Have what? What are you mumbling about?"
            Barry scoffs, "Nothing---can't a guy talk to himself if he wants?"
            "Okay by me---as long as you don't start answering yourself---are we checking the place out---or not?"
            The boys move forward, "I'll bet there are all kinds of drugs in there---and if so---maybe we can grab some--and sell them," replies Barry.
            Justin smirks, "Yeah---and you'll end up back in juvenile court again."
            "So what?  They always let me go---and just like always, send me home to mama and daddy---who don't give a rat's ass about what I do."
            Justin stops and looks at the old farmhouse, "I don't see any autos around---there were two of them here last night--they're both gone."
            They have reached the old rickety porch, and Barry laughs---"Know what this reminds me of?"
                "What?"
            "Don't you remember seeing that movie—‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’?"
            "That does it---cut it out, Barry---or I'm not going inside---besides---that movie wasn't true---was it?"
            Barry grins, "Sure was true--it actually happened---and it was at an old farmhouse where the killer, LEATHERFACE kept his victims----he would slice them up and put them up on meat hooks and---"
            "I'm out of here," screams Justin as he starts to turn and run back down the steps, Barry grabs him.
            "Would you stop being such a sissy---most of that movie was Hollywood trickery-----it didn't actually happen that way."
            Justin swallows, "Are you sure?"
            "Yeah, I'm sure," Barry lies.
            The two boys enter the farmhouse very slowly. The front room is bare except for an old radiator sitting in the far corner, a few broken chairs, and an old mattress. Barry points to the mattress and makes a lewd gesture with both of his hands.
            "I'll bet they did a lot of making out on that old thing---it's flatter than a pancake."
            Justin walks slowly towards the radiator as he looks around the room. "Don't you think it's strange that we don't see any old beer cans laying around?"
            "Yeah, it is a little strange---but I'm more concerned about where they keep the drugs."
            Justin sighs, "We're not even sure there are drugs here--and Barry---look at this--there's a chain hooked to that old radiator and at the end----are handcuffs."
            Barry gives out a victory shout---"I told you---this is kinky stuff!  Now I know there are drugs somewhere in this dump!"
            Barry starts walking towards the center of the old house, Justin stops and stares at one of the walls, "Barry---take a look at this---there's some woman's picture---all over this wall."
            Barry comes running back into the living room, "Is she naked?"
            Justin is staring at the pictures, "No---she's not naked----but she's very pretty."
            Barry groans, "Damn, I was hoping it was porno pics---it's just some woman---there is a picture of her in a nightie--heyyyy--she's pretty hot looking."
            "I wonder who she is?" asks Justin.
            "Who cares?  Now if she was naked, I would be interested---but she's not---let's go check out that room at the end of the hall."
            Justin takes one last look at the blonde in the pictures, "Naked or not---she sure is pretty---nice eyes."
            Barry has approached the closed door and sniffs. "Something sure smells--must be a dead skunk."
            "Maybe we shouldn't go in there, Barry---I'm getting a funny feeling about this place---let's just go."
            "Forget you---you fairy, this is probably where the drugs are," he opens the door and the boys enter. The boys stare at the empty room, and the lone table in the far corner. They approach slowly as Justin keeps coughing.
            "It's stifling in here, what's that smell--and what are those stains all over the floor?"
            "Looks like someone tried to clean something up---hey I know what it is---semen!"
                 "Semen?  Come on, Barry---for some guy to have that much semen, he would have to be an elephant."
            Barry shakes his head, "I wouldn't be so sure, my sisters' boyfriend can shoot his up on the ceiling."
            "You're full of crap and you know it, no guy----what was that?"
            Barry turns and looks at his friend, "What was what?"
            Justin swallows, "I heard something---in that other room."
            Barry waves him off, "You're such a scaredy cat---there's nothing in that other room---I'll show-you--I'll go first---follow me---chicken."
            They open the door slowly and look around, Barry points to the other side of the room, "Would you look at that---they even got a dummy up here--I'll bet it's one of those plastic blow up dolls---I'll check it out----maybe we can use it."
            As Barry inches closer to the object in question, he starts to feel a chill--"Hey--Justin---come here."
            "What?  What is it?"
            Barry backs up quickly, "It's a dead body!"
            Justin exhales, "Would you cut it out, I'm not falling for your scary stories anymore."
            Barry is stuttering as he keeps pointing at the object, then they notice the flies buzzing around. "I'm not fooling around---that's real blood----and that's a real body----a dead one."
            The two boys turn screaming and running for the door. As they reach the door, it slams shut and a figure falls forward, knocking Barry to the ground. The boy is screaming to his friend.
            "Get him off me---Justin----help me!"
            Justin has stopped and looking back at the form that is laying atop his friends' body, it's covered with blood. The boy starts reaching for something to hit the figure with. He finds nothing, but jumps up on his back and starts trying to pull him off.
            Barry is crying and screaming as he's staring into the face with no eyes. The figure is opening his mouth, and all the boy can see is a bloody mass as the figure is making a grunting noise. The face is covered with dried blood, the flies are buzzing around them both.
            Justin has managed to pull the figure off his friend and Barry jumps up and runs out the door screaming.
            "Barry---wait for me," Justin screams. The boy is trying to get to his feet, the figure grabs his shoe and pulls him down, the gurgling sound is filling the room as blood drips from the figures' mouth onto Justin.
            The boy's eyes are filled with horror, his heart is beating so fast and loud, the boys swears it's going to burst right through his chest. He keeps screaming for his friend, but Barry has cleared the porch and running like the devil himself was on his heels.
            Justin is crying as the figure stands up unsteadily and braces himself against the door. His head tilts to one side and then the next, as he listen s for a sound. Justin is shaking and trying to stand as he looks around the room. The door is the only way out, the window on the other side of the room has been covered with plywood. The figure continues to stand against the door and tries to raise his hand.
            The young boy is trying his best to remain calm, "Please---let me go---I won't tell anyone you are here, I promise."
            The figure makes a grunting noise and starts moving his head back and forth, he puts his hand up to his mouth and grunts, Justin stares back at him.
            The boy sobs, "Oh my God--he has no tongue---no eyes--" Justin takes a deep breath, "I promise I won't hurt you--just let me go home."
            The figures' head continues to move back and forth, he points to his ears and grunts.                  Justin swallows hard and then he asks softly, "Can you hear, can you ---understand what I'm saying?"
            The grunting gets louder as the figure nods his head up and down, he keeps pointing to his ears and nodding.
            Justin's breathing is starting to relax as he stares back at the bloody figure. He studies the man's face as best he can without puking up. The man's face is covered with blood and there are clumps of a substance all around his ears and towards the front of his head. He can see where there have been what appear to be, incisions around and over the ears. Justin forces himself to move closer, and holds his hands up in a defensive manner.
            "My name is Justin-----I know you can't talk or see---but you can hear me----I don't know what has happened here---but---I have got to get you to a Doctor, can I do that?"
            The man falls to the floor, shaking his head--Justin can almost swear that the man is—crying.


                                          **********************************


            Walker turns over in his sleep, reaching for her--she's not there beside him!
            He sits up abruptly in bed, "Alex?  Alex----where are you?"
            He looks around the room and then to his alarm clock--"10 am---no way---I never sleep this late.  Alex?  Where are you?"
                                
                                

                              
                     


Sarcophagus - Part 15-16-17-18

                The bedroom is unusually quiet, Walker reaches for his jeans and walks to the master bath. He opens the door slowly, "Alex---you in here?"
            There is no answer and no sign of her being there. Walker starts feeling uneasy as he hurries to the stairs. He's taking them two at a time, calling out her name. He sees the front door open and Alex walks in, she sees him and smiles.
            "Hi--good morning."
            Walker takes a deep breath as he walks towards her, "Where have you been?"
            "I was out in the barn feeding Lady and Amigo----why---what's wrong?"
           He grabs her and holds her, he tries to get his voice steady again, "Nothing is wrong, I woke up and you weren't there---I was starting to imagine all sorts of things."
            Alex kisses him gently, "Honey, everything is okay, I'm not quite so scared today--one of the DPS troopers came by and we chatted for awhile, he said he and his partner were patrolling every hour. I gave him some fresh coffee and then he left.  I knew you were tired so I didn't wake you. Lady and Amigo were sure hungry---what about you---are you ready for breakfast?"
            Walker nods as he kisses the side of her head, "I'm starved---but you always make me hungry."
            She takes his hand and leads him to the kitchen, "Well, I didn't have much to work with in the way of groceries--so I did the best I could.  Honey, you have got to buy some groceries."
            Walker laughs as he heads for the coffee pot, "I don't cook much for myself, I just hit that little diner or stop at C.D.'s for something to eat.  But---you're right---my refrigerator and pantry could use some food, we can go shopping this afternoon if you like."
                 "Sounds good to me, though I did find a lemon-poppy bread mix that I left here the last time. I know how much you liked it, it should be nice and warm, do you want to snack on it while I whip you up some eggs?"
            "Yeah sure," Walker takes the bread and sits down, then he looks at it curiously.
            Alex is watching him, "What's wrong, why are you looking at it like that? You liked it the last time I fixed it, you said it was a light snack, not too filling."
            She sits down at the table and tastes the bread, then looks back at him, "Walker---what's wrong with it?"
            He takes a small bite and then he shrugs, "I was just wondering about something."
                   "What?"
            "I was just wondering if this poppy bread is suppose to be a substitute for the peaches and cream that I didn't get last night----or this morning."
            Alex sips her coffee, "I'm glad you brought that up---Walker, I looked all over that nightstand for my body cream---I couldn't find it."
            Walker starts to grin mischievously, "Maybe we used it all the last time."
            "No way, there was at least half a tube left," she stares back at him.
            He's almost choking on the bread, "Well, don't look at me, I got no call to use it when you're not here."
            She continues to eye him, "Maybe the 'mystery woman' took it---after all she did take my flowers."          

"That's a little far fetched, hon---we probably used it, and just don't remember it, after all---it was my favorite."
            Alex continues to ponder the missing body cream, she looks back to Walker, "What about my 'little friend', is he missing too?"
            Walker reaches over and pinches the inside of Alex's thigh, "Don't know, we didn't request his services last night----or this morning."
            Alex purrs, "I never request his services---you were the one that bought that contraption, not me. I get stimulated enough---just thinking about making love to you."
            The Ranger laughs, "But, you enjoy it---don't deny it."
            The blonde tilts her head upwards, and answers in a teasing voice, "I'm not saying I don't---I'm just curious to know if the mystery woman took it too and just what the heck does she plan to do with it-----and with whom?"
            The phone rings, and Walker sighs----"Answer the phone, hon---it's probably the mystery woman."
            Alex reaches out and playfully hits Walker on the arm as she grabs the phone.
            "Hi C.D.---yes we're up---what's going on?"
            The old man clears his throat, "Well, I was just calling to make sure everything was alright between you two---it is alright---huh?"
            Alex makes a face at Walker as he turns around to ask who's on the phone, "So far everything is alright, but I can't guarantee how long this mystery woman is going to keep popping up."
            "What do you mean?"
            Alex stammers, "Well, not only did she steal my flowers, but she took some other----personal items----as well."
            C.D. hears a groaning noise and he turns to see Maize turning gently in her bed, with a smile on her face as big as Texas. The old man looks to the 'items' sitting on her nightstand, and he again clears his throat.
            "Can't imagine what you're referring to, Alex---but I also wanted to tell you that there is a APB out on that Stevens jerk."
            Alex is trying to fry up bacon and listen to her dear friend at the same time, "Yes---I knew that Mooney was issuing a warrant for his arrest---he hasn't been showing up for his court hearings."
            "Well, they were at my place last night, asking questions on who saw him last, all kinds of questions."
            "Well, don't worry about it C.D., this is not the first time they've had to go looking for him--but I will say---it's more serious this time. If they find him guilty this time---he's looking at prison time."
            Walker is going for more coffee, he whispers, "Who's looking at jail time?"
            "Tom Stevens---Mooney issued another warrant for his arrest---no one has seen him----since Thursday night."
            Walker smirks, "Good---I hope they throw his butt so far back in jail, he'll never see daylight."
            Alex turns back to the phone and tells C.D. about the peeping tom and finding the axe on the roof, but carefully leaving out the intimate details. The old man yells, causing Maize to bolt up in her bed, "Jumping jehosafat----are you two okay----did they catch the maniac?"
            The old woman is staring back at C.D.---"What maniac---where is he?"
            C.D is trying to soothe Maize---"Go back to sleep---everything is under control----Alex-----did you get a good look at him?"
            Alex smiles, "No, C.D.---I didn't get a good look---but the lab boys are checking the axe now---for finger prints."
            "Okay, Alex--if you need my help, all you have to do is ask---and don't worry about anything, that maniac will be caught--you can count on that."
            Alex hangs up the phone and looks to Walker, "Honey----you did say that you didn't have any confrontation with Tom Stevens---didn't you?"
            Walker takes the plate of fried eggs and bacon, "No, Alex--I never had any words with him----why?"
            Alex tries to pick her words, "Well, according to C.D. and the time that Tom left his place---you were probably one of the last ones to see Tom".
            "You're forgetting the prostitute," replies Walker.
            "Oh, yes," recalls Alex, "and he left with her?"
            Walker is reaching for biscuits to sop up his egg yolks, "Well, they were heading towards a small car---couldn't understand why they left his big fancy car to go to another one that was so much smaller."
            "And, they left together?"
            "I assume they left together, I didn't stay around to make sure of it---I drove straight to your place."
            Alex is daintily picking at her scrambled eggs and light toast. "Well, all I know is that he's got serious charges against him this time, and if he decided to get one last hour of 'nookie' before going on the lam---that's pretty stupid on his part."
              "Nookie?" Walker teases back, "That's the first time I've ever heard you refer to sex as 'nookie’."
            "I'm just trying to be nice," the blonde replies, "I just can't believe that he would be so callous, after all the charges against him! To risk being caught with a prostitute on top of all the other charges."
            "Alex, nothing that man does surprises me. Why should these charges be any different than the ones he's faced before---the women refuse to testify against him--without their testimonies, he'll walk---just like before."
            Alex continues to sip her coffee, “I guess at times like this, justice does prove to be blind."


                                    *************************************


            Justin is staring back at the bloody figure, watching the shoulders heave up and down, and hearing a gurgling noise.  He looks towards the door, if he can sneak up closer, he can jump over the figure while he's kneeling on the floor.  He inches up closer, talking in a calm voice.
                    "Everything will be okay, once you get to a doctor."
            The figure is losing his strength as he attempts to rise up from the floor, stumbling back against the door, tilting his head from side to side. Justin is staring at him, he keeps swallowing his own saliva in hopes he doesn't start puking.
            The boy looks around the room again, he sees the mutilated body lying in the corner, he grimaces.  He can only imagine what has happened in this old farmhouse, he hopes that his friend, Barry, has gone for help.
                   "Mister----there's a dead body in here----with us----did you----did you--do this?"
            The figure is weaving back and forth, his momentum slowing, as he keeps tilting his head sideways. He makes a deep gurgling sound as he nods his head back and forth.
            Justin is moving closer to the man, "I don't live far from here---I can get help--you're in bad shape-----"suddenly Justin bolts by the man and is running out the door.
            The boy gets to the front door, then he stops and whispers to himself  "What am I doing, he needs help-but what if he turns out to be a cold blooded killer?"
            Justin curses, "How could he do all that to himself---I got to go back."
            The boy walks slowly back to the room, he sees the figure stumbling around, with his hands outstretched to try and keep himself from falling. The man is groaning, the weird sounds are coming from him again as he stumbles to the other side of the room. The man stops as he goes down on the floor, his hands reaching out before him, he touches the still body. The man puts his hands up to his ears and tries with all of his strength to scream, his shoulders start to heave again as he goes down in a praying gesture.
            Justin's eyes are filling with tears, and he wipes them away. "I could swear that he's trying to cry----but how does a man with no eyes cry?  There are no tears, no tear ducts---but I swear he's crying."
            The young boy moves up behind the man and touches him gently." Please, mister----I'm going to try and get you out of here----I need you to stand and lean on me."
            The man is trying to stand, and young Justin is using all of his strength to help him. The man hesitates and tries to reach down to feel the body again. Justin pulls his hand back.
                   "There's nothing you can do for her now, mister, she's dead------Was she a friend of yours?"
            The figure nods his head slowly and Justin starts helping him to the door. "We're leaving the room now----the front door is about 20 feet away----can you make it?"
            The figure nods and then he stops and turns back, Justin pulls on him again-----"She's not feeling any pain, mister----we have to get out of here."
            It's a slow and tedious move to the front door, as the man's strength is diminishing more as his full weight is pulling Justin's body to almost a full stop. The boy keeps adjusting his weight, he's growing tired and the stench of the man's body is getting to him.
            Justin stops and takes a deep breath, "We're almost to the door now, mister---just hold onto me---we're going to make it---I promise you."
            In the meantime young Barry has had the good luck of flagging down a patrol car. The two officers are eyeing the frightened boy as he is pointing in the direction of the farmhouse and panting---"Madman--he's got my friend---there's a dead body---blood all over the place."
            The one officer called Sparky is shaking his head, "I know this punk, it's the Whittaker kid, okay, kid----what are you trying to pull now? What are you smoking?"
            The younger officer is watching Barry's eyes, and sees pure fright. "Wait a minute, Sparky---I think the kid is telling the truth---he looks scared to death."
            Barry is panting harder, "Could I please have something to drink---I'm telling you the truth---my friend is up there and this ---thing---has him---he's all covered in blood---you got to get up there!"
            The younger officer hands him a bottle of water and again Barry is pointing towards the farmhouse, the younger officer grabs his radio and calls for backup. Sparky is shaking his head and laughing, "I'm telling you this all a prank."
            "Maybe so---but I still say we have to check it out--come on kid---let's go."
            Justin and the figure are almost to the door, the man stumbles again and knocks over an old lantern, the kerosene leaks out on the floor. Justin groans as he tries to hold the figure up--"It's okay--we're almost there--we're almost to the door."
            In just minutes, they hear the whirring sounds of a helicopter, and the sirens of approaching cars. The figure spooks as Justin continues to pull on his arm--"It's okay, it's the police---you're safe."
            Officers are running to the farmhouse with weapons drawn, someone yells out---"He's got a fugitive----pick your shots."
            Justin hears the voices of the police officers, and starts shaking. "Oh no---they think I'm your prisoner--I got to let them know that you mean no harm---stay here---don't move."
            The young boy runs to the door waving his arms, "Don't shoot---don't shoot!"
            The figure is stumbling towards Justin's terrified voice when he trips and falls through the door, hitting Justin in the back. A rookie's bullet is fired and then a string of gunfire is heard and bullets are hitting the side of the farmhouse. A stray bullet hits the spilled kerosene and the farmhouse is ablaze. Justin is screaming for the officers to cease fire, they do not hear him and the figure is stumbling back towards the heat of the farmhouse. He falls back through the door.
            Justin screams and runs into the farmhouse and tries to drag the figure out. The farmhouse is going up like a tinderbox, and young Justin's clothes are on fire as he continues to drag the figure out by his legs. The young police partner of Sparky's runs to help Justin.
            The fire and flames are thick as the young officer yells to Justin to let go of the man, but Justin refuses. The figure's body is on fire as the young officer picks him up and throws him over his shoulder, he shouts to Justin.
            "Get out--the place is going up--get out---now!"
            Justin is shaking his head and assisting the young officer to carry the figure's body out. In the distance is the sound of a fire truck.
            The young officer stumbles to the ground and lands on top of the badly disfigured man. He gasps, "My God--what happened to him?"
            Justin is crying as he tries to make the figure respond to him, "Mister----don't die----we made it---you're going to be okay."
            Barry runs up to his friend, "Justin---get away from him."
            Other police officers are staring down at the figure, and one of them pukes up his breakfast. "What the hell happened here---it looks like someone tried to do a lobotomy on him---his brain is showing!"
            Barry continues to try and pull Justin away, Justin is pushing him away----"You don't understand, he doesn't want to hurt anyone."
            As the ambulance arrives, a fire truck does also---but it's too late to save the old farmhouse. The medics run to the figure on the ground, they too, do a double take at the sight before them. They immediately start taking vitals and shouting out instructions to medivac.
            The police pull Justin away from the figure and start asking him questions, but Justin keeps looking back to the man on the ground. "He can't see---or talk----let me stay with him."
            "Sorry kid---against regulations," Sparky sneers.
            The young officer takes the boy to his patrol car and gives them both some water. He turns to Justin, "I don't know what kind of hell was going on in there-----what were you kids doing here---do you know that man?"
            Both of the boys shake their heads, "No---we don't know him---is he going to be alright?"
            "It's hard to say, he's been mutilated pretty bad---looks like someone gouged his eyes out---and his tongue has been cut out.  That's enough to do any normal person in, not to mention the fire and smoke--his hands got burned pretty bad as we were pulling him out across the wooden floor."
            "What about that dead body that was in there?" Asks Barry.
            "If there was a dead body--it's ashes now," replies the young officer.
            Barry starts to say more, but Justin motions for him to be quiet. "We're okay, officer---could you please check on----my friend----could you please let me know if he's going to make it?"
            "Yeah--just stay put--I'll go check on him."
            Barry stares back at Justin, "What was the idea of telling me to be quiet---and you referred to that monster as 'your friend'--Justin, what did he do to you?"
            Justin is in deep thought---"This isn't good--the newspapers are going to be picking up on this----Barry--I have to get out of here---we have to get of here."
            Barry scoffs, "Wouldn't do any good---that one pig knows me--he's the one that sent me to juvie."
            Justin looks out the window of the patrol car as he sees the gurney being lifted up into the ambulance; the young officer is coming back.
            "The medics said that it's a miracle that he's still alive--they're taking him to Grapevine Memorial---I assume he'll be flown from there to Dallas. It doesn't look good, I'm sorry."
            "Could I go home now?" asks Justin.
            "I'm sorry son, but you and Barry will have to go in for questioning."
            "But, we didn't do anything," pleads Justin.
            "For starters, you were trespassing---then there's the question of arson, not to mention that a possible murder has been committed. Your friend is indeed involved---in some way---a lot of questions are going to be asked. I suggest you both call your parents."
            "Will there be reporters there---I don't want my name released?"
            "Of course there will be reporters there, Justin---maybe some kind of reward will be offered--and we're entitled to it, right, officer?"
            "I don't know anything about a reward---but your names don't have to be released--you're minors."
            "To hell with that--I want my name released--I'm going to be a hero---my name is spelled with two "Ts--that's Whittaker--two ‘T's’."
            The young officer looks to Barry and shakes his head, he sees the uneasiness in Justin, he reaches out and touches his hand, "I'm sorry--I will do everything I can to keep the press from releasing your name-for whatever reason you wish to remain anonymous---but since your friend wants to be a hero---it's almost impossible."
            The police car heads to the station as the fire trucks continue to douse the smoldering wood. It's a long drive back to the station as curious onlookers are making their way to the disaster. A small Chevy car is among the curious, the driver swears and then he smiles to himself.
            "At least I don't have to worry about burying my guests---though I am pissed that Alexandra's coffin has perished---but don't worry my love--we will still be together---and dead people can't talk.  Now, I have to think about my next plan---and this time, Lynn--you will not let me down."
            His voice changes again, "But, Andrew---you can't trust her to take care of the ranger----let me do it--let me do it," the voice squeals.


                                          ******************************


            Walker and Alex have returned from grocery shopping, he's helping her to put them away. He sighs as he looks at the grocery bill.
                "Whew!  I didn't think we bought that much."
            Alex smiles back at him and answers in a purring voice, "That's because someone was acting like a kid in a candy store--'I want this--I want that'."
            "Yeah, guess you did get carried away," he teases her back as he walks up and puts his arms around her waist and nestles his face into her neck. "Think we got enough for the weekend?"
            "I think we got more than enough---I'm going to fix summer sausage, cabbage, and roasted potatoes for supper---will that be okay?"
            He continues to nibble on her neck, " Yes--sounds good----please tell me that you went by the pharmacy to pick up some more of that peaches and cream."
                  "Pharmacy?  Honey, you don't buy that stuff at a pharmacy, I buy it at Victoria's Secret---and yes---I bought some more while you took the watch over to the jewelry store."
            "Good---I hope you bought it in the gallon container," he smiles.
            She purrs back at him and turns to face him, "I bought several tubes and I also bought a new nightie, a slick, silky, black jobbie--want to see it?"
            "Only if you're wearing it----and I can't guarantee how long you'll have it on."
                    Walker's hands start reaching for the midriff sweater that the blonde is wearing, he pushes it upward; her breasts are already starting to stiffen at his touch. He kisses her right breast slowly, while his fingers twist the nipple of the left one.
            "What time did you say--we were going--to eat--supper--that is?"
            Alex squeals softly and jumps up into his arms, her legs going around his waist. She presses herself against him and does a gentle vibration.
            She tosses her head back as he goes to her arched neck, "Ooooh cowboy--you weren't kidding when you said that I could have you all weekend----all to myself."
            His hands are reaching around to the back of her sweater and under to unsnap her bra. "You got me all weekend, every inch of me."
            She sighs as they go into a deep and sensuous kiss, then the phone rings. Alex shakes her head, "Don't answer it---maybe whoever it is will give up."
            Walker has the blonde on the kitchen counter, he's moaning softly and then he looks back at the ringing phone. "It could be the lab--maybe they have some news on that axe."
            Alex continues to shake her head as she reaches out to unsnap the buttons on Walker's blue denim western shirt. "They can leave a message---we'll call them back."
            The phone continues to ring and no machine is picking up----Alex frowns, "Honey---did you turn the machine off again?"
            Walker sighs, "Yeah, I turned it off last night---forgot to turn it back on."
            Alex pushes him away, "Answer the phone cowboy---and tell who ever it is, it better be important."
            Walker takes the phone as the doorbell rings and a voice yells out, "Hey Walker---you decent?"
            Alex is trying to snap her bra back as she calls out to the familiar voice, "We're in the kitchen, Jimmy."
            "Heyyy, Alex---I heard about your little incident last night--you guys okay?"
            Alex smiles and greets her friend with a kiss to the cheek while Walker is deep in conversation with someone on the other end of the phone.
            "Yes--we're fine--I was a little shook up---no, I take that back---I was scared to death!!! Walker found some kind of axe up on the roof----whoever it was had more than voyeurism on his mind."
                  Trivette's eyes are wide, "Geez-----the guy must be brain dead to even think of such a thing, and even more stupid to try it here---at Walker's home. The guy's elevator definitely doesn't go all the way to the top!”
            Walker hangs up the phone and nods to his partner, "That was the lab--no prints-----but they did find something else."
            Both Trivette and Alex are watching Walker's eyes as he quickly looks to Alex, clearing his throat. "They found semen."
            Alex's face blushes as she visions what the man was doing while he was watching them, she tries a timid smile. Trivette rubs his hand across his face in an embarrassed gesture. He takes a deep breath and replies. "Well, that's good---semen can be traced through DNA---in some cases it's better than fingerprints."
            Walker nods, "Yeah, but we have to have a suspect to go with that semen---and so far--the only person to come under suspicion is----Tom Stevens---and he's missing."
            "You still think that Stevens is behind all of this?"
            Alex goes to make coffee, as Walker shakes his head slowly. "Up until last night, he was my number one suspect, because of the phone call from that woman, and-----"
            Trivette is confused, "Woman? What woman?"
            "Oh yeah," replies Walker---"You don't know that part of the story--well--come sit down and Alex and I will fill you in."
                   Trivette's brow goes up in a arch as he looks to his partner, "Never a dull moment with you, huh, Walkman?  I have a feeling that this little story about another woman is going to be almost as interesting as that little threesome in which I got my face slapped and a knee to the groin!"
            Alex is pouring Walker's coffee, "Threesome? What threesome, and who may I ask was the 3rd party?"


                                       *******************************

Grapevine Police dept:
            The questioning has gotten intense as questions are being fired at the two young boys.  Barry watches as his parents are also being grilled, his father keeps giving him a dirty look.
            "My old man is going to beat the crap out of me when I get home, where is your old man?"
            Justin sighs, "They sent out a patrol car to pick him up--our old truck isn't running, my Dad has no other way of getting here. He'll have to find someone to watch my little cousins---or else bring them with him. Damn---this is a real mess---this isn't good."
            "You keep saying that, what isn't good?  We didn't do anything."
            Justin keeps looking through the picture window as the police officers are pulling up files and waving them in Whittaker’s faces. He sees the young police officer staring back at him, the young officer nods to him.
            Justin starts to sniffle, "I sure messed up things---my Dad is going to be so upset with me---I really blew it this time."
            Barry shrugs, "There's not much they can do us, just send us back home, and maybe put us on probation for trespassing--I don't understand why you're so upset. Your Dad is not like mine, you can talk to your dad, mine does his talking with a belt."
            The door to the interrogation room opens and a small, timid little man walks in. His eyes are filled with tears as he looks to Justin.
            The boy starts to cry, "I'm sorry Dad---I messed up things real good, didn't I?"
            The man crosses the room and takes Justin in his arms, "Are you okay, son---did that man hurt you?"
            Barry watches as his friend and his Dad embrace, he looks out to his own father, the man is stomping around in circles. Barry knows all too well what awaits him when he gets home.
                              
Sarcophagus - Part 16

            The boys have been questioned and are free to go home with their parents, Barry is not too happy about that prospect.
            The press has picked up on the story and wants to interview the boys, but Justin refuses to say anything. He turns to his Dad and they start to leave. Justin sees his two little cousins waiting in the hallway, and his shoulders slump as he looks up at his Dad.
            "You had to bring them?"
            "Yes, Justin---I had no one to leave them with---and believe me, I liked to have never got them in that patrol car."
            The boy sighs, "I guess they remember the last time they had to ride in a patrol car---they were scared to death."
            The two smaller boys see their cousin and go running to him, Justin embraces them, and wipes their tears. "It's okay, guys--it's not like the last time."
            Justin and his family start to leave then Justin sees the young police officer, he asks his Dad to give him a few minutes.
            The young officer smiles at him, "How's it going, Justin---you going to be okay?"
            "I think so, could I ask a favor of you?"
            "I know what you're going to ask, you want to be kept informed about that man, whose life you saved, right?"   

"I didn't save him, you did!  I could have never gotten him out of that farmhouse without your help---and yes---is there someway I can keep in touch on his recovery---without the press picking up on it?"
            The young officer stares at Justin, he can't for the life of him figure out why Justin wants to remain anonymous, but he respects him for it. "Sure Justin, I'll keep you informed, I'm going over to the hospital now, and I’ll find out all I can--and give you a call, what's your number?"
            Justin hesitates, "We don't have a phone---we use the neighbors' phone."
            The young officer puts his notepad away as he looks to Justin's father, the man looks down at the floor. "That's okay, Justin--I'll just drive by your place and let you know personally."
            Again, Justin hesitates, "Uhhh---would you not come in a squad car---it upsets my cousins----they----don't like police cars."
            The young officer looks to the smaller boys and then he smiles, "Of course---I'll just drop by in a plain car--unmarked---will that be okay?"
            Justin tries to smile, "Thank you, you've been really nice."
            The young officer watches Justin and his family walk away. He says to himself quietly.
            "I don't know what is going on with you, Justin---but you seem to be carrying the weight of the world on those small shoulders. I hope someday you'll open up and let someone help you, before it's too late."


                             ******************************************


Garland Hospital:
            The young officer has checked on the condition of the man, the doctor is not too optimistic about his surviving.
            "It's a miracle that this man is still alive--the horrors that he must have faced in that farmhouse."
            "Yeah, it was pretty gruesome. I know that he was blinded and his tongue was cut out---but doctor, what were they trying to do, it looked like they were trying to do a lobotomy on him, while he was still alive?"
            The doctor shakes his head in disbelief, "That's exactly what was trying to be done to him, but the idiots didn't know what the hell they were doing, another centimeter to the left and this man would be dead. By all rights, he should be dead--and God knows he's close to being a vegetable now. If he makes it through the night---will be another miracle!”
            "Is he in a coma?"
            "Sort of, he's in and out. All I know is that this man is making one hell of an attempt to stay alive---I heard there was another body in that farmhouse, was it in the same shape as our John Doe?"
            "I don't know for sure about another body, doc--the young boys that were in the farmhouse said there was---but the farmhouse burned down. Will have to wait till the ME and the forensic guys get out there to investigate, in the meantime we're trying to find out who this guy is.

"You got your job cut out for you, hands were too badly burned to raise prints, and there is obviously no teeth."
            The young officer takes a deep sigh, "We'll run a description on him the best we can, maybe someone out there can identify him."


                                *****************************************


            It's late evening and Walker and Alex are driving to a new restaurant near Garland, as they pull up to the restaurant, they can see that it's rather crowded.
            They exit the Ram and start walking towards the entrance, Alex squeezes the Ranger's hand and says disappointedly, "They sure are busy tonight--we may never get seated."
            "Yeah, I've never seen it this busy---but where there's good food, there's going to be a waiting line. Maybe we should have called in a reservation."
            "They don't take reservations, remember the last time we were here?"
            Walker takes a deep breath as he hears someone mention a 45-minute waiting list. "I hope not---I'm starving for some of those oysters."
            Alex smiles as she leans into him, "Honey---oysters? That's the last thing you need."
            He pulls her closer into him and whispers, "Do I hear a complaint?"
                   "Never," she purrs back, "but this is what you get for not letting me fix that cabbage and summer sausage."
            "I wasn't stopping you--we just sort of got 'sidetracked' after Trivette left and you made me take the phone off the hook and lock the front door."
            The blonde hits him playfully in the chest, "I made you do those things? That's not the way I recall how the evening went."
            The Ranger kisses her softly at the side of the head, whispering--"Well, there's always tomorrow----and don't forget my Mexacali cornbread."
            They have stepped inside the restaurant as the owner puts his hands up, "Sorry folks, we're full---the waiting list is close to an hour now."
            "That does it,"--answers Walker, "want to try another restaurant, hon?"
            Alex nods her head and they start to exit when a voice booms out.
            "Hey Walker---over here!"
            Walker and Alex turn to see a man standing up and waving them over to join him, they start towards the man's table. The man is grinning and motioning for them to sit down.
            "Hi Sparky--how do you rate getting a table--and one with a magnificent view I might add."
            Sparky is holding up a wine glass, "I tip good-----and besides my Father-in-law owns this place that he calls a restaurant!  Sit down man, it's been awhile---how the hell you been?"
            Walker and Alex sit down, another young couple is at the table too. Alex nods towards them and then to Sparky.
                "Where's Bonnie?"
                   "Checking on the rugrats---I swear we can't go anywhere without her calling home and checking on them every hour---and now it's gotten worse since that little fiasco out there off route 10."
            Walker looks to the young couple, "Hi, I'm Walker and this is Alex---since Sparky here has forgotten to introduce us."
            "Oh hell, I'm sorry!  Walker, this my partner, Ben Cooper and his wife Kay."
                    Handshakes are all around and Alex looks to the young woman whose 'condition' is very noticeable, "When is your baby due?"
            Before the woman can answer, the young Ben smiles and kisses her, "Not soon enough---right honey?"
                 Everyone laughs as Sparky groans, "Oh, good grief----wait till you're up changing diapers at all hours of the night---you'll be wishing that little 'stinker' never came out."
            Kay smiles nervously as she looks to Alex, "Our baby is due in less than a week---we're sort of having an early celebration, we're both so nervous, what about you two---do you have kids?"
            Both Alex and Walker exchange glances, and Alex replies--"No---we don't have any kids----we're not married."
            Sparky is looking around the restaurant, "Thank God for that, huh Walker?  Where the hell is that wife of mine---she's blowing everything out of proportion over that stupid incident."
            Walker looks to Alex quickly and sees her face turning rigid at Sparky's remark; he knows that Alex has never cared much for Sparky or his comments.
            The waiter has come to their table and Walker and Alex order lobster with a side order of oysters. Walker orders a beer, Alex asks for white wine. Walker can feel Alex's hand touching his right thigh, and he gives her a gentle and reassuring squeeze.
            "So, what's going on, Sparky? What incident are you talking about?"
            Sparky is ordering more wine, he looks to Walker, his brow arches. "You mean you haven't heard what happened out at the Peterson's old farmhouse and that lunatic they got at the hospital?"
            Walker shakes his head, "Guess not---care to fill me in?"
            Ben Cooper replies slowly, "First of all, Sparky---that man that's in the hospital is not a lunatic---he was a victim, too."
            Walker continues to stare back with a blank look, "Would someone care to fill me in on what has happened out there?"
            Sparky drinks down his glass of wine, "Can't believe you haven't heard what happened out there, Walker--you're usually on top of everything---where you been----the moon?  Hell, it's been all over the TV."
            Alex can feel Walker's hand tense up, she clears her throat and stares back at the rude man, "Guess we haven't watched too much TV today----we do take time off from our jobs---once in awhile."
            Kay stammers as she takes her husband's hand, "I thought---this was going to be a nice, quiet, dinner---and no police talk."
            "No police talk," Sparky answers as he mocks the young woman, "Ben, you better get your wife straightened about what we're going to discuss.  Listen Kay, sweetie, when 5 parties out of six are involved in police work---then naturally the conversation will turn in that direction."
            Kay looks to Alex, "Are you a police woman?"
            Alex is biting her bottom lip, it's starting to quiver as Walker reaches out and puts his arm around the back of Alex's chair. Alex glares back at Sparky and then she replies. "No, Kay, I'm an attorney----and I agree with you, we should be able to put our work aside and talk about something more pleasant, instead of police work all the time."
            "John--I'm going home!"
            The table turns to see a tall slender woman in a complete stage of confusion and anger. Sparky grimaces, "Oh, what now? Did one of the rugrats try to flush the cat down the commode again--what the hell you so upset about?"
            The woman nods to Alex, "Hi Alex--hi Walker---I'm sorry I just don't feel right--with us being here and maybe some crazy, wild, maniac going around, slicing up people--and my kids home with a babysitter?"
                 "Bonnie, calm down--what are you talking about--what lunatic?"
            Sparky orders more wine as he commences to tell Walker and Alex about all that has happened. Kay excuses herself and Alex rises to go the ladies' room with her. "I'm sorry, but I can't listen to this again---I think I'm going to be sick."
            Ben stands up and takes his wife's hand, "Would you rather go home, honey?"
            "No, I don't want to go home, I just want you and your friends to get all of this story over with while I'm in the ladies' room--I don't want to hear the gory details again----understand?"
            "Oh for Pete's sake---John Sparkman---I'm going home with or without you!" And Bonnie turns on her heels and heads for the exit. Sparky drinks another glass of wine and then turns to Walker.
            "Don't ever get married, Walker---'cause this is what it's all about---a nagging, magpie that doesn't stop flapping her yap---and there's the kids---ooooohhh now that's where your problems really begin".
            "John Sparkman----are you coming?"
            "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm coming---keep your shirt on."
            Walker and Ben stare at each other, and the younger man swears under his breath, "Geez---if he felt that way about getting married and having kids, then why did he bother exchanging vows?"
            Walker exhales as he sips his beer, "Beats me---okay, Ben---what happened out there, get it all out before the women get back?"
            Walker has listened to the young police officers' story. "This man that's in the hospital, what are his chances?"
            "Not good--the doctors are saying he probably won't make it through the night, I'm telling you, Mr. Walker--- I've never seen anything like that before----it was like stepping into a science fiction movie---like that movie—‘The Walking Dead’."
            "I never saw the movie, but I can imagine what you're talking about, it sounds gruesome---and the name is Walker--no "Mr." to it--just Walker."
            Young Ben smiles and reaches out to shake Walker's hand, "I've heard about you, not only from Sparky, but other law officers as well, they have a lot of respect for you."
            "It's nice meeting you, Ben. I would like to hear more about this case, but your wife and Alex are right, we shouldn't spoil their evening talking about it."
            Ben nods in agreement, "Kay and I haven't had too many evenings out and I did promise her---no shop talk."
            "Yeah, I know the feeling--even though Alex is an attorney and involved with my work, we try to leave the work at the office. It's hard for us to get any time together with our busy schedules and all."
            Ben takes his glass of tea and raises it, "Then it's agreed---no more shop talk."
            Walker clicks his glass as Alex and Kay walk back to the table. It turns out to be a very pleasant evening as the four enjoy a nice dinner, and talk. As they are leaving the restaurant Walker tells Ben that he would like to go out to the Peterson place with him the next day. The four say their goodbyes.
            Walker is in deep thought about the story that Ben has relayed to him. Alex snuggles up closer to him and leans on his right shoulder.
            "I really enjoyed tonight--especially after Sparky left--the Coopers are such a nice couple, don't you think?"
            Walker takes his right hand and pats Alex's thigh, "Yeah, I enjoyed it too---Ben is a very likeable young man, and very dedicated to his work. He seems very concerned about that one boy that tried to save that man's life."
            "Yes, Kay did mention that part in the ladies' room---the boy did a complete turn around when he realized that the press would be picking up on the story. That's unusual---most young boys would enjoy their 15 minutes of fame."
            Walker sighs, "Yeah, but he's obviously worried about something. Ben said he ran a complete check on the boy, he's never been in any kind of trouble, an honor student---seems to be a all around good kid----but he's hiding something"!
             Alex begins to play with the hair at the back of Walker's head, "What did he say the boy's last name was?"
            "Bond--Justin Bond."
            Alex repeats the name, "Bond?  Now why does that name ring a bell?"
            The Ranger squeezes Alex's leg, "Bond, James Bond?"
           
"Nooo, that's not it--- I mean---that's not what I'm associating the name with---oh well, forget it--it will come to me when I'm least expecting it."
                     "Really?  Well, I hope it doesn't come to you at any time tonight--'cause I'm starting to crave ---peaches and cream—again."
            The blonde giggles as she lets her right hand glide down the front of the Rangers' pants, "Oohhh, Cowboy--the oysters are working double time---why do we have to be so far away from the ranch?"
            "Since when do we have to be at the ranch--there are a lot of little side roads going off these exits, just pick one and I'll exit so fast, it will make you cream your panties!"
                "Walker---we need to take more time off together--I like it when you talk dirty," she teases back. "And, by the way, I never did get an answer to my question about the threesome."
            "And, I don't plan to give you an answer---at least not tonight, it would only start an argument and believe me---I'm in no mood to argue."


                                          *************************************


            Andy has relayed the story back to Lynn about the old farmhouse burning down. Lynn stares back at him, he's obviously hasn't heard the latest newscast.
            "I heard someone say it went up like a bomb----the old place was so old and dried, it burned down to the ground in seconds," Andy is gloating.
            "What are you so happy about, now you don't have a place to carry out your dirty work anymore?"
            "You're so stupid, Lynn---there are other places where I can do my work, abandoned ware houses, old apartment buildings---Dallas is full of these places, the capitol for the homeless. I'll find another place for my Alexandra---you'll see."
            Lynn hesitates about telling Andy that a man was taken out of the farmhouse, she knows down deep inside that Tom Stevens has survived.  She knows that if she doesn't tell him about it, there will be hell to pay. She starts to say something when a special bulletin is seen crossing the TV screen.
            The bulletin is about a man being dragged from the fire and about the two boys being inside the farmhouse. Andy swears as he turns around and stares at Lynn in disbelief.
            "No way---there's no way in hell that scumbag could have survived, Annie put the drill through his head, and his brains were falling out!"
            Lynn takes a deep breath, remembering that Tom had moved one of his hands, until she told him to remain still. She looks back to Andy.
                   "Something must have gone wrong, Annie didn't do her job right."
            Andy's face grimaces in pain, "Don't blame Annie---she did what I told her to do---she never makes mistakes."
            A puzzled look goes across Lynn's face, "Tell me something, Andy---how do you discipline Annie?  I'm curious to know. I'm curious to see how you discipline your other half."
            Andy is walking in circles, his voice begins to change, "Andrew---what is she talking about---you can't discipline me."
            "Hush Annie---she's only trying to rile me---and frankly she's doing a damn good job."
            Lynn starts to smile as she whispers softly, "This should be interesting---watching you argue back and forth with yourself---you might even start throwing punches at yourself---has this ever happened to you before, Andy?"
            Andy stops pacing and glares at Lynn, his eyes turn a deeper green as he hisses, "You think this is funny, Lynn? He reaches out and hits her with a right fist, she goes flying across the room, and Andy is stomping towards her.
            "Stay away from me," yells Lynn.
            She barely finishes her sentence as he grabs her by the hair and starts dragging Lynn towards the kitchen, "I'll show you what is funny." He jerks her up and slams her into the kitchen counter. He holds her back against the counter as he reaches to turn on the garbage disposal.
            Lynn's eyes grow wide in fright and she tries to scream, Andy hits her again and pulls her left arm straight out and pushes her hand towards the hole in the sink. The grinding noise is deafening as she tries to pull her hand back, her eyes begging him to stop.
            Andy continues to push her hand towards the whirring sound, her fingers are just inches away from the rotating blades. He screams at her.
            "It's not so funny now, is it Lynn?  Nobody laughs at me---without paying the consequences----you'll pay for your remarks--do you hear me?"
            Lynn is trying to nod her head as Andy's hand continues to grip her neck, and she's gasping for breath. He's pushing her hand even closer to the machine, but someone starts banging on the front door. The banging gets louder as Andy puts his fingers up to his lips and whispers, "If you so much as breathe a word, I'll come back and finish the job----do you hear me?"
            Lynn falls to the floor, gasping for air as Andy stomps towards the front door. She hears one of the neighbors yelling at Andy to move his car, and Andy is yelling obscenities back at the neighbor.  The neighbor stomps off, shaking his fist at Andy.
            Andy turns to Lynn, "I'll be back in a few minutes---get this place cleaned up."
            Lynn unconscientiously starts picking things up as she begins to cry, " I got to get away from him---he's crazy---my God--what has he done with Michael?"


                                      ***********************************


Sunday morning: Walker ranch:
            Walker has been on the phone talking to the lab, Alex is setting the sausage out to be washed and seasoned, she's watching the expressions on Walker's face. The memories of Friday night are coming back to her, as she realizes that the weekend is almost over and she will be returning to her townhouse. Another workweek will be starting and she and Walker will again be going in opposite directions, and time together will be scarce. She sighs softly.
            The Ranger places the phone back on the wall, swearing to himself. He turns to see Alex looking back at him, here eyes are sad.
            "That was the lab, they've sent that semen sample over to forensics, but until we have a suspect, it won't do any good."
            Alex nods her head knowingly, "Thank you.  Thank you for helping me to get that horrible incident out of my mind, even if it has been for only a few days.  And, I know that everything will go back to being the same mundane routine that we've grown accustomed to---you'll be taking new cases--I will be getting new ones---"
                  "Heeeyyyy, what's all of this talk about going back to a drab routine?" Walker asks as he goes up behind her, slipping his arms around her waist.
            Alex is almost crying, "Well, it's true---we will both be going back to our jobs---we'll rarely see each other---why did the weekend have to end so quickly?"
            Walker nuzzles her neck, "Maybe this is a wakeup call, so to speak."
            "What do you mean?"
            Walker takes a small piece of the sausage and eats it, "I'm saying that we don't have to go back to the way we were----just grabbing an hour here and an hour there---I don't know about you--but--this past weekend has spoiled me."
            Alex giggles, "You too?"
            "Well?  It only goes to prove what I've been trying to tell you---we need more time together and less time traveling from your place to here. In other words---when are you going to start moving some things in?"
            Alex turns to faces him, her arms going around his neck, "Walker---are you sure about this?  I know how much you like your space---and I like mine---that's one reason our relationship is working, we know when to give each other space.  I don't want to--crowd—you."
            "Alex---you just said how much you hated for the weekend to end, and you were dreading us going back to our jobs and not being able to see each other as much---and now you're saying you don't want to crowd me!  Hon---am I missing something here?"
                    Alex's right hand starts to massage Walker's chest, she stammers---"I guess I'm just afraid-----"
            "Afraid of what?"
            "I'm afraid that we will start taking each other's presence for granted if I move in. I don't want that to ever happen, I love it when we ---are---so spontaneous, and the excitement of---being together."
            "Alex---you're confusing me---big time!  I could never take advantage of our being together--too much. We're miserable when we're not together--at least I know---I am."
            "I'm miserable, too---I just see so many couples start to lose interest when they're together---too much--I don't want that."
            "Alex---where is all this going? Are you still upset about those remarks that Sparky made last night?  If so---don't you know he's nothing but a bag of hot air?"
            "Well, it's true I've never liked him or his views on a lot of things, especially where a woman's place is suppose to be---in his opinion!! Look at the way he treats his wife."
            Walker shakes his head, "Hon, Sparky has always been that way, I've known that man for about 20 years, he's always spouted off and Bonnie has usually been the butt of all of his remarks---but, Alex---she doesn't have to put up with it.  Is that what you're afraid of, that I would start treating you that way?"
            Alex lowers her head and looks up at him with her piercing blue eyes, "You better not ever try, Cowboy."
            "I would be a fool to try, or even think of trying---I thought we had an understanding in our relationship, we both know there are no guarantees, that we accept each day as it comes?"
            "Yes, that's what we agreed on—okay, let's compromise. We will stay here on the weekends, but you have to agree to stay at my place during the week."
            "Alex, I can't do that--what about my animals? I have to be here to take care of them, I can't just ignore them."
            "Okay--then a couple of nights through the week—agreed?"
            The Ranger exhales, "I have a better idea--why don't you give it one month, move your things in and we will see how it goes from there."
                   "You're being stubborn, you know that?"
            Walker tightens his arms around the blonde's waist and starts nibbling on her neck, "You know how much more relaxed you are out here, you've said time and time again that you love it out here-----you rest so much easier."
            "Okay," Alex moans "You win, we'll give it a try--one month--But there will be some times that I have to stay at my place--some days I will have to be in court --really early."
            The Rangers laughs, "Early? Alex you wouldn't know the meaning of getting up early---your idea of an early rising is anything after 9am."
            "That's true, I hate getting up early and on those mornings that I have to be up early, I will need you to wake me."
            "I knew there was a catch to it--okay---we'll work something out---uhhhh, Alex--Ben Cooper called earlier."
            Alex looks to the Ranger with a suspicious look in her eyes, "Huh uh----and he was talking to you about the case out on route 10, near Garland, right?"
            Walker stammers, "Yeah, he was---he said some bones had been found in the ashes."
            Alex smiles, "And, you're just chomping at the bit to go out there and do some investigating, aren't you?  Walker---you said you were taking the weekend off."
            "Yeah, I know," the Ranger answers sheepishly, he looks back at Alex and sighs, his eyes pleading like a little boy's.
            "Go," answers Alex.
            "Are you sure you don't mind?"
            She pats his face gently and then purses his lips together, kissing him. "No, I don't mind---cause if you don't go you won't be worth a plug nickel all day as C.D. would say."
            Walker turns to go to the living room, he turns back, "Are you sure you don't mind?"


 
 
Sarcophagus - Part 17 


           
Alex is walking towards Walker and waving him away, "Yes, I'm sure I don't mind--I have several things to do while you're gone, just be sure you get home in time for supper."
            Walker grins, "I will--'bossy'."
            Alex is trying to rub her backside, she looks at the Ranger curiously--"Am I sounding bossy?"
            "No hon, I was just teasing you," replies Walker as he straps his gun on and reaches for his badge.
            "Well, if I am sounding irritable, I'm sorry--guess I'm feeling a little under the weather, my back is killing me."
            "Uh oh---sounds like it's getting to be that time of the month again."
            Alex tries to force a smile, "I'm afraid so, my back is all knotted up--I'm going to take a nice long, hot bath while you're gone--that always helps."
            "What about those pills you take, got plenty?"
            Alex sighs, "Oh yes, a woman never goes anywhere without her Midol tablets--it would be a cardinal sin to break that rule."
            Walker reaches out and takes her in his arms, and replies softly, "Well, when I get home I will give you a nice back rub-- till then, the heating pad is in the hall closet---top shelf."
            "Okay-call me, let me know what time you'll be home so I can put the cabbage on."
            He kisses her quickly, "Will do---don't forget my cornbread."
            He starts towards the door then turns around and walks back to her, "Also---be careful---keep the doors locked. Even though there's still a patrol car up near the exit---don't open the door to anyone that you don't know---okay?  And, you know where the guns are."
            She nods her head, "Yes--I will--I'll lock the door as you leave--then I'm going upstairs to take that bath----oh---and don't forget to take that extra thermos of coffee up to the officers--and there's also some breakfast burritos left too."
            Walker heads back to the kitchen and retrieves the items, he kisses her again and squeezes her buttocks lightly, "Thank goodness a woman only goes through this once a month--- anymore than that and us poor guys would be climbing the walls."
            Alex squints her eyes and  laughs, "You men couldn't handle a monthly problem like this---count your lucky stars you don't have menstrual  periods."


                                *****************************************


            "Come on Justin, the police and the guys from the lab and all are all over the site where that farmhouse burned down, let's go over and take a look."
            Justin shakes his head as he looks back to the bedroom where he shares sleeping quarters with his two little cousins, "I can't! I promised my Dad I wouldn't go back over there and besides I have to watch Cody and Korbin, my Dad is at his second job."
            "But, Justin--aren't you even curious? I heard they found some bones--probably that body that we saw."
            "I can't go over there, Barry--I promised my Dad--I've disappointed him enough already by sneaking out of the house while he's asleep and taking my cousins out too. And, then the press trying to find out information about us---I can't do it."
            "What are you trying to hide, Justin? We didn't do anything wrong."
            "I can't talk about it----I'll see you later, got to fix some cereal for my cousins."
            Barry shrugs and walks away and starts towards the old farmhouse. Justin watches him leave, then turns and goes back to the bedroom. He watches as his little cousin’s sleep, once in awhile Cody, the oldest, will wake up crying. Korbin's young mind of almost 5 yrs, remembers very little--except being put into the back of that patrol car. The boys cried uncontrollably as the young policewoman tried to comfort them. Justin turns and looks at the picture of the family on the nightstand. The man and woman are smiling as they look down on the four kids in the picture. Cody and Korbin are in the foreground--their little faces glowing!
            Justin takes the picture and looks at it, his fingers caress the faces of Cody and Korbin, "This was one of the last times that you guys were really able to laugh---there just hasn't been a whole lot to laugh about, has there, guys?"
            Walker and Ben Cooper are talking to the men from the forensic department. "What ya' got Davis?"
            "We've definitely found human bones--but I'm confused, how old a body did those young boys say the body was?"
                 "Around 20 years or so," answers Ben--"they weren't sure--they were pretty much in a state of shock and the body was badly mutilated."
            Davis shakes his head, "Then brace yourself guys, there is more than one body here---we've found several femurs of different sizes--plus---we found a scull--looks to be that of a small child, around 10 years or so."
            Walker sighs, "I was afraid of this."
            Young Ben takes a deep breath, "Why does anyone want to kill a child---how sick can this person be?"
            Walker lays his hand on the young officers' shoulder, "You'll see more of this as your career continues---and it never gets any easier."
            The small crowd that has gathered is straining and stretching to see what they can see as the medical examiner and his staff arrives on the scene. Walker is watching the crowd, he sees a young boy of about 12 watching intensely.
            "Ben, is that one of the boys that you were talking about that was here at the farmhouse?"
            "Yeah, that's the Whittaker kid, I don't see Justin--like I said he's trying to stay out of the lime light."
            "Do you know here he lives?"
            "Yeah, I need to go over there and tell him the latest on our John Doe, I said I would keep him informed, want to go over there with me?"
            They climb into the Ram and drive the short distance to Justin's home, he has his cousins' breakfast fixed, so he reluctantly lets the law officers inside. As soon as the two boys see the police uniform they jump up and run to hide behind their older cousin.
            "I'm sorry, I couldn't change out of my uniform, I'm still on duty---but we did come in an unmarked auto. Justin, this is Walker, he's a Texas Ranger, and he wants to help."
            The three boys stare at Walker's western attire, especially the Stetson hat and boots. The youngest one is staring up at Walker, his mouth dropped open. Walker smiles and goes down on one knee and motions for the boy to come out from behind Justin. The boy moves slowly forward.
            "Hi partner---what's your name--my name is Walker."
            "Are you a real cowboy?" The boy asks timidly.
            Walker nods his head, "I sure am! I'm a rooting tooting real cowboy."
            Cody comes out from behind his cousin too, "If you're a real cowboy, where's your horse?"
            Both Walker and Ben laugh. Justin watches as the tension lifts between his little cousins and the two officers.
            "Well," answers Walker, “my horses are back at my ranch, when I'm on the job I have to drive a darn old truck. They won't let me chase bad guys on horseback anymore, isn't that a bummer?"
            Korbin is all smiles as he looks up at Walker's hat. Walker takes it off and places it on the young boy's head. It covers his whole face, and the boy starts to giggle.
            "You're going to need a smaller hat, cowboy--so you can see where you're going."
            Cody wants to try the hat on next, "It almost fits me--look Justin--I'm a cowboy, too."
            "That's great guys, now give the Ranger back his hat and the two of you go finish your breakfast."
            Korbin pulls on Walker's pant leg, the Ranger kneels back down to him, the boy whispers, "Will you bring your horse to visit me?"
            Walker looks to Justin and then he smiles, "I have a better idea, Korbin---if it's okay with your cousin Justin---why don't all of you come to visit my ranch--and you can ride my horse, Amigo?"
            "Me too?" asks Cody.
            Walker is nodding his head, "All of you---but you got to make sure that your Uncle agrees to it."
            Korbin pulls on Walker's pant leg again, "Does your horse like little kids, will he like me? He won't bite me?"
            Walker is blown away by the little boys' questions, he smiles as he brushes the hair out of the little boy's face, "My horse will not bite you---he's good with little kids. And, he would love it, if all of you would come for a visit."
            Justin again tells the boys to finish their breakfast, they run back to the kitchen table, they still have Walker's hat, passing it back and forth between them. Justin starts to take it away from them, but Walker shakes his head.
            "Let 'em wear it--they can't hurt it. If a 2,000 lb bull can't hurt it, it will be safe with those two."
            Justin keeps looking at the officers suspiciously; the officers are looking around the small house. Walker and Ben exchange glances.
            "Justin---where is your Dad, we need to talk to him."
            "He's asleep," replies Justin quickly. "I can't wake him because he will have to go to work soon, he needs his sleep."
            Walker starts moving to the other end of the house as Ben tries to keep Justin's attention. "Justin---I went to the hospital last night and talked to the doctors."
            Justin keeps watching the Ranger as Walker gets near the closed bedroom door, and the boy is getting more nervous. He turns to the police officer, "How----how---is he, will he make it?"
            Ben watches as Walker turns around shakes his head, the officer turns to Justin. "Justin---your Dad is not here, is he? It's just you and your little cousins, right?"
            "No," replies Justin, "we're not alone."
            Walker walks back to Justin, "You know that you are suppose to have adult supervision, someone over 18 is suppose to be here with you."
            Justin is getting more nervous as Cody and Korbin have stopped playing with Walker's hat and is looking back at their older cousin.
            "Don't let them take us away again, Justin," Cody begs.
            "No one is taking you and Korbin anywhere---Mrs. O'Malley will be here soon," Justin yells back.
            "Mrs. O'Malley--then there is an adult here with you," asks Walker, "where is she?"
            "I'm right here!" Exclaims an elderly woman as she comes huffing and puffing into the living room. "I just had to run home real quick and check on my husband---is everything okay?"
            Ben explains to the woman that they were concerned there were no adults in the house when they got there. Walker is watching the look on Justin's face. The boy is scared to death.
            "They do have adult supervision, I told you I just had to run home, I wasn't gone more than five minutes," explains the old woman.
            "And, the father is not sleeping, is he Justin?" asks Walker.
            "No, I just told you that so Mrs. O’Malley would have time to get back, what's wrong with that?"
            Walker nods to Ben and he takes Justin further into the kitchen, Walker pulls the old lady aside. "How long have you been watching the boys, and how much time do you spend with them?  You know you can get in a lot of trouble saying that you're their supervisor, when you're not."
            "I'm only trying to help those boys and Mr. Bond---please don't report this, this family has been through enough."
                    "Suppose you tell me everything you know, okay, Mrs. O’Malley?"
            The Ranger listens to the old woman as Justin is watching from the kitchen, and he begins to cry. Ben reaches out and touches his shoulder, "Come on Justin----both Ranger Walker and I know that something is not being told. Won't you please open up to me, I'm only trying to help?"
            Cody and Korbin run to Justin, they too start crying. "It's all my fault," screams Justin, "I should never have gone to that farmhouse, if I had done what I was told, none of this would be happening."
            Ben motions for Justin and his cousins to sit down, "Justin--if you hadn't gone to that farmhouse---that man would probably have died. But, you saved him."
            The boy is wiping the tears from his eyes, "Saved him? Sounds to me like he's going to die anyway, and if I hadn't gotten involved--then he would have died in that place----and---and no one would have to know----about us."
            "Do you regret saving that man's life?" Asks Ben.
            "YES," Screams Justin--and then he starts crying harder, "No----no, I don't know what to say---I just don't want Cody and Korbin to go back to that foster home."
            "What foster home? Are you saying that your Dad doesn't have legal custody of your little cousins?"
            "Yes, he has custody---but it's only temporarily----and if the courts find out that we were sneaking out of the house----and my Dad is trying to work 3 jobs--they'll take Cody and Korbin and give them back to foster care."
            Ben's heart drops as he looks at the 3 boys----"Oh man----I was hoping it wasn't going to be anything like this--stay here guys, I got to talk to my friend."
            Ben motions for Walker, the Ranger starts nodding his head, "I got the story from Mrs. O’Malley----the boys are involved in a custody suit with their Mothers' sister. The parents and two sisters were killed in a car crash, Cody and Korbin were thrown clear and neither one of them was hurt--they just remember being put in a patrol car and taken to a foster care till their Uncle could come and get them."
            Ben shakes his head, "Poor kids----look at them, they're scared to death that they will be separated. Walker, what do we do? If we notify the authorities, we know what's going to happen."
            "We might be able to buy some time before reporting this, but Mrs. O’Malley will have to start spending more time here, they have to have constant supervision."
            The old lady nods in agreement, "I will stay here as long as I can, but I have to be home to give Edgar his medicine every 4 hours."
            Ben motions for Justin and his cousins to come to him, he reaches out and touches Justin's shoulder, "Do you understand what is going on here?"
            "All I understand is that everything would be okay if you two hadn't come around, poking your noses into everything and asking questions." The boy turns to Walker, "And you---shouldn't be making promises to little kids that you don't intend to keep."
            "I'm not making lame promises, Justin---I meant it when I said that all of you were welcome to come out to my ranch and ride my horses. As soon as your Dad gets home, I will ask his permission to let you come out."
            "It won't do any good, my Dad has to work all the time, and our old truck won't make long drives."
            Walker smiles back at the young boy, "You just let me worry about getting you out there, okay?  In the meantime, I need to talk to Mrs. O’Malley some more--Ben, didn't you have something to ask Justin?"
            Ben nods and pulls Justin off to the side, "Justin, would you like to go to the hospital to see that man?"
            Justin's eyes light up, then they dim---"No--I can't take the chance of the press seeing me there--they'll start asking all kinds of questions and the custody suit will be brought up again."
            Ben ponders for a moment, "Why don't you let me work on that?  I’ll check with the doctors to makes sure it's okay for you to see him, if only for a second. But, you will have to clear this with your Dad first."
            Justin clears his throat, "I'm kind of scared, but the way I see it, that man has no other friends--everyone deserves to have a least one--don't they?"


                                          *******************************


            The young couple is lying in bed and reading the paper, the young woman is staring at the headlines.
                "Mutilated man pulled from Garland fire, reports of other bodies in old farmhouse!"
           
She swallows hard as she turns to her male friend, "Geez--what that man must have suffered, the paper says that he was pulled out by a 13 year old boy and a police officer. Wesley, they say his eyes were gouged out and also his tongue was cut out."
            "Yeah, I read that--the paper also said that he had head wounds, but wouldn't elaborate on what kind. Sounds like some kind of occult was being practiced out there." He smirks and then he replies sarcastically, "It would be the kind of torture that your boyfriend--I mean---that Andy---would be interested in. I'll bet he's reading that article over and over, getting every gory detail."
            "Please, Wesley----Andy is a rude and obnoxious person, but I can't believe that he would get his 'jollies' reading about some person's torture."
            "I'm not so sure about that, you never saw his face when he was sitting through those lectures, he was actually drooling at the mouth."


                                         **********************************


            Andy and Lynn have watched as the gray Ram exits the Walker ranch, first stopping to talk to the officers in the patrol car.
            Andy sneers, "The 'Neanderthal' is leaving---I don't see Alexandra with him---that means she's alone."
            "She's not alone, Andy, there are two officers in that car and they've been driving up and down that gravel road every hour, there's no way you can get to her."
            Andy's green eyes burn into the young woman's, "I hope you are making yourself useful by trying to figure out how you're going to get to the Ranger, or do I have to figure that one out for you too?"
            Lynn closes her eyes and sighs, remembering how Ranger Trivette talked about his partner and the lady DA. "There is no way that Ranger will allow himself to be seduced by me---or any other woman----can't you get it through your head---he's love with her."
            "You're probably right, why would that 'Neanderthal' want you when he has the beautiful Alexandra."
            "Is she really as beautiful as you make her out to be?"
            Andy nods his head slowly as he continues to watch the patrol car make its routine check and head back towards the ranch house. "Yes----she's breathtaking, her skin is so soft and she has a smile that makes you want to melt. Those blue eyes and those lips-----those lips-----it will be pure heaven to have those lips wrapped around----my-----my penis-the way---she was being forced to do to that---Ranger."
            Lynn stammers, "Oh my God--how do you know that----were you spying on them?"
            Andy's voice changes as he rocks back and forth in his seat, "Thrill, thrill---she catches on quick, doesn't she, Andrew?"
           
Andy answers himself, "Yeah, she's a real piece of art."                
            "I can't believe this," mutters Lynn, "What else have you been up to, and why are we here? Are you planning on kidnapping her?"
                      "Questions, questions---is that all you can ask?  You just remember Lynn, I have your son, you better start coming up with some ideas on how to lure the Ranger away or---or---" 
            "Okay, Andy----just give me some time to come up with something--that Ranger will not be easily fooled," pleads Lynn.
            Andy starts up the little Chevy as he looks to Lynn with hatred. "It better be soon, I'm losing my patience with you."
            The Chevy heads back towards Arlington.


                                          **********************************


            Walker and the Ben are heading back to Ben's patrol car. The young officer turns to the Ranger.
                     "Thanks for going out there with me, I'm going to call the doctors and make arrangements for Justin to see our John Doe tonight, want to tag along?"
            Walker shakes his head as he takes a quick glimpse at his watch, "No---not this time---I got to get home, promised Alex I wouldn't be gone too long---she's not feeling too well."
            Ben smiles, “Ooohhh?  Morning sickness?"
            Walker smiles, shaking his head--"No, just the opposite."
            "Do I detect a little disappointment in your voice---oh wait---I'm sorry, I'm being nosey." The young officer starts stammering, "Look, I'm not trying to be personal, I know that we just met last night and all---damn it--I'm sorry. It's just that every since I found I was going to be a daddy, I guess I feel like that----"
            "It's okay, Ben. No--Alex and I aren't ready to go down the road of parenthood, but who knows---maybe some day."
            "Well, I saw the way you reacted to Justin and his cousins; you have a lot of compassion for kids. I've also heard about your Kick Drugs Out Of America campaign. That was really nice of you to invite the boys out to your ranch."
            "I was glad to do it, because those kids need a break. They need some fun things in their lives, I didn't see too much of that in that house they're living in. Mr. Bond sounds like a very caring man who loves his son and nephews very much."
            "Yeah, I only met him that one time, but he and Justin seem very close. I'm going to run a check on him and the custody suit, thanks again Walker---tell Alex hello for me."
            The Ranger pulls his Ram away from the crime scene and heads back towards Springtown. He makes an exit at the Arlington cut off and heads to a western store.


                                         ****************************


            Barry is staring back at his friend through dark sunglasses, "I can't believe it, you're actually going to the hospital to see that creep?"
            "He's not a creep---and keep your voice down! My Dad just got home, he has to shower and go to his second job."
            "What does he say about you going to the hospital?"
            "He says it's my choice, that police officer said he would come and get me and take me there. My Dad said he would stay with Cody and Korbin till we got back but I can't be gone very long. In the meantime you'd better go, I’ve got to fix my Dad some supper and pack some sandwiches for him."
            Barry shrugs, "Well, okay, was your Dad upset that the police officer and that Ranger found out about the custody suit and all?"
            "At first he was, but he said it was bound to come out since the incident at the farmhouse and all, but Ben---that officer, said he would arrange for me not to have to see any press and not be answering a lot of questions."
            "That's good, I guess.  Do you trust them?"
            "They seem okay, I didn't like that Ranger at first--but Cody and Korbin took to him right away, he's invited all of us to go out to his ranch and ride his horses."
                  "Something sounds fishy, why would he do that, he just met you?"
            "I don't know---guess he's just trying to be nice. Anyways, I'll believe that we're going to his ranch when it happens--I just hope my little cousins won't be disappointed if he goes back on his promise."
            Barry nods his head, "I don't trust no pigs---they'll lie and promise anything to get you to talk---be careful Justin about what you say."
            "About what? We didn't do anything wrong, you said so yourself."
            "Yeah, I know but sometimes police officers can be real crooks, you know, tampering with evidence, stealing drugs that are evidence and everything?  Also, don't you think it's a little strange that all of a sudden a Texas Ranger shows up on your doorstep and starts wanting to be your friend?  Trust me Justin when I say---don't trust him."
            "I don't understand why you think that Ranger is crooked."
            Barry takes a deep sigh, "Don't you listen to the cop shows and how they befriend the witnesses?  Who knows---maybe that Ranger knows what was happening in that old farmhouse, and he's luring you out to his place so he can get rid of you."
            "Why?  All I did was help to pull that man out when the place caught on fire."
            "But, if he's involved--he's gonna think that you saw more than what we actually saw."
            "We didn't see anything, Barry---we didn't even see any drugs--we just saw that---that body---and those pictures of that woman on the wall."
            "Oh yeah, I forgot about those pictures--do you think she was the one that was murdered?"
            "I don't know---I guess. Look, I got to get busy fixing my Dad his supper, I sure hope he doesn't mind tuna fish sandwiches again."
            "Yuk, that's what you've fixed for the last two nights."
            "I know, but money is scarce—Mrs. O’Malley sent over part of a roast but Cody and Korbin ate it for lunch---they were starving."
            "What about you, Justin, when's the last time you ate something besides tuna?"
            "I've lost count and besides if it's good enough for my Dad, it's good enough for me! He drives that taxi all night, at midnight he comes home and I try to have egg sandwiches ready---there's only two left, hope it's enough."
            "Look, I'm going to run home and see if I can sneak some of my Mom's meatloaf to bring to you.  But, I have to warn you, my Mom's meatloaf is not very good---they're actually TV dinners."
                  "Thanks Barry, did you get into trouble when your parents found out about us going to that old farmhouse?"
            The boy reaches up and takes his sunglasses off, revealing a black eye. "Does this answer your question?"
            "I'm sorry, Barry.  Look, don't risk getting into more trouble by bringing me something to eat, I can manage."
            "Are you kidding?" Barry puts his glasses back on and smiles, "You're doing me a favor by eating that crappy meatloaf!  Otherwise, I would have to eat it! I would sooner have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  Hey, I'll sneak you some of those, too---and remember---don't trust those pigs---neither of them."


                                          *********************************


            Alex is watching the clock as she puts the cornbread into the oven to cook. She sniffs the cabbage, and takes a pinch of the sausage.
            "Hmm, tastes good, even if I do say so. I just hope I can keep it down, damn these cramps."
            She turns back to the refrigerator and takes the ice tea out and pours a small glass, then pops two more Midol tablets into her mouth. She hears the Ram pull up.
            Alex is walking towards the front door when she sees Walker taking shopping bags out of his truck. She's smiling as he walks in, he takes a deep whiff of the cabbage cooking.
            "Smells good---man, am I hungry!" He replies sitting the bags down at the hall closet.
            Alex reaches over and kisses him, eyeing the bags. "What have you got in there?"
                  "These?" Walker smiles sheepishly as he opens one of the bags up and Alex's mouth drops open.
                   "Cowboy hats?  Honey, why did you buy cowboy hats?"


Sarcophagus – Part 18

            The Ranger stammers, "Alex, you can't ride horses without the proper riding attire."
            "But, Walker--I have the proper riding attire."
            "But---these aren't for you."
            Alex pulls the hats out and looks at them and then back to Walker, "Well, I hope not because these are rather small, especially this one," she hold up the smallest hat.
            "Yeah, well--that one is for Korbin."
            The blonde stares back at him, her brow arches--"Who is Korbin?"
            Walker smiles as he starts digging the rest of the merchandise out, he's pulling out western belts, and cowboy boots--"Wait till you meet these kids, Alex, they're going to melt your heart, especially that Korbin---he's so cute."
            Alex smiles, "I should have known there would be a child involved---Walker, I thought you were going with Ben Cooper to talk to that young boy that helped pull that man out of that old farmhouse."
            "I did," explains Walker, "and he has these two little cousins that live with him and the subject of horses came up and this little guy, Korbin, asked if he could ride my horses and I said---yes!  It's really very simple, Alex--that's why I bought all this stuff."
            Alex nods her head, "Well, that certainly explains everything----and just when is all of this suppose to take place?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh, "Well---I have to clear things with the father---but soon---I hope."
            Alex continues to shake her head, "You continue to amaze me, Cordell Walker---but getting back to the other boy---were you and Ben able to find out why this boy is being so secretive?"
            "Yeah, we were---and it's not good."
            Alex hears the timer on the cornbread go off, she raises her hand as Walker starts to explain what happened. "Honey--could this wait, the cornbread is ready and I got to drain the cabbage. You can tell me all about it during supper---go get washed up—okay?"
            Walker reaches over and kisses her quickly, "Okay, hon---but I'm telling you, this little guy, Korbin---is so cute. He's got the biggest brown eyes and they were so sad, until he found out about the horses---and then they lit up like the fireworks on the 4th of July!"
            Alex smiles back tenderly as she looks into Walker's eyes, she replies softly. "Sort of like the way your eyes are all lit up now talking about him, huh?"
            Walker is slowly walking towards the hall room bath, he rubs his beard, "Yeah---I guess so."


                               ***************************************


Garland Hospital:
            Justin has gotten permission from the doctors to see the John Doe. He keeps looking back at Ben for moral support. Ben nods to him.
                   "Remember Justin, you can only stay for a couple of minutes."
            Justin looks to the body lying completely covered in bandages, tubes are coming out of his mouth and nose. His head is covered in bandages, the boy can see steel bars on both sides of the man's head, a brace has been installed to keep his head still. The man's face is covered also, and a gelatin is being used to keep his lips moist.
            Justin turns to the doctor, "How does he eat and drink?"
            The doctor points to the tubes going into his arms and then to a bag that hangs onto a small stand. "We're feeding him intravenously, Justin--it's the only way we can get food into him, but I'm afraid that it's not enough---he seems to be losing his will to fight any longer."
            "Will he be able to hear me?"
            "I'm not sure Justin---you can try."
            Justin walks up to the man and leans over close to his ear and whispers, "Hello mister---it's me, Justin---the boy that was with you in the farmhouse---can you hear me?"
            The doctor is watching the monitor, but there is no reaction. He looks to Justin and shakes his head.
            "Can I please try again--maybe he can hear me--but maybe he's in too much pain to respond?"
            The doctor motions for Ben and the two walk out of the room. Ben looks back through the window as Justin continues to try and talk to John Doe.
            "Has there been any change in him at all, doctor?"
            "No, we've done all we can to make him at least comfortable in his last hours. There's no use in trying to correct the surgery that whoever in hell tried to do to his brain, we've got him stabilized not to move his head--one small movement in either direction could kill him. Whoever did this was using the most primitive of instruments, and I could almost swear that they were trying----trying-----"
            "Trying what, doctor? What are you trying to say?"
            The doctor takes his glasses off and takes a deep breath, "I could almost swear that they were trying to take his brain matter---out through his nose with a long hook like vice that resembles a crochet hook."
            Ben's face turns white, "What?  Why?  I mean, what's the purpose?"
            "Do you recall your Egyptian history and how the pharaohs were entombed?"
            Ben shakes his head, "No---sorry but I wasn't interested in that part of history. I thought when their Kings died or pharaohs, whatever you call them, that they were just buried inside coffins---like that King Tut?"
            "Yes, that's partly right---but the bodies had to be prepared first before they took their final journey in the after world. These bodies were emptied of their entrails and filled with a embalming substance called natron--that's a type of salt. After this was done, their entrails were buried with them or else kept in urns for thousands of years."
            "Geez--and I thought the embalming of the 20th century was morbid--I remembering puking up my stomach for days."
            The doctor stares back at the young officer, "Well, at least your victims were dead, before they were embalmed---this unfortunate soul wasn't!  Not only was he blinded, they cut his tongue out---after they tried to perform their so-called lobotomy!  The poor man was going through pure hell as they were digging around in his scull for his brain matter."
            Ben can feel himself getting nauseated, "Excuse me doctor, I got to get---a drink of---water---excuse----me."
            The doctor watches as young Ben runs to the men's room, followed by the sounds of someone up-chucking their meal. The doctor looks back into John Doe’s room, Justin is continuing to talk to the un-responding victim.
            "I don't know if you can hear me, but that's okay--I'll keep talking." Replies Justin. He reaches down and lightly touches the man's right hand, being careful not to touch the burned area. Most of the man's hand is covered except between his thumb and forefinger. Justin touches the area very carefully then he continues to talk very softly.
            "I will tell you about myself---and my family if that's okay---I live with my dad and my little cousins, my Mom died when I was about 8--she had cancer. She was sick for a long time; my Dad loved her so much we both did. When the time came for my Mom to leave us, she said, "Justin--I see a bright light, I must follow it, it promises there will be no more pain---don't cry for me because I hurt no more."
            Justin stops and wipes his tears away, "You know what mister? She said something else to me that I will always remember? She said everyone deserves to have a friend, no matter what she or he has done in their lifetime. I want to be your friend---will you let me be your friend?  I know you can't answer me--and I'll take that as a "YES" that I can be your friend."
            Justin continues to talk and gently touch the man's hand. I know that I was afraid of you when you came out of nowhere and scared the hell out of my friend, and me but when I saw you---trying to cry---I didn't fear you anymore. You were trying to cry for that woman, weren't you?  Was she the woman in the pictures--if so--she was so pretty--she had beautiful blue eyes?  At first I thought you might have done those things to her, but when you tried to cry, I knew better-----I knew-------"
            Justin jerks back his hand as he sees the thumb move on John Doe’s hand. The boy stands there, looking at the thumb move back and forth, Justin moves quickly up beside the man's head and whispers, "I see your thumb move---you can hear me, can't you?  Move your forefinger---if you hear me."
            The thumb moves back and forth, then it stops. Justin gasps as he looks at the heart monitor---"Noooo---don't stop---please don't stop---mister---move your hand---please."
            Justin stares at the man's hand for the longest-the forefinger twitches---and then moves. Justin gives out a rebel yell, "HE DID IT!"
            The doctor comes running as a young Ben Cooper emerges from the men's room, his face wet from splashing cold water onto it. He runs into the room, where he and the doctor stare back at each other, Justin is all smiles.


                                   **************************************


            Alex is listening intently to Walker talk about the young boys and the custody case.
            "Bond? Bond, I knew that name was familiar and I'm not referring to the super spy either. I remember something about a car crash that happened up near Wichita Falls about 2 years ago, a family of six was hit by a drunk driver--- the parents and two of the kids--sisters, I think---were killed instantly. Two little boys were thrown free and motorists found them wandering around in a daze, unhurt."
            "Yeah, that's what the O'Malley woman said, the boys were taken to the police station, screaming and crying, completely terrified."
            Alex pushes her cabbage and potatoes away from her and reaches for her ice tea, "I remember at the time thinking how horrible it all was, thinking they would be orphans, I read in the paper later that an aunt was their only relative and she was out of the country on a world cruise."
            "But, that wasn't true about not having anymore relatives, was it? The deceased man had a brother, David Bond, living in Garland."
            Alex sighs, "Well, I lost contact with the story, I was involved in several cases at the time, but I did hear that a uncle had claimed them. After that, I sort of lost interest in their case. I thought everything was okay, they had a home."
            "It's far from over, hon---that boy, Justin, is scared to death that his cousins will be sent back to that foster home, where they were staying until the uncle got them, on a temporary basis. The father works 3 jobs trying to support them, so therefore he's not able to spend much time with them."
            "That's not good, Walker--the courts will yank those boys away from that uncle so fast if they know he's not supervising them."
            Walker pushes his plate away from him, "I know that, Alex---but what choice has the man got?"
            "It really pisses me off to admit this, but sometimes our laws surrounding custody suits, can really be unfair and uncaring."
            "I know all too well about that part of our law, I've seen way too many kids end up in foster homes and orphanages because they are taken from families that truly love them and separated--just because the law says 'its best for the kids'--that's bull crap."
            "I agree with you, honey---but unfortunately that's the law we have and until these laws are changed--many kids will suffer."
            Walker drinks the last of his coffee and starts to the kitchen to retrieve more--"The law sucks!"
            Alex sighs, she knows that this is becoming a very sore subject with the Ranger. He, too, had spent time in a orphanage until his Uncle Ray took him to the Indian reservation to live. She starts to reply when the phone rings, she gets up to answer it.
            "Hi Ben!  Yeah, he's here--hold on."
            Alex looks to Walker as he leans up against the sink; she can see the anger as the veins pop out on his forehead.
                  "Honey--it's Ben Cooper--he sounds all excited about something."
            Alex listens as Walker's voice becomes softer and happier. "That's great, Ben---good to hear it.  Yeah--thanks for calling."
            "What was that all about?" asks Alex.
            Walker tells her about Justin's visit with John Doe and the man attempting to move his fingers after hearing the boy's voice. Walker's face is all excited as he looks to Alex and takes her hand, "This can be in the Bonds' favor, can't it? After the courts hear about this and what Justin has accomplished, it can be in their favor, right?"
                  "Walker, it is good news and it certainly can't hurt the Bonds', but I don't know how it could help---the boy did an amazing job-----"
            "Alex---he made a miracle, the doctors had said John Doe wouldn't live through the night--but he did. And then------Ben said that they were practically ready to take the man off life support because there was no improvement in his brain waves---but Justin proved that he could do what the doctors couldn't---he got a reaction.  Alex, that's got to have some pull with the court's decision on where those little boys should live."
            Alex is watching the Rangers' eyes and the concern in his voice, she reaches out and strokes his beard, "Honey----if it was up to me, there wouldn't be any decision to make. From what you said those boys want to live with their Uncle and Justin, and I would choose to let them stay where they're the happiest---but honey---you know the courts are going to place them in a home where they have complete supervision and---- the proper care."
            Walker drops her hand and starts pacing, he looks back at her angrily, "You mean the monetary issue, don't you?  The almighty dollar takes issue over the happiness of those two little boys."
            "I'm afraid so," she answers weakly, "you've seen enough of these case and so have I---we both know that the courts will rule in favor of the Aunt, because she has the money to see that those boys have everything that money can buy------"
            "Except for love," Walker answers sarcastically, "she has no feelings for those boys or she would have came back from that damn cruise to make a home for them."
            Alex takes a deep sigh as she gets up from the table and goes to her Midol tablets again. She pops two more in her mouth and stares back at the Ranger.
                  "Walker---you are doing the one thing that as law officials we are not suppose to do---get personally involved! This is eating you up inside!"
            "I can't help it, Alex---you didn't see the look in Cody and Korbin's eyes when they thought they were going back to that foster home," Walker stops and turns his head away.
            Alex walks slowly over to him and rubs his shoulder, "I know it's heartbreaking, and I feel your sadness--but Walker--you can't change anything. You said so yourself that the house they were living in was in bad shape--and I'm sure there isn't enough food either."
            Walker turns around, his eyes are misty--"No, there wasn't much food---the boys were eating cereal---but now that I think of it, I didn't see any milk in the bowls."
            Alex shakes her head sadly, “Oh no---you said the Uncle was working 3 jobs?"
            "Part time jobs---Ben said that during the day Mr. Bond worked in a garage as a mechanic, at night he drives a taxi---and on the weekends, he works delivering newspapers to the newsstands. The poor man is trying to see that the boys are taken care of---why can't the courts take that into consideration?"
            "And, Justin stays with the boys---along with this Mrs. O’Malley?"
            "Yeah, she goes from their house back to hers, her husband is in poor health."
            Alex takes the Ranger’s hand and urges him back to the kitchen table, "Sit down, I'll fix some fresh coffee."
            The Ranger sighs as he looks to the remaining sausage and cabbage, "The supper was delicious hon, but I can't eat anymore---knowing that those little boys might be going to bed on a empty stomach."
            Alex smiles, "Well???  If you're not going to eat anymore---then why not take it to them?  I also have some lemon poppy bread left-----and some whipped cream."
                    Walker's eyes become soft as he looks at the blonde, he keeps looking at her and remembering the conversation that he had earlier with Ben Cooper. She looks back at him, seeing that look.
                 "What?" she asks suspiciously--"Why are you looking at me that way?"
            The Ranger takes her hand and kisses it, "I was just thinking about something that Ben and I were having a discussion about."
            Alex purrs, "Well? Are you going to let me in on it?"
            His voice becomes almost a whisper as he reaches over and kisses her gently, "No, not just yet---but maybe someday soon we can sit down and talk about it."
            Alex swallows, she's never seen this side of her lover--but it's a good warm feeling. She returns his kiss and then replies, "I've got to go back to my place tonight, big case coming up. In the meantime you can help me pack this food up, drop me off at my apartment and then you can take this food to the Bond home, okay?"


                                                 ***********************************


            Lynn is pacing nervously in the Arlington apartment. She starts to cry.
            "I know something is not right---where is he holding my son?  I was so sure he was in that farmhouse---but if he was---oh my God---I know he's dead."
            The woman is crying so hard she can barely breathe. She keeps her hand over her mouth as not to disturb Andy who is sleeping in the only bedroom. She is forced to sleep on the old couch, but to her it was the better choice than to have to sleep with him and perform oral sex.
            Her body shakes as she remembers them coming back to his apartment and almost immediately he was hitting her, and telling her she was worthless. He yelled at her constantly to clean the place up, she kept asking about her son, the hitting increased. He then told her to strip, and he took all of her clothes and tied them in knots. He then went to the bathroom, emerging without even cleaning himself and forced her to perform the ungodly act. He scolded her constantly saying she wasn't doing it right, and then he masturbated on her.
            She gagged and was trying to cover her face, he held her head back and continued to humiliate her. For hours she begged for a drink of water, finally he permitted her to do so and to take a bath. As the water cooled her aching body, she knew what she would have to do. There was only one person she could turn to---Trivette!
            She searched through her old jeans and then her purse looking for the card he had given her in Abilene, she finally found it. She walked slowly to the phone and dialed the number. A woman's voice answers, and then the phone is given to the black Ranger.
            Lynn's voice is low, almost inaudible, "Jimmy?  This is Lynn---Lynn Masters---from Abilene?"


                                     ******************************************


            The boy is staring back at his father, the man is tired and barely able to carry on a conversation.
            "The man moved his fingers for me, Dad--the doctors are saying it was like a miracle that he had any kind of reaction--they were saying they were going to remove him from life support."
            The man nods his head, "That's great son, I'm happy that you could help." The man looks around the kitchen and sees loafs of bread, cans of coffee, hot chocolate mixes, chips, cola, etc. "Son----where did all this food come from?"
            Justin hesitates, "That Ranger---he came by last night with bags of food---and Dad---you'll have a nice supper tonight--I'll have it all warmed up for you--cornbread and everything! He even brought ice cream."
            The little man forces a smile, and then he starts to cry, "I'm not a very good father, am I, son?"
            Justin jumps from his chair and runs to his Dad, putting his arms around him--"Stop talking like that--you're the best father in the whole world."
            "No, I'm not," the man shakes his head back and forth, "if I was I would be able to give you more and make a home for Cody and Korbin---Justin---they're going to turn the electricity off today."
            Justin's face turns white, "What?  They can't do that---all of that food will ruin---you have to ask them for more time---what about your check?"
            The man starts crying harder, "I messed up, Justin, I thought I had a good hand---I was holding a full house---then---someone flashed 4 of a kind!"
            The boy backs up and stares at his Dad, "You were playing cards again---Dad---you promised you wouldn't."
            "I couldn't help it, son---I got the notice from the electric company that they would be turning off the electricity at noon today-my check couldn't cover the bill--I was trying to win enough to pay it."
            "But, Dad--they have given us extra time before and let us pay in installments------"
            The man reaches into his pocket and shoves the bill into Justin's hand, "Not this time, they wanted the full payment---all $225 by noon. By the time I paid the other bills and bought an old tire for the truck, I only had $100 left---and I knew we needed food too."
            Their loud voices have awakened Cody and Korbin, they come stumbling into the kitchen and Korbin says he's hungry. Justin motions for them to get up in their chairs, he goes to get the milk out and prepares their cereal. The boys stare back at him.
            "Is this real milk?  It doesn't come out of a can, does it?"
            Korbin is holding the cereal bowl up and drinking the white liquid, it leaves a white mark on his upper lip. He smacks his lips and holds out the bowl to Justin---"Can I have more---please?"
            Justin is fighting to keep his tears from showing, "Yeah sure, you can have more!  And for your information, Cody, it is real milk but if we have to go back to mixing canned milk with water, we will--and you will like it or else----understand?"
            The boys nod their heads slowly as the old man turns to Justin, "Don't take out your anger on them, son, it's me you should be angry with---I'm the one that screwed everything up."
            "I'm not angry at anyone, Dad---except---maybe---Him."
            "Him? Who are you talking about?"
            "GOD- who else?  He's the one that allowed all of this to happen!"
            "Justin, I will not allow you to use His name in vain---everything happens for a reason."
            "You're wrong Dad, Uncle Ron and Aunt Ginger did not have to die in that car crash, God could have prevented it."
            Cody and Korbin are listening to their cousin and Uncle argue, and young Cody's eyes fill with tears, and he replies softly, "I miss my Mama and Daddy and my sisters."
            Korbin starts to cry, "Me too----I want my mamma."
            Justin runs to Korbin and holds him tightly, the little boy's arms go around his neck, "It's okay, little cuz---everything will be okay--I'm sorry I brought up sad memories."
            The man gets up from his chair and hugs all three boys, "I have to get ready for work, Mrs. O’Malley will be here soon, so you boys finish your breakfast. Justin says that we will have a nice warm supper tonight, isn't that right, son?"
            The boys stop crying and look to their older cousin, "What? More tuna fish?"
            Justin forces a smile, "No---we're having sausage, cabbage, and cornbread---doesn't that sound delicious?"
            The boys exchange looks and Korbin makes a face----"Yuk."
                      "Double yuk," replies Cody.
            "Well, that's gratitude for you!  Okay, maybe you two are too young to like that kind of stuff, how does pizza sound?"
            "Pizza"? Both boys shout. "We're going to have pizza?"
            Justin looks to his Dad who is smiling back at him, "Yeah, it's frozen pizza---will that be okay?"
            Cody stares back at Justin, "You are going to cook it first, aren't you?"
            Justin laughs, "Maybe---or I might just wait till it thaws out, compliments of the electric company, and let you eat it raw. I guess maybe I should go ahead and cook it in the microwave-before the deadline---huh, dad?"
            The man smiles, "I'm sorry son, I'm sorry for putting all of this on your shoulders--your Mother would be so proud of you, the way you have stepped up to the plate---and become a man."
            "It's okay, Dad----I  have your lunch packed---I think they're called breakfast burritos, have a good day at work---and Dad--I'm not angry about the card game--I know you were trying to make things easier---"
            The man can only nod his head as he feels the tears coming, "I love you son---don't ever forget it."
            "I love you too Dad, and I know Mom is looking down on you and smiling."
            Justin watches from the front window as his Dad climbs up into the cab of his old truck. The truck sputters and then pulls away. In the background Justin hears squealing as he hears the refrigerator open.
            "ICE CREAM---WE GOT ICE CREAM!"
            Justin starts to stop them from digging into the gallon of chocolate ice cream, but then he stops and looks at the clock. "Go ahead guys, and eat till your little stomachs can hold no more---wait--there's whipped cream to go with it!" He runs to the cabinet and grabs 3 bowls, and soon three hungry little boys are making quick work of the gooey, sticky, substance. The boys point at each other as their faces have the ice cream smeared all over them.
            Justin watches his little cousins and then he whispers, "Thank you, Ranger."


                                              ***********************************


Ranger headquarters:
            Walker has been down to the lab, but returns to his desk in a foul mood. Trivette is hesitant about approaching him.
            "Hey Walkman---any more new information on your intruder?"
            "No, none!  I've been racking my brain trying to figure out the motivation behind all of this."
            "What makes you believe there has to be a motivation--the man was a peeping tom---" Trivette answers quietly.
            Walker shakes his head, "I don't buy it, there has to be more to what happened than a case of voyeurism. Think about it, Trivette--my home is well off the main highway, so someone just didn't wander up to my place and just nonchalantly decide to crawl up on my roof---and brings an axe?"
            "You're right about that, do you still think it has something to do with Tom Stevens and that "other woman" and the phone call?"
            Walker shakes his head, "That's what has me confused the most---Alex and I checked the phone company and two calls did come into my phone at the time Alex mentioned. That meant that whoever was in my house had to have been there between 8:40 and 8:44--I got home just minutes before nine, whoever was there to answer my phone had to have known mine and Alex's schedule. They knew I was out of town, they planned this down to the last minute."


Sarcophagus - Part 19
By SASQUAW
 

            Trivette reaches for the coffee pot and pours himself half a cup, he makes a face and sets it back down, "Yep, and Tom Stevens knew you were out of town and he saw the field clear to approach Alex."
            Walker nods, "Yeah, but that wasn't him on my roof, this was a younger man and I have to agree with Alex, this isn't Stevens' way. Even if he paid someone to do the spying, the part of the axe is just not making any sense. He's never been anything but a cowering Romeo, thinking he has to bed every woman in Texas."
            "So----if you don't think that Stevens is behind this, then who?  An ex-boyfriend of Alex's---what about the 'other woman'--how does she figure into all this?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh, "It's obvious that someone is trying to drive a wedge between Alex and me, by trying to cause us to be jealous of each other and cause us to argue---and break up. That hasn't worked and I suspect that another attempt will be made."
            "What about Alex, how is she holding up?"
            "Alex was scared to death when this first happened and she's still a little shook, but she's a strong person--she's had dealings like this before---she's not going to run scared."
            Trivette nods in agreement, "She's a strong woman, would have to be in her line of work---so where do we go from here, Walk-man?"
            "The first thing to do was to issue extra protection for Alex, as long as she was at my ranch, she was okay, but now that she's back to work, I will have someone looking out for her when I'm not around. Also, I talked to Zeke, her doorman at her townhouse, and told him to be extra careful about who is hanging around and definitely clear it with her before letting anyone up to her apartment. He's a good man, and I know he will take extra precautions.  Next, we need to go back over our schedule for last week and see who had information on where and when I would be out of town."
                  "Walker, that's a big area to cover, everyone in this office knew that we were going to Abilene, and that we both had to testify in court and that we would be down there for several days."
            "Yeah, I know, Trivette---but I got to start somewhere. I can't let this go another day; it's driving me crazy! I tried to play it down to a minimum while Alex was at the ranch, so that she wouldn't be anymore upset than she was, but she knew--she could tell."
            Trivette nods his head in agreement, "Okay, partner--just tell me what you want me to do."
            "Maybe we need to go and talk to the friends that were at C.D.'s with Stevens that night, the locals have questioned them already, but maybe we can jolt their memory a little more."
            "Still no word about his where abouts?"
            Walker comes from behind his desk and reaches for his Stetson, "Nope, he's still missing---it's like he's dropped off the face of the earth."
            "He must be really scared this time that finally some of those women that he's been assaulting will finally testify against him," replies Trivette.
            Walker stares back at his partner, "Well, I know one thing, if he's behind this little scheme about trying to cause trouble between Alex and me--and that little incident on my roof---when I get hold of him, there won't be anything left of him to stand trial--and those women won't have to bother about testifying!"

                                        ***********************************

            Andy is watching Alex as she sits her briefcase down and picks up her morning mail. She smiles quickly at him and then looks around to Denise's empty desk.
            "Andy, has there been any word about Denise---is she still sick?"
            The young law clerk looks to Denise's desk and then back to Alex, he tries to hide his sardonic smile. "No ma'am, I haven't heard any word from her, I suppose she's still fighting the flu bug."
            Alex sighs, "I think I’ll call her apartment and check on her. What about the 'sub', where is she?"
            "She hasn't come in yet, Miss Cahill---but I've been here since 6am, getting things ready for you, I know how you like things---all neat and tidy."
            Thank you, Andy---you're a good worker," Alex smiles back at him.
            She picks up her briefcase and starts to walk away, he has to hide his contempt in the question he asks, "Did you have a nice weekend, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex stops, she thinks twice about mentioning anything pertaining to the incident on Friday night, she smiles, "Yes, Andy---it was a nice weekend, thank you for asking."
            Andy is still fighting his anger as he approaches the blonde attorney, "I heard that you won several awards at the convention, but you left before they were presented----Mr. Mooney said---you left in a hurry---was anything wrong?"
            Alex studies her young law clerk's face, she suddenly feels very uncomfortable, she hesitates---"No--everything was okay---just a ----misunderstanding-----everything is fine."
            Andy stares at her, "Just a misunderstanding she says---just a misunderstanding---how can she be so careless about what happened? Any other woman would have reacted differently if another woman had answered her lover's phone. I'm getting very angry with you, Alexandra----"
            "
Andy--are you okay?" Alex is staring back at the young law clerk.
            Andy starts shaking his head, "I'm fine, I'm fine---I had a rough weekend---guess I'm a little ----disoriented."
            Alex continues to study his face, and then she nods towards Denise's empty desk, "Well, let's get back to work, and would you please look up Denise's phone number for me, I want to call and check on her? Also, would you call the secretarial pool and ask them where the 'sub' is--I have a new case coming up?"
            "Yes, Miss Cahill--I'll do that."
            As Alex walks to her office, Andy hisses to himself, and begins to mock Alex's instructions. "Yes Miss Cahill, I will look up Denise's phone number for you, but it won't do any good, dead people can't talk."
                "Andrew, she was mocking you--are you going to let her get away with that?"
            "No, Annie--it's time to show Alexandra who is the boss, I am tired of wasting my time-soon Alexandra---you will be mine--forever in eternity!"

                                     ***********************************

Garland hospital:
            The doctor approaches Justin very cautiously, "Hello Justin, are you ready for another visit with our John Doe?"
            The boy looks up at the police officer, " Yes sir, if that's okay."
            The doctor smiles and nods to him to go on in, he then turns to Ben Cooper. "We haven't had any improvement since Justin's visit, everything is still the same. But, it's plain to see that young boy has feelings for our John Doe and the only reaction we got out of our John Doe was when he moved his thumb and forefinger for him."
            Ben smiles, "Yeah, I know and that's a good sign that he is hearing!”
            "After Justin visits with him for a few minutes I would like to ask him to try and get our patient to maybe try printing his name out."
            "Is that possible, doctor?"
                   "Anything is possible, but the brain waves are slow, and our patient might not be able to interpret everything that young Justin is trying to say to him. But, if we could just find out who he is---and how to communicate to him."
            The young officer nods, "I know Justin will work with you on anything you suggest, but doctor, we can't stay too long, Justin has to get back home to stay with his cousins while his Dad goes to work--also--school will be starting soon--and that will cut into his visiting."
            The doctor looks to the officer and smiles, "You've taken a deep interest in that boy, did you bring him here again on your own time?"
            "Yes sir, my shift doesn't start till noon--and Justin's transportation isn't too good. He's a good boy, Doc---and he's genuinely interested in the well being of our John Doe."
            The men turn to the patients' room as young Justin walks up and lowers his head down to the man. "Hey mister, it's me. Remember me, Justin?"
            Justin watches the man's hand, but there is no movement. The boy reaches down and touches his hand gently, "It's okay----I'll just continue talking, if that's okay?  I will tell you again about my family, but first---do you have a family?  Is there anyone we can get in touch with?"
            There is sill no movement as the boy continues to talk about everything that he thinks might interest his new friend, he talks about the weather, sports, etc. The nurse that is monitoring the machines looks back at Justin and smiles.
            "There is a slight acknowledgement that he hears you, your voice is definitely soothing to him--go on Justin---talk to him."
            Justin swallows as he gently squeezes the man's hand, being careful of the burns. "I can't stay too long today, my little cousins have been invited out to a ranch to go horseback riding--I've been invited too, but I don't know if I want to go. The guy that invited my cousins is a cop too--but I don't like him as much as I do Ben. Ben is the police officer that helped me to drag you out---he's a nice guy---I really like him. This other cop is trying real hard to make me like him, but Barry, my friend, says not to trust him--he doesn't like any cops."
            Justin stops and looks at the man, he can only imagine the pain and horror that the man has been through, and he feels his eyes starting to mist.  "Mister, I got to go now--but I'll be back to visit with you again---real soon and maybe I can stay longer------"
            Justin feels his hand being squeezed, the boy breaks out in a smile---"I felt that--that was a firm squeeze---you are hearing me, aren't you?"
            The hand continues to squeeze Justin's as hard it can, as the pain from the burned hand is obviously being felt by both Justin and the patient. The nurse sees the heart waves beeping faster and she summons the doctor. The doctor and Ben coming running in and the Doctor starts checking the vitals again, he starts shouting instructions to his nurse as the patient grips Justin's hand harder.
            The doctor is ecstatic as he nods to young Justin, "Continue talking to him, we're definitely getting a reaction!"
            Justin starts talking to the man as fast as he can, and the hand continues to grasp his. "Doctor. I don't think he wants me to leave."
            The nurse's voice starts rising, "His BP is raising higher doctor."
            "You will have to leave Justin, we have to increase his sedation."
            Justin leans back down to the man, he can't stop his tears from falling, he whispers to him as he rubs his free hand across his eyes, "I'm sorry, I have to go, they are making me go." Justin tries to make his voice clear, "I remember when you were trying to cry for that woman, whoever she was-I know she had to have meant something to you. These are my tears, mister--I want you to know that someone cares for you—me."
            Justin lowers his head and kisses the one area of flesh that is not covered in bandages.  The man's body tenses, and then relaxes as he lets go of Justin's hand slowly.
            Justin looks quickly to the doctor and to the nurse, "He's not dead, is he?"

                                      *************************************

            The rangers have questioned the friends of Tom Stevens, they know nothing more than they have told the police.
            Trivette sighs, "We're hitting a brick wall, Walk-man. These clowns know nothing."
            "Okay, so now we question the streetwalkers, try to find out who that woman was that he was getting into her car with."
                 "Hookers?  Walker, you know they all try to cover for each other so the man got 'serviced' in the parking lot, you're not going to get any of them to admit it---it's illegal."
            "So is trespassing, spying, and the intent to do bodily harm, are you forgetting the weapon?"
            "Got a point---well, you saw the streetwalker, what did she look like?"
            "I was too far away to get a good look, she had long dark hair, rather tall---and sort of awkward."
            "What do you mean awkward?"
            Walker rubs his beard, "Well, now than I think of it, she wasn't walking too straight, her heels were sort of weaving back and forth, but I suppose that she was also drunk--or well on her way."
            "You said it was around midnight---that makes sense that she would be, bars are all closing down by that hour. You said they left his fancy car and went to a smaller one?"
            "Yeah, and the hooker was driving--after that I don't know what happened, I left. The car was a dark color, sports model--like that Mustang you used to have."
            Trivette nods, "Well, so now we start hitting the cement, the real test is finding a 'lady of the evening' that will talk with us."
            "We start with Brandi--she sometimes works this area," replies Walker as they head back to the Ram.
            Trivette starts to grin, "Hot lips Brandi?----OOOOhhhh Walker, are you sure you want to get within 10 feet of her, she has definitely expressed on more than one occasion what she would like to do to you--and I for one can't understand why you don't take her up on her offer---that woman gives one hell of a blow job!"
            Walker turns around to stare at his partner, "I hope you weren't involved with her while on duty."
            Trivette continues to grin, "I like a good blow job as well as the next man, but I'm not that stupid to jeopardize my job doing it. We had a date, then we went back to my place."
            Walker shakes his head in disbelief, "Your place?  You took a hooker back to your apartment?"
            "Yeah, what's wrong with that?"
                   "Trivette---why didn't you go to her place or even a motel?"
                    "Because my place was closer, and cleaner."
                   "Trivette, I can't believe you sometimes.  Do you always take your dates back to your place?"
            The black Ranger is getting irritated, "Most of the time---why? Where do you take your dates?"
            Walker shakes his head, "Get in the truck!  I swear sometimes Trivette you think with only what is between your legs! Taking all of these women back to your place can only mean trouble, what if you piss a couple of them off and they want to get even?"
            Trivette shows his pearly whites, "You see, Walk-man---that's the thing, you don't piss them off, you treat them like they are the best things that ever came into your life. I treat each woman like she's a princess but I also explain to them that I have to be free--I will wear no woman's brand! I have to spread myself around---no woman tames the kid."
            Walker is behind the wheel of his truck, "One of these days, Trivette--it's all going to backfire on you---I hope you're using plenty of protection, don't you worry about getting aids?"
            Trivette lowers his head, "Tsk, tsk, Walker---man, are you behind the times or what? I use condoms, sometimes 2 at a time---to be extra safe."
            "A condom is not going to stop you from getting AIDS if you're taking blow jobs from someone that has it."
            "First of all, there are special kinds of condoms that 'a lady of the night' uses on her tongue, haven't you ever seen them?"
            Walker takes a deep breath, "Yes, I've heard of them---a condom on the tongue? That can't be too stimulating for either partner."
            Trivette laughs, "Don't knock it till you've tried it, partner---heyyyy---guess who called me last night?"
            "I have no idea-some jealous boyfriend or husband?"
            "Nope---Lynn."
            The Ram is heading out to the interstate. Walker is repeating the name over and over, "Lynn------you mean that waitress from Abilene?  The one that put to a knee to your family jewels because of the proposition you made to her?"
            Trivette feels a slight discomfort as he recalls that day, "Yep---the one and only/"
            Walker is now smiling, "What does she want, another knee to your groin?"
            "Don't know, I almost hung up on her, but she sounded scared---I asked her to have dinner with me tonight---she started making excuses why she couldn't.  Didn't make any sense to me why she did call, what do you think?"
                 "Trivette, that woman has lied since the first time we met her, remember the part about being a FBI agent---and then supposedly having pictures in her bank vault of some horrifying misdoings in the Gateway funeral home? Now, what kind of lie is she handing you?"
            The black Ranger is silent for the longest, "I don't know, her voice sounded different, like she was crying. She said she would call me back."
            "I'd be extra careful with that one, partner---and for heaven's sake, if you two end up under the sheets again, you better sleep one eye open--you could wake up---castrated."


                                            ******************************

            Ben is taking Justin back home, Justin makes a move towards the door, "Thanks for taking me to the hospital, Ben-I'll see you."
            Ben looks to the house, he feels something different, "Wait a minute, Justin---I want to talk to your Dad for a moment."
            The boy shakes his head, "Another time, okay, Ben? I'm sure my Dad is trying to rest, I----I need to fix him some lunch."
            The police officer nods, "Okay, Justin---I'll pick you up same time tomorrow morning---okay?"
            Justin nods in agreement, walking away from the car---"See ya."
            The boy walks slowly towards the front door, waiting for the officer’s car to get out of sight. He then takes a deep breath and walks towards the O’Malley house. "I'm sorry Ben, but I couldn't let you see that there is no electricity---we all spent the night at the O’Malley’s--but how long can that last?"
            Ben is pondering his conversation with young Justin, "Now, what is he hiding, he sure didn't want me to come inside."

                                       *************************************

            Walker and Trivette have interviewed Brandi, she's a tall brunette with a 56 inch bust and a pair of red lips that would make the crotch of any man beg for mercy. She keeps inching closer to the bearded Ranger but he keeps inching away, putting Trivette in the middle. The black Ranger snickers, "Hey Walk-man---pants getting a little tight?"
            The Ranger clears his throat, "Okay, Brandi---do you know who was working that area between midnight and 1am?"
            The woman knows that she's making the Ranger nervous, she licks her top lip and replies softly, "What's in it for me---if I tell you---handsome?"
            Walker feels Trivette's eyes staring at him and hears the faint laugh, and turns to the 'lady of the night', "Well, I can tell you what's in it for you if you don't tell me, a little jail time."
            "Oh come on Walker," snaps the woman, "jail time for what?"
            "How about with holding information?" Walker asks. "Now, do we talk here or at Ranger headquarters?"
            The woman continues to lick her lips, and inserts her forefinger, licking it seductively. "I would rather do my talking in private---if you know what I mean, Ranger."
            Trivette is watching Walker as the veins began to pop out on his forehead, the man is getting angry---and embarrassed. "Brandi---I think you better tell the Cherokee warrior just what it is he wants to know---or your pimp is going to be getting very angry that you're in jail---and not turning 'tricks'!”
            The woman sighs, "What is it that you want to know, Ranger?"
            Again Walker repeats his question about the evening in question and the hooker that was leaving with Tom Stevens. The woman shakes her head.
            "We've been chased away from that area so many times by that old coot that runs that bar ‘n grill---we don't go down there anymore. Unless it's a 'lobo'?”
               Trivette's brow arches, "Lobo, what's that?"
            "It means lone wolf, Trivette--someone that is working without a pimp," Walker answers. "So, are you saying that none of your girls were in that area---that this is a woman--that is working on her own?"
            "Yeah, that's what I'm saying, handsome!  And if Fredo ever catches her---her butt is in trouble---big time! The police and that old man have chased us away too many times---the pickings aren't too good."
            Brandi starts licking her lips again as her eyes go up and down the bodies of the Rangers, "With the exception of you two of course--especially you handsome----I'd do you for free!  And believe me, you'd be begging for more."
            Walker reaches over and whispers something into the woman's ear, she smiles and backs away. "I'll keep that in mind, Ranger--I will definitely---keep that in mind!"
            The two Rangers are walking back to the Ram, Trivette is staring at Walker and then back to Brandi, "Walker----what did you say to her?"
            The Ranger says nothing, he just grins.

                                          ***********************************

Alex Cahill hangs her phone up as Andy walks into her office, carrying the files she asked for. He sees the look of concern on her face, and knows that she has tried to get a hold of Denise again. He has to hide his smile.
            "Still no word about Denise, Miss Cahill?"
            "I've been trying all morning to get a hold of her, if she's sick, she should be at home--or maybe she's got a doctor's appointment. I've left messages for her to call me, if I haven't heard from her by quitting time I think I will swing by her apartment. Let's see, she lives at the Tanbrook apartments, right outside of Universal Park---I can swing by there on my way home."
            Andy watches the blonde, "You sure get all worried about someone getting sick---it can't be serious---or she would have called in."
                  "Sometimes the flu can knock a person flat, believe me, I know--I had it last year, was sick for almost 2 weeks! Plus, I had one of my infamous migraines!"
            "So, did you skip work?"
            "No, but there were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it---and if it hadn't been for my friends, I wouldn't have."
                     "Friends----you mean---the Ranger?"
            Alex can hear the sarcasm in Andy's voice, she replies quietly, "Yes----- Walker has always been very attentive, so has C.D., Jimmy, and Maize."
            "Well, there you go," smiles Andy, "Denise probably has friends falling all over her, taking care of her every need."
                    "Perhaps," answers Alex, "but, I still plan to swing by her apartment---but right now I've got to get to court."
            Alex is almost out the door when her cell phone rings, a smile crosses her face, "Hi honey----where are you?"
            Andy takes a deep breath, his anger rising as he listens to one end of the conversation.
            "I didn't get a chance to ask you this morning, how did everything go at the Bond home?--Really?--I thought we had everything covered with the groceries, you stopped and got ice cream?  I'll bet those kids appreciated that."
            Andy is straining to hear more of the conversation as Alex is moving out the door and heading for the elevator, Andy grabs up some more files and pretends to be going through them as he hustles to get to the elevator first. He holds the door open for her, hoping they will be the only passengers. His hopes are dashed as two police officers enter. Alex nods to them and then goes back to her conversation, Andy tries to move closer.
            "I know, the reception is not too clear, can you hear me?  By the sound of your voice, you didn't have any results questioning Tom's friends.  Okay, I'll see you tonight. Yes--Chinese sounds good---hey--don't forget my egg drop soup and plenty of sweet and sour pork. Okay, honey—bye."
            The police officers nod to Alex again as they exit on the 3rd floor, one of them gives her a thumbs up sign---"Go get 'em counselor."
            "Bye guys---tell your wives hello for me."
            "Will do--tell Walker the catfish are biting big time at Lake Worth, I caught a 12 pounder!"
            Andy curses under his breath, "Such a hero sportsman, picking on a little fish--filleting it open and dropping it in hot grease,! I wonder how he would react to the same procedure?"
           
Alex is watching Andy's eyes as he continues to watch the policemen walk away, she sees a look in the young man's eyes that she's never seen before.
            "Andy, are you okay?  Do you have all the files on the new case coming up?"
            "Yes ma'am---ohhh, Miss Cahill---I took the liberty of receiving your awards--would you like for me to drop them off at your apartment tonight?"
            "You got my awards? I thought Mooney had them."
            The young man is stammering for an excuse, "Well, he did--but I told him that I would give them to you this morning when you came to work, but stupid me---I forgot and left them at home! But, I can run them by your place, your townhouse is not out of the way."
            The door to the elevator opens and Alex looks back to her young law clerk, his green eyes boring into her's. "How do you know where I live, Andy--its not public knowledge."
            The young man is starting to stutter and he can feel his inner voice trying to emerge, "Uhhhh---you forgot some papers a couple of weeks ago and I----I----I tried to catch you in the parking lot to give them to you---but you was in a hurry. I followed you--but when I got to your townhouse----the doorman wouldn't ring me up."
            Alex is getting a uncomfortable feeling as she stares back at her young law clerk, "Why wouldn't he ring you up, Andy?"
            "Uhhh---actually he did ring your number----but you must have been----in the shower---or something," replies Andy quickly. "So, I just left and the next day---the papers were on your desk---that was okay, wasn't it?"
            The two start walking to the courtroom, Alex turns to Andy---"It's okay this time, Andy---but in my line of work I don't like for too many people to know where I live--and I don't like the idea that you followed me home."
            "I understand, Miss Cahill---I know that you must have enemies from all the people you've put away and all--I shouldn't have followed you---I'm sorry---I hope the papers weren't too important."
            The brow on the blonde lady arches as she smiles weakly, "Apparently not---I don't recall forgetting any papers."
            Andy smiles softly, "Then, will it be okay for me to drop the awards by your place tonight?"
            "No, Andy," Alex answers firmly, "just leave them on my desk---I'll get them tomorrow."
            "It wouldn't be any trouble, Miss Cahill--- I live in Arlington, I can swing by there, pick up the awards and-----"
            Alex stops and puts her hand up, "I said no, Andy----but there is something you can do since you live so close."
            "Name it, Miss Cahill---just name it---I'll do anything for you."
            Alex can feel herself becoming embarrassed as spectators are listening to Andy's jubilant voice.''  Would you swing by Universal Park and check on Denise?"
            Andy shakes his head, "What?” He asks slowly, his voice is starting to rise. He clears his throat again, "What did you say?"
            Alex can see the disappointment in Andy's face, "Never mind, I had no right to ask you to check up on a fellow worker----"
            "No---wait---I mean---yeah sure--I'll go check on Denise," Andy answers. He stands there looking at her, with obvious hurt in his eyes. He sees the District Attorney, Mooney, approaching them. Andy stammers, "I'll get back to work now, Miss Cahill."
            Alex is looking to Mooney in confusion, "Sometimes, I can't understand that young man." 

Mooney shakes his head, "What is there to understand, the young man obviously has a crush on you."

 

Sarcophagus Part 20


          Alex looks to her boss, rather embarrassed. "Oh, get real, that young man has every girl in this building gushing over him--a crush on me? I've never given Andy any encouragement in any shape or form."
          Mooney reaches for Alex's briefcase, "That young man doesn't need any encouragement, he's got a crush on you, Alex, accept it!” Mooney turns his head away and whispers softly, "Every red-blooded male in this building has the hots for you---including me."
            "Did you say something?" Asks Alex.
            "Forget it---I did a little checking on that custody suit you were interested in--Bond vs. Davis."
            The two lawyers walk to their desk and begin taking papers out, Alex turns to her boss, "And, what did you find out?"
            "Well, let's just put it this way--it's not going to be much of a case! The widow of Carlton Davis the 4th has put out a 2 million dollar retainer to her lawyer--the courts are having a hard time finding a lawyer to go up against her's, and even harder to find one that will work 'pro bono'.”
            "Who's her lawyer?" Asks Alex.
                "Preston Goodner," answers Mooney as he snaps his briefcase shut.
            Alex can feel her stomach tightening up and her back is starting to knot again, she moans--"Oh no---I remember the last custody case he was on---he plays dirty."
            "Yep, that's why he gets the big bucks--he doesn't like to lose and the money of Claire Davis will see to it that he doesn’t.”
            "Any word when she's due back, or is she still on a that world cruise?"
             Mooney stares at Alex, he can see that she's not feeling too well--"Alex, are you okay? You look a little tired."
            "I'm okay--just a little under the weather."
            "Look, Alex---I heard through the grapevine that there was some trouble out at Walker’s ranch and he caught a---a-----a-- peeping tom----and things could have gotten bad---an axe was found on his roof?"
            Alex starts to answer as the bailiff announces that court is coming to order, she leans over to Mooney and whispers, "Everything's fine, I will explain later."


                                *************************************

            Justin has been telling his friend, Barry, about what happened at the hospital.
            "Is he dead?"
            "No, he just sort of passed out--they had to give him more sedation--I'm going back in the morning to see him. This will probably be the last time for a while, my Dad says I have to start getting ready for school.  And, he's going to take us to The Good Will to get our clothes."
            Barry shakes his head, "I know you feel sorry for this John Doe and all, but you don't owe him anything, doesn't it freak you out---seeing him that way---all covered in bandages?"
            "I'm not afraid, if that's what you're asking---and 'no' it doesn't freak me out. I feel sorry for him, Barry, he was a victim too---just like that woman that we saw-----all mutilated."
            "I've been reading the papers, they still haven't identified her yet--plus they found other bones--so there were other victims.  What about that blonde headed woman that we saw in those pictures, do you think she was a victim too?"
            "I'm not sure---all I know is that the woman whose body we saw, meant something to John Doe. Did I tell you that he was trying to cry?  Barry---I never knew someone that didn't have eyes---could cry.  But, I saw his shoulders heave--I remember how my Dad reacted when my Mom died---it was almost the same---but this man---he couldn't cry the tears."
            Barry shivers, "Weirdsville---did you tell that policeman about the lady in the pictures?"
            "No, did you?"
            "Not me, I never really got a good look at her----she wasn't nude so I wasn't interested---but I do remember her being very pretty."
            Justin gets a far away look in his eyes, "I thought she was beautiful---she had beautiful eyes--I'll never forget those eyes---a piercing blue, and they were so---warm and passionate."
            Barry shrugs, "You were paying attention to just her eyes, didn't you notice that body of her's?"
            "I thought you didn't get a good look at her," chimes Justin.
            The young boy whistles, "It only took a second to see that she had a very sexy body---even with clothes on---those jeans---wow---they were so tight--I'll bet she had to lay down on her bed to zip them up. That's the way my sister does, except when her boyfriend is around, he helps her out of them---real quick."
            Justin sighs, "As beautiful as this woman was---or is---she's probably got lots of help, getting in and out of her clothes. Barry---she didn't look like she would be one of those whores----at least not to me she didn't. I saw another picture of her for just a second and she was wearing a business suit."
            "Who says that whores can't dress in business suits?"
            "You're wrong about this woman---I just can feel it---she's probably a model. But the one picture that stood out in my mind and I can still see it so clearly was the one where she was brushing her blonde hair back out of her eyes and she seemed to be looking up at someone--but you could tell that this other person was cut out of the picture."
            "Makes sense---I watch those cop shows all the time and some are about women that are being stalked and that's what their stalkers do, put pictures up all over the place, cutting out any family members. But, I saw this one show where the murderer carried her picture in his wallet---he was a complete idiot--that's how they caught him."
            "What happened to him?"
            Barry makes a choking sound, "They put the needle in him---deadsville."
            "Maybe I should tell Ben about seeing those pictures, maybe it will help if I describe the woman in the pictures and then they can help to identify that woman we saw laying on the table. But, Barry---I could almost swear that the woman on the table had dark hair."
            "How could you tell with all the blood?  I say forget telling the cops, especially that Texas Ranger!  Are you putting me on---did he really invite your cousins to go out to his place to ride his horses?"
            "Yeah, he did---and Cody and Korbin still remember it and they keep asking my Dad when they can go."
            "So, what does your Dad tell them?"
            "He said he would have to talk to the Ranger first, but they keep missing each other. The Ranger was out here the other night and brought us some food, even ice cream."
            "Did you get to finish it before the electricity went out?"
            "Just barely, I took the rest of the food over to Mrs. O’Malley’s and put it in her refrigerator My cousins and I have been sleeping over there during the night, but her husband can't stand any noise---so we stay here--most of the day."
            Barry looks around, "Where are they now?"
                    "Fishing---not much else to do. They were digging up some worms and going down to the river--guess I'd better get down there and keep an eye on them--I'll see ya' later, Barry."
            "Yeah, okay---hey Justin--about the school clothes?  I know you don't like to take charity---but we're the same size and all----maybe I have some jeans that will fit you--you're welcome to them."
                  "Thanks, but I don't want to further embarrass my Dad---I'll just wait and see what The Good Will has to offer--thanks anyway."
            Barry runs to his bike and peddles off. Justin turns and starts back into his house, he sees the Grey Ram coming down the dirt road. The boy swears, "Not you again---why can't you just leave us alone?  I can't let you into the house--I'll talk to him out here---he is not going into my house."
            The two Rangers approach the house slowly and Walker greets Justin and then introduces Trivette to him.
            "What do you want, my Dad has already left for work--and my cousins and I are going fishing."
            "I just wanted to touch base with you, Justin--everything alright---was the food okay?"
            "Yeah---yeah---it was fine---thank you," answers Justin as he watches Trivette walking slowly towards the front door. "Hey!!!  Don't go in there---you can't just walk into my house."
            Trivette puts his hands up, "Okay, okay--I'm sorry," the Ranger backs down the steps and stands beside Walker.
            Walker clears his throat, "Uhhh, Ben said that you made more progress with John Doe, he's trying to communicate with you---is that right?"
            Justin recalls Barry's warning about not trusting anyone and especially the Ranger's sudden interest in him. "Nothing has changed--no---John Doe is still the same---I talk to him---he just listens, that's all---nothing more!”
            Walker glances to Trivette, the Ranger is looking at the downed telephone wires, then he notices the power lines are no longer going to the house, Walker tries to divert Justin's attention.
            "I was hoping to talk to your Dad, what's the best time I can catch him?"
            Justin is still watching Trivette, then turns back to Walker. "Look---I appreciate all that you've done--the food and all--but why do you keep coming around? My Dad is too busy to talk to you, and you can forget about taking my cousins out to your ranch, they're not wanting to go anymore--so, why don't you just leave?"
            Walker takes a deep sigh---"Justin---I'm not the enemy--I'm concerned about all of you, I'm just trying to help. My partner and I can see that you have no electricity now, when did they cut it off?"
                "Yesterday, around noon" replies Justin. "But, we don't need it--we're staying at Mrs. O’Malley’s--we're doing fine---just leave us alone."
            "Justin---I have connections with the people at the power company--I'm going to call and see about getting the lights turned back on--but I need for you to work with me.  If this leaks out that you have no electricity and living like this---it's just going increase your chances of losing the custody suit---do you want that?"
            "NO!" Justin yells back---Of course not--are you crazy?"
            "Then---let me help--you need help Justin--you can't keep trying to cover everything up."
            Trivette walks back over to Walker, "Phone's been out for quite awhile, birds have been building nests all around the power boxes and up on the wires near the transformer.”
            Justin lowers his head, "Is it a crime to be poor?  My Dad works hard, he's doing the best he can."
            Walker reaches out and tries to touch Justin's shoulder, the boy pulls away. "Justin, we're going to leave now---but I want you to promise me that you will talk to your Dad for me---have him call me--anytime--it doesn't matter! He can call me at Ranger headquarters, my cell phone in the truck---or here---here's my home phone number."
            Walker starts reaching for his wallet and looking for something to write on--"Trivette--got a pen?"
            Justin watches as the Ranger finds an old receipt and starts writing his number down, as Walker starts to hand the number to the boy, he drops his wallet.
            Justin reaches down to retrieve the wallet as Trivette is motioning that they have a call coming over the radio. Justin sees the Ranger star on one side, but then sees the picture of Alex.
            Justin is staring at the picture, and his mouth drops open as Walker turns back to him. Justin's hands start to shake as he looks to the picture and then back to Walker, the Ranger stares at him.
            "Justin---what's wrong?"
            "Hey Walker---we got a robbery in progress--hostages taken, shots fired."
            Walker shoves his wallet back in his pocket and starts running towards his Ram, he turns to Justin--"Tell your Dad to call me---promise?"
            The boy can't stop shaking, he nods his head as the Ranger jumps up in the cab of the truck, tires squeal.
            Justin swallows, "Barry was right--about stalkers carrying pictures of their victims---that was the lady I saw!  The lady in the pictures on the wall--there's no mistaking those eyes. Oh my God--he is out to hurt me-----I have to tell Barry."
            The boy throws the old receipt away and begins running to the river. He sees his cousins admiring a small fish that they have caught; he pulls on Korbin’s hand and screams at Cody to follow him. The three are heading for Barry's home as fast as little Korbin’s legs will allow them to travel.

                                  ***************************************

            Alex is sitting at her computer, going over some last minute details of her new case coming up. She keeps looking back to Walker as he is laying on her bed, his right hand behind his head, the left one tapping his fingers lightly against the sheets.
            She smiles, "I'll be through in just a minute, honey."
            Walker doesn't seem to hear her, she repeats herself. The Ranger nods as he gets up and walks over behind her, bending down and kissing her neck in an absent mindedly way.
            She reaches her hand up and takes his, "Walker--what's wrong?  You've been quiet every since you got here."
            Without a warning, the Ranger kicks out at his boots in the floor---"They cut their electricity off, Alex---they have no power."
            His boots go flying across the room as he quickly remembers that this is not his home, and he walks over to retrieve them, sitting them neatly at the side of the bed. Alex watches as he sits down on the end of her bed, she sighs and walks over to him, putting her arm around his shoulder.
            "Are you referring to the Bond kids?"
            Walker nods, "Yes---can you believe it?  Doesn't that family have enough to deal with, without this too?"
            "I'm so sorry---now I understand why you didn't eat any supper."
            "I couldn't eat----I kept thinking about those kids and wondering if they were getting a hot meal or if Justin was just telling me that they were eating at Mrs. O’Malley’s."
            Alex remains silent for the longest, she knows that she will have to tell Walker that the boy’s Aunt is due back in the states and that the trial will be starting soon.
            "I hate to tell you this, but it looks like that the custody suit will be starting soon----and that Preston Goodner is the attorney for Mrs. Davis."
            Walker swears, "Great---he's about as cold hearted as they come---I'm sure he's getting paid plenty to rip that family apart---to cause them even more pain."
            Alex grimaces as she reaches back to massage her lower back, "Ohhh, yes--2 million dollar retainer fee."
            "Hell----Bond can't afford to pay his electric bill, how is he going to get someone to represent him in court?"
            Alex replies softly, "The only way possible--pro bono."
            Walker shakes his head, "Oh, I'll just bet the lawyers are standing in line now to have the judge lower his gavel and have one appointed---they just love that--working for free! So---who is the lucky one?"
            Alex smiles as she holds up her hand, Walker stares back at her.
            "YOU?  You were the one that the judge appointed?"
                  "Noooo--he didn't appoint me---I volunteered."
            Walker turns around in the bed and looks at Alex, he smiles---"But hon---you've got that other case coming up, the Hemming’s case is still going---how can you------"
            She takes his hands, "I gave up the other cases---I knew that Mr. Bond would have trouble getting a lawyer that wouldn't have resentment at being forced to take his case, he wouldn't have fair representation--so therefore---I volunteered."
                 Walker's eyes soften as he looks to the beautiful blonde, she looks back at him with those blue eyes. He touches the side of her face with his forefinger, tracing down to her lips.
            "Are you sure, hon?"
            "Yes, I'm sure---Mrs. Carlton Davis the 4th is not going to waltz into that courtroom and think that her money is going to buy this case----she's got a fight on her hands---all the way."
            The Ranger winks, "That's my girl, and I will help you in everyway possible--just tell me what you need me to do."
            Alex purrs, "Well, I could sure use a nice, massage to my backside from a certain cowboy."
            Walker grins as he takes her into his arms and lays her back on the bed gently, "So---I take it that Mother Nature is still on the scene?"
            Her arms go around his neck as she pouts, "And will be for the next few days--I haven't cramped like this since I was a teenager."
            He kisses her softly as his right hand massages her stomach, "You've been under a lot of stress, hon---maybe you need to see a doctor---just to make sure that everything is alright. You're not having any abnormal bleeding---or anything like that-----are you?"
            She takes her left hand and places it upon his hand, "No-----just a lot of cramping."
            "What about the pills, aren't they helping?"
            Alex sighs, "I've taken so many, I think I'm immune to them--I'll start taking some Tylenol tomorrow, I've got to swing by the store and buy some."
            "No, you won't, you'll start taking them tonight, I'll run to the store and get you some." The Ranger sits up in bed and reaches for his boots---"Anything else you want, while I'm out?"
            "Can't think of anything---maybe a 7-up--not refrigerated--sometimes they help."
            "Okay--be back as soon as I can."
            The couple watch as the Ranger gets into his Ram and drives away. The man smiles as he turns to the woman beside him.
                    "Hmmm--so my Alexandra is alone for the night--well she won't be for long."
            The woman turns to him, "What are you going to do, Andy--that doorman is not going to let you go up, not without clearing it with her first! And, after what you said earlier about her scolding you for following her home, she's going to say 'no'--and then she's really going to be angry at you."
                 Andy smirks, "No, she won't--that's not my Alexandra's character--once she hears that I've come all the way out here to bring her awards, she's going to change her mind and ask me to come up."
            "And, what about her boyfriend?"
            Andy can feel himself getting angry, "What about the boyfriend? I'll take care of him, if I have to---now get off my back."
            "Fine," the woman replies, "you are so obsessed with this woman that you can't see straight---I'm not going up there--you're on your own."
            "You're so pathetic, Lynn---you will stay here in the car and if that Ranger does come back, beep me twice on my cell---I'll take it from there."
            Lynn watches as Andy reaches into the back seat and takes out the awards that are neatly packed in velvet, he tucks the plaques back into their pouches and exits the car, walking towards the doorman.
            Zeke eyes him curiously, "I don't think Miss Cahill is accepting any visitors at this hour, come back tomorrow."
            Andy smiles, "I can't do that---I drove from the other side of Dallas. Miss Cahill is expecting me---go ahead and buzz her---you'll see."
            Zeke keeps watching Andy, "Are you sure you work in Miss Cahill's office?"
            "Yes--if you would ring her number---you'll find out," Andy answers sarcastically.
            Zeke starts to ring Alex's number then he stops, "I won't have to ring her number, here comes Ranger Walker--you can give him the awards, he'll take them up to Miss Cahill."
            Andy's cell phone starts to beep, the young man is hissing-- " Now you beep me---you bitch--you're going to pay."
           
Walker approaches the doorman, he looks suspiciously at Andy--and then to Zeke---"Hi Zeke---you were right--that gas station on the corner had everything I needed."
                  "Uuuhhh, Ranger Walker this young man says he has Miss Cahill's awards---will you take them up for her?"
            Andy can barely hide his anger as he looks to Zeke and then to the bearded Ranger. Walker nods his head slowly as he keeps watching Andy's behavior, "Sure---be glad to take them up---thank you----what's your name?"
            "Andy--I'm Miss Cahill's law clerk."
            The hair at the back of Walker's neck starts to tingle, there's something familiar about the young man's appearance, Walker takes the awards from him. The young man mumbles a good night then walks away Walker's instincts kick in.
            "Wait a minute---haven't I seen you somewhere before?"
            Andy stops and turns towards the Ranger, "I told you, I work in Miss Cahill's office."
            "Was Alex expecting you to bring the awards?"
            "Yes," Andy lies, "I told her this afternoon I would drop them by, apparently she forgot--it's no big deal---you got them now."
            Andy turns away, his face is flushed---he stomps towards the little Chevy, cursing!
            "I'm sorry Ranger Walker---I wasn't going to let him up till I checked with Miss Cahill first--I swear."
            "It's okay, Zeke--you did the right thing. There's something about that young man that makes the hair on my neck stand up, I know I've seen him somewhere else besides Alex's office. Thanks again Zeke--see you in the morning."


                                     ************************************

            It's early morning at the federal building and Ranger James Trivette is trying to make time with the new secretary in Alex's office. A very angry Andy is walking towards his desk, he sees the black Ranger sitting on the edge of it, laughing and flirting with the new secretary, Morgan.
            "Get off my desk!" Andy demands.
            Trivette jumps up and looks back at the young law clerk, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was sitting on your desk." He turns to Morgan and grimaces.
            Andy stares back at him, "Don't you have some bad guys to harass?"
            Trivette puts his hands up in a 'time out' gesture--"Whoa---who pissed in your cornflakes? I said I was sorry."
            Andy sits down in his chair gruffly and continues to stare at the black Ranger, then he turns on Morgan who is trying to cover up her embarrassment. "And you---you need to get to work, Miss Cahill will be here soon--she doesn't like slackers."
            Morgan turns immediately to her computer, but Trivette stops her. He glares back at Andy, "Just hold on a minute here, business hours don't start till 8am--it's now 7:56---this lovely lady can 'slack' for the next 4 minutes---you're not her boss."
            Andy swears, and Trivette turns to Morgan, "Now, Morgan---when are you going to let me show the sights of Dallas?"
            Walker and Alex have stepped off the elevator and walking towards her office. At the sight of Andy, Alex turns quickly and puts her hand up to Walker's chest.
                "Walker, let me handle it."
            "I'll let you put your two cents in," Walker starts forward, but Alex grabs his arm.
            She says quietly, "Honey--I will handle it in my own way--now please--go--I will meet you at C.D.'s for lunch---okay?"
            Walker hesitates as he looks towards the young law clerk that is staring back at him. The Ranger takes a deep sigh, "Are you sure, hon?"
            The blonde nods, "Yes---please go," she reaches up and kisses him quickly.
            Walker hands her briefcase to her and watches as she walks up to Andy's desk.
            "In my office---NOW!" demands Alex.
            Both Trivette and Morgan turn to see a very angry attorney stomping into her office and a young law clerk scrambling to get out of his seat. Andy stares back in the direction of Walker, the Ranger is returning his stare, his eyes are boring right through him.
            "I got to get to work," replies Morgan. "Looks like my boss is in a very bad mood."
            Trivette nods to her and then stares into Alex's office. He listens as Alex's voice starts to rise and the blinds on her window come down in a huff. He turns to see Walker, and walks slowly over towards him.
            "What the hell is Alex so angry about?"
            Walker exhales, "I'll tell you on the way."
            "Where we going?"
            "DPS has found a car at the bottom of Lake Worth, could be Stevens."
            Trivette clears his throat, "Wanna tell me what that staring match was all about between you and that law clerk?"
            "I said I would tell you on the way---let's go."

                               *****************************************

            Alex is pacing back and forth as Andy is watching her nervously, "Are you angry with me, Miss Cahill?"
            Alex stops and glares at Andy, "Angry? Andy, I am very angry and upset with you, did I not tell you that you could leave those awards on my desk?  I did not tell you to bring them to my home!"
            "I was only trying to help," pleads Andy.
            Alex is trying to calm her voice, "I am trying to handle this in a professional manner, but you are making it very hard for me to do so. I told you, I am a very private person and I do not like it when an employee takes it upon himself to follow me home and then look for excuses to come into my personal life."
            Andy feels the anger rising within him, but he forces it away and turns on the charm, and the tears. "I wasn't looking for excuses Miss Cahill---I just wanted to please you, I would never do anything to upset you."
            "You have upset me, Andy! This is a invasion on my private life--I told you I have to be very cautious in my line of work, my personal life is just that--personal! And I will decide when and if I want someone to cross that boundary between a employer and employee, is that understood?"
            "Yes ma'am, but I thought that-you liked---my work."
            "I am not referring to your work, Andy---I'm referring to the fact that I told you explicitly that I did not want you coming to my place of residence, did I not tell you that?"
            "Yes ma'am--and I'm sorry," Andy starts to sob, "It won't happen again, I promise."
            "If it does happen again, Andy--I will have no choice but to terminate you."
            "You would fire me?"
            Alex walks around to her desk, she meets his stare.  "Yes---so fast it will make your head spin, is that clear?"
            Andy keeps his head down as he smiles his sardonic grin, "It won't happen again---I swear. Did your boyfriend---get angry?"
            "Excuse me?" asks Alex.
            Andy raises his head and stares into Alex's eyes, "I sure don't want to make Ranger Walker mad at me--I hear he has quite a temper."
            Alex's mouth drops open as she looks back at Andy, his green eyes stars deep into her's, her bottom lip starts to quiver.
                                      
         

Sarcophagus - Part 21

            Alex's voice is trying to remain calm as she stares back at Andy, "Whether or not your presence at my home made Ranger Walker angry is not the issue here and you are being very intolerable!"
            The sardonic smile is crossing Andy's face, "What are you getting so upset about, Miss Cahill--this can all be worked out."
            Alex shakes her head, "I don't think so---I am terminating your employment here, I will not be talked to in this manner! You can clean your desk out now, there is no place here with your type of behavior."
            Andy smiles as he watches Alex's lips set in that defiant way that he has come to observe. He walks slowly towards her, "I'm not going anywhere."
            "We'll see about that," answers the attorney as she goes to her desk and picks up her phone, "This is Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill, please send a police officer to my office---immediately!"
           Andy begins to laugh, "Why don't you just call your boyfriend?"
            "Get out of my office—now!" Shouts Alex.
            The young secretary is listening to Alex's voice get louder, and she begins looking around for help. She sees the officers running from the elevator, she motions for them to hurry. The officers rush to Alex's office, guns drawn.
            "Okay, okay, " Andy throws his hands up, "Everything is cool---don't shoot."
            The officers turn to Alex, wanting to know what the problem is, she tells them to escort Andy out of the building. Andy turns to the blonde, "I didn't do anything wrong, you have no right to treat me this way, my only crime was trying to be nice."
            The officers look to Alex, "Are there any charges, counselor?"
            "NO, just make sure he clears his desk and he's out of here."
            Morgan takes Alex a glass of water, as she watches Alex grimace like she's in pain. "Miss Cahill---are you alright?"
            Alex shakes her head, "I feel a little dizzy---I need to sit down."
            Morgan helps her into her office, "Did Andy hurt you?"
            "No, he never touched me, I'm just having some bad cramps---I'll be okay," Alex replies. "Morgan, would you call the cafeteria and ask them to send up some hot tea?"
            "Yes ma'am---right away---Andy is still clearing his desk out and he's arguing with that police officer."
            Alex looks out at the confrontation, she can’t believe Andy's sudden burst of anger and the arrogance towards her. She recalls the way his eyes bore into her and she feels a chill go up her spine. She reaches for her purse.
                 "Morgan, never mind--I need some fresh air--I'll go down to the cafeteria--maybe Andy will be gone by the time I get back."
            Alex walks towards the elevator as another officer walks along beside her, Andy yells out to her. "This isn't right, Miss Cahill-I was just trying to be nice."
            The officer next to Andy shoves him backwards, "You were told to clear your desk---do it."
            Andy jerks away from the officer’s grasp, "Let go of me---or you'll be sorry!"
            "Is that a threat?" The officer is getting angrier.
            Andy's inner voice is trying to take over, "Calm down, Andrew--- I told you she was all wrong for you--you wouldn't listen."
            "Shut up--don't talk to me that way!" Andy hisses.
            The officer glares back at the law clerk, "I'll be doing more than talk if you don't hurry your ass along and get your desk cleaned out."
            "I'm not talking to you---I was talking--to----to----never mind."
            The officer shakes his head as he looks to Morgan, he points towards his own head and makes a circular motion with his forefinger, "Now the guy is talking to himself----and answering—geeeeez."

                          ************************************************

            The news has traveled fast through the federal building and Lisa has heard about Andy's behavior. Alex has taken her usual seat in the rear of the cafeteria, where she's trying to avoid the stares.
            Lisa takes a cup of tea to Alex, "Hi Miss Cahill, may I sit down?"
            "Of course, Lisa---I guess you've heard--it's all over the building."
            "Yeah, I heard. Can I get you something to eat, Miss Cahill?"
            "No, thank you--but do you have anything for cramps---my back is killing me?"
            "I have some Midol, will that help?"
            "Afraid not," Alex grimaces, "they're just not helping this time, and neither is the Tylenol."
            "My mama always made me soak in a nice hot tub with alcohol--it helped, but the smell was sure wicked."
            Alex takes a deep breath, "Right now I wouldn't care about the smell--uh oh, I shouldn't have said that. If Walker finds out that the cramping is still with me, he'll have me putting that cream on that stinks to high heaven---an old remedy of his Uncle Ray's!"
            "Does it work?"
            Alex laughs, "I don't know, I can't get past the smell to put it on."
            Lisa smiles back at the attorney. "I'm sorry Andy talked to you like that---but he can be pretty obnoxious at times."
            "Are you speaking from experience, how did your date go with him?"
            "Not good--he was very rude--it was a terrible date and I haven't seen or talked to him since---but something good did come of that night."
            "What's that?"
            Lisa blushes, "I have a boyfriend now, Miss Cahill."
            Alex smiles, "A boyfriend?  When did this happen?"
            Lisa tells Alex about her date with Andy and the disturbing way the evening ended. She then tells her about Wesley and his uneasy feelings about Andy.
            "Andy could change so quickly, Miss Cahill--he was like a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde, and the way he talked about gory stuff--I got sort of scared of him at times-Wesley does not like him at all, he says he's 'weird'.”
            Alex sighs, " Lately I felt uneasy around him too, he's got this way of looking at you with those eyes, they try to look right through you---I don't mind admitting--he made me nervous."
            Lisa smiles, "Remember how you told me that my prince would come and I would know it---you're right, Miss Cahill---Wesley is so nice--and-and--we're lovers." she whispers.
            Alex nods her head, "Yes---I could tell by the way you talk about him, and you have that 'look' in your eyes."
            Lisa blushes even more, "It's that obvious?  It's the first time for both of us--you know---losing our virginity."
            "Well, Lisa--I'm happy for you and I would love to meet your young man sometime, he sounds like a very nice young man."
            "Oh, he is, Miss Cahill!  He treats me so nice, he doesn't try to talk down to me like the other boys and Andy did---he makes me feel special."
            "You are 'special' Lisa---don't put yourself down."
            "Oh, I've been meaning to ask you, Miss Cahill--you go to that place down in the stockyards--C.D.'s--don't you?"
            "Yes, quite a lot--C.D. is a very dear friend of both Walker’s and mine. We have lunch there often, why?"
            "I heard they were having a amateur contest there on The Phantom Of The Opera, and the winner gets free tickets to the opera---plus a chance to do one of the scenes in the play."
                   "Really?  I hadn't heard that, but I haven't been to C.D.'s in awhile, so I don't know what is going on down there. Are you going to enter?"
            "Me?  No way--but Wesley is!  He's going to sing the part of the Phantom. –Ohhh, Miss Cahill---he has a beautiful voice, you and Ranger Walker have got to hear him sing---will you please come?"
            "We would love to come, Lisa, but I'm not sure if Walker can make it, when is it?"
            "On Friday night---the winner will go to the opera house on Saturday and rehearse for their roles. There will be two winners, The Phantom and of course—Christine."
                   "Christine," Alex repeats the name, "her voice is so hauntingly beautiful, and the way she reaches those high notes. I'm looking forward to going to the opera, I missed it the last time they were here--couldn't get tickets!  Oh nooo---with everything that's been going on, I hope Walker was able to get the tickets."
            "I can't picture Ranger Walker liking opera."
            Alex giggles, "He doesn’t!  But, he knew I was upset that I didn't get to see it when they were here, so he volunteered to take me--I have got to find out if he was able to get the tickets."
            "I hope so, too, Wesley's boss gave him two free tickets--if Wesley does win the contest, then you and Ranger Walker can have the other tickets--but I'm afraid they're not very good seats."
            "Thank you, Lisa--that is so sweet of you."
            "Why don't you enter the contest, Miss Cahill? I heard you singing Christmas carols at the office party last year, you’ve got a beautiful voice."
            Alex is sipping her tea, she almost chokes, "Me? Sing opera?  No way, I could never hit those high notes, but thank you for your compliment."
            "What about Ranger Walker, can he sing?"
            Now Alex is laughing, "Walker is strictly a shower singer and only country and western!" Alex tilts her head sideways, "Now, that would be something to hear---opera sang in a country 'twang'."
            Both of the ladies are laughing out loud and everyone is staring at them. Alex puts a napkin up to her mouth to stifle her laugh.
            "Thank you so much for helping me to forget that little fiasco upstairs, Lisa.  But, I’ve got to get back to my desk, I have so much work to do, and now I have to find a new law clerk. I will definitely try and make the contest, hopefully Walker can join me."
            Alex says her goodbyes and Lisa goes to get ready for her shift.


                                         **********************************

            Ben and Justin have arrived at the hospital again. Ben keeps looking at Justin, because the boy obviously wants to ask him something.
                     "Something on your mind, Justin?"
            The boy stammers, "Sort of---Ben--how long have you known Ranger Walker?"
            "Not very long, we met over dinner last Saturday night. He and his girlfriend joined my wife and I and another couple at our table because the restaurant was crowded and they couldn't be seated—why?"
            Justin is puzzled, "You've only known him a couple of days, that's not very long--to trust someone."
            Ben nods his head in agreement, "Yeah, you're right about that, and normally I don't make friends that easy---but Walker was very cordial, both my wife and I liked him and his lady friend almost immediately. We had a very pleasant evening."
            Justin's mind is racing as he recalls Barry's warnings about how a stalker can 'worm' his way into someone's personal life---to receive information. He looks up to the young officer and asks.
            "Did the Ranger know that you were a policeman, and that you were involved in this case about John Doe?"
            Ben scratches his chin and looks back to the boy, "Yes Justin, he knew my partner-Sparky!  They're old friends, remember Sparky?"
            "Yes, I remember him--he's rather mean especially towards my friend, Barry," Justin replies.  "Did the Ranger ask you questions about the investigation?"
            "Justin, what is all of this about, why are you asking questions about Ranger Walker?"
            "I'm just curious about him, that's all. He gets a little nosy at times, he asks a lot of questions."
            Ben laughs, "That's his job, Justin---to ask questions."
            "Do you trust him?"
            "Yes, Justin---I trust him. Ranger Walker is well known with all the law officers, DPS, etc. Everyone I have known has never said anything negative about him, except to say that he's a straight shooter and won't put up with any nonsense from anyone. Many of the officers I know are afraid of him, but they also admire him."
            "Afraid of him, why"?
                  "Because like I said, he won't take any flack from anyone, not even a fellow lawman!  If he thinks you're not doing your job right, he'll come down on you, real quick!  If you're on a case with Cordell Walker--you better be in top form or he will bring you down.  I was hearing the name of Walker before I even joined the police force, his name is legendary to every man that has worn the star."
            Justin remains silent, Ben puts his hand on his shoulder, "Justin, are all of these questions concerning the custody suit? If it is, then you got to know that Ranger Walker and I had no choice but to report the conditions in which you and your little cousins are living under.  We tried to hold off for as long as we could, but when the electricity was cut off--Walker had no choice but to report it."
            Justin's eyes start to mist up, "I know---my Dad is all upset, he got a letter saying that the hearing was coming up soon and my Aunt Claire was back in the states. My Dad is so worried--he can't afford a lawyer--what will happen if he can't get one?"
            "Justin, everyone is entitled to legal representation and if a party can't afford the attorney fees, then the judge appoints a lawyer to represent them for free--it's called 'pro bono’."
            "Free?  My Dad won't have to pay? Have they got a lawyer to do that?"
            "I haven't heard anything yet, but I'm sure the courts will find one. Now--are you ready to see John Doe?"
            Justin nods, "Yeah, I'm ready to see him---there are some things that I need to ask him---to see what kind of reaction I can get."
            Ben looks at Justin curiously, "What kind of questions? Justin, the doctor wants you to see if you get John Doe to maybe use a pen---to maybe print out his name? Do you think he can do that"?
            "I don't know, I can try."
            As Justin walks into the room of John Doe, he has all kinds of questions running through his mind. He reflects back on his and Barry's talk of the night before. The young boy ponders the number one question he will try to ask his friend, John Doe.--"Does the name Ranger Walker mean anything to him, is he the one that did those terrible things in that old farmhouse?"

                                         ************************************

Stockyards:
            Alex can't believe her eyes, as she walks into C.D.'s bar 'n' grill. The place is completely decorated with posters and pictures advertising The Phantom of The Opera and a huge banner crosses the room, AMATEUR NIGHT.
            She's walking up to the bar slowly as she takes in all the decorations, when a familiar voice greets her.
            "What do you think, Alex?"
            "C.D. I didn't know you supported the Opera?"
            The old man clears his throat as he looks back at the old woman who is eyeing him amorously, while talking on the phone. He turns back to the blonde attorney and grins.
               "Anything to keep that old woman happy and to stop her nagging me. As for the opera--the money collected goes to a good cause, Alex, sweetheart."
            Alex is all smiles, "Yes, I heard there was going to be a singing contest--where's the karaoke machine?"
            "A new one is being sent over by the opera house, it's got all of those new gadgets on it, surround sound, all of that loud, ear piercing---special effects and all- crap." C.D. tries to explain.
            Alex smiles at her dear friend, "Well, everything looks really nice C.D.--are you getting a lot of entries?"
                 "They're coming out of the woodwork, Alex, even some of my regular patrons are going to give it a try. But then, I have some patrons that are against it, they don't want anything but country and western and maybe a song by the KING ever now and then---Elvis, you know?"
            "Oh yes, definitely Elvis!  You've had several Elvis contests, but this is quite a stretch, going from rock to opera. Do you even know some of the songs that will be sung, C.D.?"
            C.D. clears his throat and shakes his finger at Alex, "Now see here young lady---do you think I'm just a country bumkin that doesn't appreciate the finer things in life---and hell no--I haven't a clue to what they will be singing, do you?"
            Alex is laughing so hard, she's crying. She reaches out and touches C.D.'s cheek, "Sweetheart, you're in for quite a surprise."
            Maize comes running down to the end of the bar, her face is all aglow, "I did it---he's going to be here---in person!"
            "Who's going to be here?" asks Alex.
            Maize is hugging C.D., the old man is trying to push her away, "Woman, would you control yourself?  Now, who in tarnation is going to be here?"
            Maize rolls her shoulders at C.D. and winks, then turns to Alex.
            "It took some doing, but I pulled it off--that's what comes from being in the right crowd and rubbing shoulders with the classiest of snobs," the old woman gloats.
            "For crying out loud," C.D. yells, "are you going to tell us who you're so fired up about, or do we have to play 20 questions?"
            The old woman lifts her head up high and replies: "Michael Crawford--that's who!"
            Alex's eyes grow wide and C.D. is looking at Maize like she has two heads, "Who the hell is this---Michael Crawford?"
                     "Michael Crawford?" asks Alex, "THE Michael Crawford? Maize--are you sure?"
            "Would somebody please tell me, who in blazes is this yahoo?"
            Maize takes a deep sigh as she stares back at C.D. "If you would pay attention to real music once in awhile, you would know who Michael Crawford is."
            "Who's Michael Crawford?" Another voice chimes in.
            Alex turns to see Walker and Trivette walking up to them. Walker reaches down and kisses Alex's cheek, he turns back to Maize, "Who you guys talking about?"
            Trivette stands there shaking his head as he looks to Alex and Maize, "Explaining who Michael Crawford is to these two, is like trying to explain to them on why it's so important to learn about computers and getting out of the dinosaur era."
            Both Walker and C.D. stare at Trivette, "What the hell is he yapping about, Cordell?"
            "Hell if I know, maybe this Crawford guy is into computers--I don't know."
            Alex sighs, "Walker---Michael Crawford is the voice of the phantom, he's acted on Broadway, L.A., The London Opera house---he's the star of the show--and he's coming here---to this place."
            C.D. does a double take at Alex's description of his place of business, "And, just what do you mean by that remark, young lady?"
            "C.D. I didn't mean it the way it sounded--Maize, are you sure it's Michael Crawford, not his understudy?"
            Maize is still gloating, "Don't question my ability to make things happen, Alex--I'm telling you straight--Michael Crawford will be here on Friday night to judge the contest."
            Walker and Trivette look around at all of the decorations, "That explains the decorations," quips Trivette, "But, Maize, how did you swing it? This man is a very busy guy--how can he be expected to show up in a place like this--he's used to glamour surroundings---not this."
            C.D. is steaming, "That does it!! One more word out of you, Jimmy, and you're going to be taking your meals through a straw."
            "Guys, guys," interrupts Alex, "let's all calm down. I can't believe it--Maize how did you talk the man's agent into letting him come here?"
            "I told you, I have clout--besides---it doesn't hurt to be related to him."
                 "Related? You're related to Michael Crawford?" Asks Trivette.
            "Yes, I am his great Aunt on his Mothers' side, twice removed."
                   "Removed from what?" C.D. inquires.
            "Oh hush, you old coot--the fact is, I am related to Michael, and when I found out that the show was coming to Dallas, I started making calls--first of all I had to go through his great Edna--now we've never gotten along too well, so I had to do some fast talking-----"
            C.D. rubs his head, "Oh good grief, is this going to be the long version?"
            "Yes, you old coot---you asked the question, I'm answering you."
            Walker is grabbing Alex's arm and gently pulling her away from the bar, "Let's go get a table, I've only got an hour for lunch."
            C.D. looks to Alex for help, "Where you going? Don't you two leave me here with this chattering magpie--come back here, Alex."
            Trivette starts to go in the opposite direction, C.D. reaches out and grabs him by the collar, "If I have to listen to this---you're going to listen too--so sit down--and shut up."
            "Now--where was I?" Maize begins again, "Oh yes, well I don't like his Aunt Edna---so I talked to sister Mary of the St Mathew church of Dublin--that's in Ireland---you know------"
            Walker and Alex take a booth in the back, as soon as the waitress takes their order, Walker takes Alex in his arms for a long and tender kiss, "I've missed you."
            She strokes his trimline beard with her finger, touching his lips, "I've missed you too. Everything all set, did you get to talk to Mr. Bond and bringing the boys out to the ranch?"
            "Yes," Walker answers as he kisses her again--"it's all set for Saturday."
                   "Saturday? Walker--the opera is Saturday night--you did get the tickets--didn't you?"
            Walker draws back, "Tickets?  Oh no---I knew I was forgetting something."
                    Alex's face turns to disappointment, "Walker--you forgot?"
            Walker smiles and reaches into his pocket, taking out two tickets   "No---I didn't forget, in fact I had already bought the tickets before I even asked you if you wanted to go."
            Alex breathes a sigh of relief as she looks at the tickets, her arms go around his neck and she kisses him hard. She looks back to the tickets, her mouth drops open in excitement.
                     "Walker---these tickets are on the ground floor--"C" section."
            "Is that bad?"
                   "Honey, these seats are perfect! Do you know how hard it is to get tickets in this area? They must have cost you a fortune."
                     Walker's brow arches as he nods his head, "I know only too well how hard it was to get those tickets---believe me!  I made plans to buy them as soon as they went on sale."
            Alex scoots up closer to the Ranger, her hand going gently over the front of his jeans, "You said you bought them before you asked me to go--what would have happened if I had said 'no'?"
            Walker shrugs, "Guess I would have had to ask someone else to go with me."
            Alex's hand squeezes the inside of Walker's thigh, "Like---who?"
            Walker can feel himself getting aroused, he's starting to breathe harder, "Names escape me at the moment," he pants.
            Alex laughs as she purses his lips together and kisses him, "Good comeback, cowboy! And, you knew darn well I wouldn't refuse to go--Walker--I am so excited about this-I wanted to see it so bad the last time they were here."
            "I know hon, and I was being a horse's butt about not wanting to go---but--I just never cared for the opera and that kind of music."
            "Well, why have you changed your mind about it now?"
            Walker takes her hand and kisses it, "I think--you already know the answer to that question?  I just want to make you happy and if losing my hearing after listening to all of that ear shattering and glass breaking music makes you happy, then---"
            She hits him playfully in the stomach, "Oh you--can't you be serious?"
            He laughs and pulls her close to him whispering, "I will be more than serious when Mother Nature hits the road."
            Alex groans, "Ooooh, you would have to bring that up, wouldn't you? These cramps are making me desperate, I'm almost ready to throw the towel in and try some of that ointment of Uncle Ray's."
            Their sandwiches are placed before them and Walker asks for the hot sauce. "Are you sure, hon--that stuff has a powerful kick, not to mention the smell?"
            "I know, but after what happened in my office--I'm ready to try anything to get some relief."
            "What happened in your office, what are you talking about?"
            Alex looks at the Ranger, confused--"You didn't hear?  I thought everyone in the building had heard what happened---I fired Andy."
            Walker sits the hot sauce down, "Fired him?"
            Alex repeats the scene to the Ranger, "He was just getting too inquisitive about my personal life, I didn't like the vibes I was getting.  Maybe I've been around you too much and your Cherokee intuition."
            "I told you last night that there was something about his manner than I didn't like either, I think you did the right thing, Alex."
            "Good, could we just talk about something else--so, what time are you taking the kids out?"
            "I thought I would pick them up early that morning, so they could have all day to ride, maybe C.D. will throw some hamburgers together on the grill. I can't wait for you to meet them, Alex--they were so excited when their Uncle told them."
            "That's great, sweetheart, did you take the hats out to them?"
            "No, I told them they had a surprise waiting for them--you should have seen the looks on their faces--especially that Korbin.  Alex, he reminds me of--------"
                    "Lucas?" Alex's voice is soft and caring, "I know---every time you talk about Korbin, I can tell that you're thinking of Lucas--and it's understandable!  If Lucas had survived the AIDS, you would have adopted him, wouldn't you?"
            Walker gets a far away look in his eyes as he thinks about the boy he befriended whose Mother had died of the terrible disease, but not before spreading it to Lucas when she was pregnant with him. The Ranger exhales slowly.
            "Yeah, I thought about it a lot----sometimes I feel guilty about not doing it--but things happened so fast---and then --he was gone."
                   "Walker, you have nothing to feel guilty about--you made that boy's last few months the happiest of his young life---he was crazy about you."
            The Ranger smiles and reaches for Alex's hand, "He was quite a little guy, wasn't he? He was so brave, right up to the very last moment."
            Alex nods and the two of them go back to finishing their lunch, the discussion at the bar continues. No one sees the lone figure wander in and take a table in the rear.                                              
  Sarcophagus - 22

            The figure observes the Ranger and the blonde attorney. He adjusts his sunglasses as the waitress asks him for his order.
            "I will have a glass of milk, and a paper and pen, please," he answers.
            The waitress hands him a pen and a napkin, "I'll get your milk," she replies, looking at him curiously.
            He hears a giggle as he looks towards their table again, the blonde is playing with the Ranger’s beard, rubbing the back of her hand up and down his cheek. Their table sits off in a corner, the hanging plants and the back of their booth blocks the view of most of the customers, but the figure can see them plainly. He emits a low growl as he watches the Ranger lean forward and nibble at the blonde's neck.
            He draws a figure on the napkin, and then he smiles to himself. The waitress puts the glass of milk down in front of him, he drinks it down in one long swallow, then wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, smacking his lips. He looks up at the waitress, "How much do I owe you?"
            The waitress smiles, “That will be  $.79—please."
            He smiles and hands her a $5.00 bill, "You can keep the change, but I need to ask you a favor first."
            "What kind of favor?" She asks cautiously.
            "You see that blonde over there, I want you to hand her this napkin--but not until after I leave--is that clear?"
            The waitress turns and looks to where the Ranger and Alex are sitting, "You mean--Miss Cahill?"
            "That's the one, do you know her?"
                  "Everyone that works here knows Miss Cahill, she's a personal friend of the boss'."
            The figure stands up, "Good, then there won't be any mistakes---"he turns and walks away. The waitress stares at the napkin, then opens it up, the scribbling and the picture she does not understand, she shrugs and walks towards Alex's booth, clearing her throat very loudly.
            "Excuse me, Miss Cahill, but I was told to give this to you."
            Walker has his back to the waitress as he turns around and takes the napkin from her, he hands it to Alex.
            "Thank you Eva--who told you to give this to me?"
                   Eva turns to look towards the door, "That man--that was sitting over there."
            Walker takes a sip of his coffee, "What is it, what does it say?"
            Alex stares at the napkin, she shrugs--"I don't know, it's in some kind of foreign language, I can't understand it--and there's a picture of an animal--a cow?"
            Walker takes the napkin and looks it over carefully, "Eva, who was this man that told you to give Alex this?"
            The young waitress shrugs her shoulders, "I don't know, Ranger Walker, just a guy, kind of weird acting."
            Alex and Walker exchange glances, Alex exhales very slowly and says the name Andy."
            Walker takes the napkin and stares at it, "This looks something like --hieroglyphics---a system of picture writing used by the ancient Egyptians."
            Alex gasps, "Eva, describe the man that gave this to you."
            "I didn't get a good look at him, Miss Cahill, he was wearing dark sunglasses, but he was rather young--and I think he's been in here before."
            Walker thanks the waitress and she walks away, he turns to Alex--" Sure sounds like our little law clerk, doesn't it?"
            Alex takes the napkin again, "But, what does this mean, is it a threat--and what does the picture of the cow mean?"
            The attorney takes a deep breath, "Never mind, he's obviously comparing me to a bovine, the polite way of calling me a 'whore’,” she adds.
            Walker shakes his head, "No hon, this isn't a cow--cows don't have horns--this is a bull."
            "Now, I'm even angrier--he's comparing me to a bull-in the masculine description?"
            Walker reaches into his pocket and slams $20 down on the table, then turns to Alex. "It's about time I paid a little visit to this "Andy"-- and he better hope that by the time I find him… "
                "Walker," Alex reaches out and grabs the Ranger's arm, "Honey, we're not positive that it is Andy."
            "I'm still having a talk with him, Alex--where does he live?"
            "I'm not sure, I think he's got an apartment in Arlington." Alex is still talking as Walker motions for Trivette.
            "We'll find him, Alex--in the meantime, be extra careful about going back to work," he kisses her quickly as he and Trivette head for the door.
            C.D. has seen the Rangers hurry out, and comes from behind the bar and approaches Alex.
            "Alex, Eva said some guy gave you a message on a napkin---what the hell is going on, what did it say, where are Cordell and Jimmy going?"
            Alex shakes her head at all of the questions; her back is knotting up even more, "C.D., please, do you have any aspirin?"

                                    *************************************

            Lynn has watched as Andy came storming into the apartment and throwing suitcases together--"Get packed---we're getting out of here."
            "What's wrong, why aren't you at work?"
            "I got fired---that's why----oh, that little 'bitch' is going to pay---I will make her suffer a pain she can only imagine---now get your things together, we got to get out of here! I know that damn Ranger will come looking for me."
            Lynn is throwing what little she has into an old suitcase, but she keeps looking to Andy. "You got fired, why?"
            "It doesn't matter--I was just trying to be helpful and she got all snooty and two-faced on me because of last night."
            "I told you we shouldn't have gone to her townhouse, I told you to stay away from her."
            Andy throws a suitcase across the floor, hitting Lynn in the knee, she screams out in pain. "Stop your bitching and get packed, that Ranger will be here soon."
            Lynn stops rubbing her knee and glares back at Andy, "I'm not going anywhere---till you tell me where my son is---tell me where he is, Andy—Now!"
           
Andy stomps across the floor and grabs Lynn by the neck, "You will do as I say, or you will never see your son again---I should bash your head in, but I don't have the time!  Didn't you learn your lesson from last night--after failing to warn me that Ranger was coming back?"
            Lynn rubs her jaw, "I didn't have time to warn you, he was only gone for minutes--"
            He slaps her hard, "Forget that---get your bag packed, we're out of here."
                    "Where's my son, Andy?"
            Andy turns to her, his eyes are cold, "I'm taking you to him, Lynn---are you ready?"
            A chill goes up the young woman's spine, as she whispers, "Are you lying to me, Andy? Please-I can't take anymore, I just want my son---and then we will go far away, you'll never have to see either of us--ever again."
            Andy turns his back to her, and smiles--"I promise, Lynn---I'm taking you to your son, you will have a joyous reunion.  Maybe the three of us can go far, far, away."


                                   **************************************

            The 'super' lets the Rangers into Andy's apartment, but it's completely bare. Trivette is checking out the bedroom as Walker is walking around slowly, checking everything out.
                   "Bedroom is clear-----except it's not too clean----dirty underwear in the bathroom, both male and female."
            "Get the lab boys out here and dust for prints---also make sure the underwear is checked out thoroughly."
            Trivette nods, "Already called it in, big guy!  But what's the charge--this creep hasn't committed a crime."
            Walker is doing a slow burn, "I'm not so sure about that--Trivette, what if this Andy was the one that was on my roof?"
            "Yeah, the MO fits, same size as your peeping tom, and he did follow Alex back to her apartment several times---he could have followed her to your ranch."
            "Yeah, and Alex said he was getting a little too personal with her--I swear Trivette---if this little s.o.b. is the same one that was spying on us--I'll tear him from limb to limb."
            Trivette nods, "Well, we'll soon find out--if the lab boys can match any semen that was found on those dirty underwear to that sample that was found on your roof--we got him for trespassing, stalking, and the intent to do bodily harm with a lethal weapon."
            Walker starts stomping towards the door, "Forget all that, if he's the one--there won't be anything left of him to arrest."


                                    ***********************************

            Justin has been visiting with John Doe and the doctor is urging him to try and get the man to use a pen to print out his name.
            Justin swallows hard as he looks up at the doctor and then back to John Doe. "Dr.---is he going to make it?"
            "I'm not sure, Justin---the man has suffered a lot of brain damage--I didn't give any hope that he would even make it this far, but something----or 'someone' is keeping him alive. He obviously has a reaction to you--you're probably the only friend he has."
            "What about the picture that police artist drew of him, hasn't anyone recognized him?"
            The doctor stammers, "There's not much to recognize, Justin. The police tried to fill in his facial features and his hands were burned too badly to lift prints."
            "What about that other stuff they use to catch criminals—DNA?"
            "We've run a DNA test on him, but that doesn't tell us who he is.  We sent the DNA through a data system to see if we can maybe find a military record, or maybe the man has made a DNA donation. Until someone comes forward and even suspects that he's a lost relative or friend, we don't have anyone else's DNA to compare his with.--That's why it is so important to get a name."
            "Okay, doctor--I will try--but first, could I be alone with him---just to let him know that I'm here---and that I'm his friend? He needs to know that someone cares about him."
            "Of course, Justin---stay as long as you like.  It's almost time for John Doe to have his lunch," the doctor exhales--"maybe you could sit with him and have lunch with him--the nurse will bring you a tray---okay?"
            Justin waits till the doctor has left, then he walks up to stand beside John Doe's hand, he takes it gently and bends down to whisper in the man's ear.
            "Hi mister, it's me, Justin".
            The forefinger and thumb move slightly and Justin smiles. "I'm going to sit here and have lunch with you, mister----will that be okay?"
            The fingers move again, and try to squeeze Justin's hand. The boy gently returns the squeeze.


                                          *********************************

            Alex has returned from court, she's going over the files before her, she sighs. "This doesn't look good for the Bond family," she whispers.
            The phone rings, she picks it up immediately--"Alex Cahill, may I help you?"
            The voice on the other end is shrill, "Yes--you can---BITCH----my brother is very angry with you---you will pay for embarrassing him so."
           
"Who is this?" demands Alex.
           
The voice is getting louder, "It doesn't matter who I am----your days are numbered---do you feel it difficult to breathe?  You will, the air will get thin, you will be scratching at nothing--the walls will close in--you--".
           
Alex slams the phone down and starts to shake. "Calm down, Alex-- don't let this little son of a bitch get to you---he's all talk-" The phone rings again, Alex lets it ring for the longest, she finally picks up the phone.
            "I'm on to you, Andy---you're not scaring me," she tries to keep her voice calm.
            "Then you are as crazy as my brother says you are, a dumb 'bimbo'---you think you are so pretty--but you can't have him---you're not good enough for him."
           
"I do not want your brother---- but I can guarantee you that he is in very serious trouble for making these threats against a government official--it's for his best interest that he stop all of this--before it gets out of control and someone gets hurt."
            "Like you--bitch-? My brother has plans for you---you will pay!" The phone goes dead.
            Alex stares at the phone, taking a deep breath and finally hanging it up. She buzzes Morgan on the intercom. "Morgan, will you please come in here?"
            The phone rings again and Alex just stares at it, Morgan is looking at her and then to the phone, "Shall I get that, Miss Cahill?"
            "No," her voice cracks---"yes---please."
            Morgan answers the phone, then holds it out for Alex, "Someone from the jewelers, wanting to talk to you."
            Alex takes the phone, "Yes---thank you, I will pick it up before 5---thank you."
            "Are you okay, Miss Chill?"
            "I just need you to stay in here with me--for a few minutes till I can stop shaking."
            "Is it that Andy, is he threatening you?"
            "The voice was a woman's--she keeps referring to her brother, I assume that it's Andy."
            The phone rings again, and Morgan picks it up without thinking, her face goes white as she whispers, "It's that woman again!"
            "Just hang up," Alex goes to another line and calls the phone company asking for a trace.
            The phone continues to ring, finally Alex grabs it, "I am having these calls traced you little son-of-a bitch-----you are in big trouble-----"
            "Alex---what's wrong?"
                  "Walker----I'm sorry---I thought it was Andy---he's been calling and or rather his sister has been calling----and saying these horrible things----"
            "Hon, calm down---get some security up there, I'm on my way back to headquarters---I'll be there soon."

                                              ******************************

            Justin has finished his lunch, and he's attempting to converse with John Doe.
            The boy touches the man's hand gently, "I've always heard that hospital food wasn't any good, but that tasted pretty good to me. Of course--anything tastes good when you're hungry."
            Justin takes a deep breath, "Mister, there's something I need to ask you, the doctor is wanting me to see if you can maybe print out your name. I have a pencil and pad, if I help you--will you try to write out your name?"
            The thumb and forefinger stay still for the longest, the man tries to turn his head, and Justin leans over to him.
            "If you don't feel you're up to it--you don't have to--I understand. I'll just keep talking and you can squeeze my hand like you've been doing--will that be okay?"
            The man's thumb moves slightly, and Justin squeezes it gently. "That's cool--let's see what can we talk about? School will be starting soon, I'll be a freshman in high school----hey mister---there's something that has really been bothering me. I need to ask you some questions--about--how you came to get to that old farmhouse--and what happened to you. Can I ask you a couple of questions?"
            The man tries to move his head again, but the braces on both sides of his head stop him from doing so. The boy keeps watching his thumb for some kind of movement, finally it moves.
            "Okay, I will start slow and you take all the time you need to move your thumb and forefinger for me, first of all, did you know the woman that was killed? Squeeze my finger once for no, two for yes."
            John Doe squeezes the boy's hand as hard as he can--twice.
            Justin nods his head, "I should have known that you would know her, because of the emotion you showed when you tried to cry. Mister, there were some pictures of a woman on one of the walls, is she the same person that was killed"?
            The boy's hand is squeezed--once.
            Justin swallows, "Then this means that there's another victim? The newspaper said there was bones of a small child, did you know the child?"
            There's a long pause, then one squeeze. John Doe is moving his forefinger back and forth against the sheet, repeatedly. Justin looks back at him.
            "What is it---is there something else you're trying to tell me--do you think you can use a pad and pencil now?"
            John Doe taps his finger down on the sheets hard---two times--then stops--then another two times. Justin is all excited as he reaches for the pencil and gently puts it in his hand, then the pad goes underneath.
            "Take your time mister---do you know who did this terrible thing to you and to those other victims? Can you print your name?"
            The man strains to maneuver the wooden object, he hesitates and then he tries to make a letter appear. Justin backs away and runs for the nurse, she in turn pages the Dr. Justin runs back in and stands beside the man's side as he watches a scribbly "A" appear.
            Justin smiles and repeats the letter, "Go on, I see the letter "A"--is this your name?"
            John Doe taps the pad one time, then continues with the next letter--a straight letter, he pauses then runs the pencil over the bottom line, making a "L".
            The doctor comes running in as Justin is repeating the two letters-- "AL-----AL-the name AL, is that what you are trying to write--the name AL?"
            Again the man taps the pad---once--he starts trying to print the next letter, he makes one long line and then attempts to go back to the top of the letter and makes a mark across it, another across the middle, and then the bottom. Both the Dr and Justin are repeating the letters.
                   "A,L,E,"--Justin, encourage him to print more. "Maybe this is a last name."
            Justin nods as he gently touches the man's hand, "You're doing great mister--I wish this was your name--cause I would sure like to call you by your name and not "MISTER".  Please--can you print some more?"
            John Doe attempts to make another letter, he goes completely off the pad to do so, he makes a large "X".
                   "A,L,E,X---?" repeats the doctor, "maybe it's short for Alexander--Justin ask him if this is a last name?"
            Before Justin can ask the question, John Doe taps the sheet hard--one time--for "NO".
            "It's a first name doctor, Mister, is this "Alex" responsible for what happened to you, is he the one that hurt you?"
            John Doe starts to print another letter, seconds pass as a "W" appears, Justin and the doctor wait patiently as other letters appear--"A,L,K, and finally a "R" as John Doe collapses back against his pillow. The doctor calls for code blue.
            The doctor starts repeating the letters---"WALKR" over and over, then Justin starts repeating them to himself, he then backs away from the bed quickly, and whispers to himself, "Walker? Oh my God, Barry was right."
           
The doctor stares back at Justin, "Justin---what's wrong?"
            The boy starts to stammer, "Nothing---I got to go, I got to call my Dad at work--I gotta go!"


                                          **********************************

            Walker has made Alex go home for the remainder of the day, and requests that a female officer be with her at all times. He and Trivette have headed back to Andy's apartment. An "all points bulletin" has been put out on Andy for questioning regarding threats against a government official.
            Finally Walker and Trivette have called it a day, and Walker is heading back to Alex's townhouse, Trivette is watching the look on his partner's face.
            "Hey Walker, we're going to get this guy-Texas is not big enough to hide him."
            Walker nods, "The son-of-a-bitch better hope I don't catch up to him, I knew there was something about that creep that I didn't trust. I could feel it the night that he showed up at Alex's place--on the pretense of bringing her awards to her. --God, when I think what might have happened if Zeke had let him up to her townhouse---I came back just in the nick of time."
            "So--you're thinking that it was him on your roof?"
            "It's all coming together, Trivette--the creep is obsessed with Alex. He's followed her to her place, why wouldn't he follow her out to the ranch, especially knowing that I wasn't there."
            Trivette shakes his head, "Yeah---it's obvious that his elevator doesn't go all the way to the top, to try and-----and you know----observe you guys."
            The veins are popping out on the bearded Ranger's forehead, he replies slowly, "If I find out that he's the one that was spying on us--I swear I will rip him apart."
            "Take it easy, Walk-man---I know you're angry---but there's no proof yet--that he's the one. When I get back to the lab, the results should be in on that semen, I'll call you--will you be at Alex's or are you taking her to your ranch?"
            "I'll be at Alex's--when I talked to the officer earlier she said Alex had taken some muscle relaxers and she was sleeping, I don't want to be moving her around---she needs the rest."
            Walker drops Trivette off at headquarters and he heads for Alex's townhouse.


                                          ************************************

            "I can't believe that you are so stupid as to threaten that attorney," Lynn is yelling at Andy.
            Andy is pacing the floor of the old run down warehouse, he turns to Lynn in anger. "Watch how you are talking to me, I'm not in the mood to hear your sarcasm."
            "And, I'm not in the mood to hear your excuses anymore, I'm tired of waiting, Andy---take me to my son now--or I am walking out that door."
                   "Michael is fine, how many times do I have to tell you, he's staying with some friends of mine."
            "What friends, Andy?  You don't have any friends!! I want to see my son---is he still alive, Andy? Please don't lie to me anymore, the newspaper said there were bones of a small child found at that old farmhouse-oh please--tell me they weren't Michael's."
            Andy takes a deep breath, he snarls back at the petrified woman, "No---Michael is fine--for the time being--but if you don't stop nagging me--I can't guarantee how long he will be--so back off--bitch. I'm not telling you again."
            Lynn goes to the far end of the warehouse and sits down where the tears overtake her. Andy smirks, as the feminine side of him replies softly giggling, "If she only knew, huh Andrew? She should never have tricked you into sleeping with her, seeding her child. I will enjoy making her pay, the same way I took care of that snotty little kid of her's."
           
Andy nods, "Be patient sister dear--your time will come, but right now there is a more important issue at hand, getting to Alexandra! We will have to be even more careful now that the police are looking for us and getting rid of that boyfriend--once and for all."
            "How do you plan to do that, Andrew? He's very shrewd, and he will be keeping closer tabs on her."
           
Andy looks towards Lynn and nods his head, "It's about time that Lynn did her job, she will lure the Ranger away---and she will do it effectively or she will die."
            His voice giggles, "I want to do it, Andrew, you promised me."

                                           ************************************

            Walker walks slowly into Alex's bedroom, and sees that she's still asleep, he walks back out to the female officer.
            "How long has she been asleep?"
            "About an hour. She took a couple of muscle relaxers and a hot bath, she drank about half a glass of wine and then she was out. I keep checking on her, she's tossing and turning a lot and mentioning some names."
                    Walker's voice is angry, "Is one of them Andy?"
            The officer nods her head as she lowers her eyes and whispers, "And---your name."
            Walker clears his throat, "You can go now---thank you for keeping a watchful eye on her----be back at 6am."
            The officer leaves and Walker goes to the kitchen to boil water for some tea, the phone rings.
            Walker checks the answering machine, it's C.D. calling. "Cordell, I just got the news about our girl, is she okay--did that little bastard hurt her?"
            "She's fine C.D., she's sleeping, and "no" he didn't hurt her---but he did threaten her and when I get my hands on him--he'll wish his daddy had been sterile."
            "When you get through with him, Cordell--I want what's left!! I'll nail his hide to this here counter and I’ll take my iron skillet to him."
            Walker manages a smile, because he knows that his dear friend means every word of what he's saying. C.D. has always been like a second father to Alex, the feelings towards him are mutual.
            "Okay, C.D. I'll keep it in mind. Right now I want to see if Alex is up to drinking some tea--she drank some wine earlier--I don't want her waking up with a migraine---she's got enough to worry about---and you know her and those migraine headaches."
            The old man laughs, "Oh man---don't I? She is one grouchy female bear when she has those headaches----right, Cordell?"
            "Yeah, right---and I'm usually the one to receive the butt of those temper fits---I'll call you later C.D."
            Alex is trying to wake up as Walker sits down on the side of her bed, he reaches over and brushes her hair back. "Alex--come on hon---wake up---I have some tea for you."
                  "Walker?"
            The Ranger smiles, "It better be me---who else would be in your bedroom?"
            Alex is shaking her head and trying to sit up, "I was having a bad dream----I dreamed I was in a closed in area--and I was having trouble breathing."
            "You're awake now, hon and I'm here with you---everything is okay. Here--I hope the tea is the way you like it."
            Alex sips the tea and smiles back at her lover, he has forgotten the twist of lemon, but she will not bring it up. "It's fine honey---thank you."
            He reaches over and kisses her softly, "Good, I'm going to take a quick shower and then I'll take you out to eat if you feel up to it?"
            Alex grimaces, "Would it be okay if we just stay in--I can fix some sandwiches."
            "Yes, we can stay in if that's what you prefer, and I will make the sandwiches after I get out of the shower. How's your back, still hurting?"
            "Yes----but not as bad--the muscle relaxers helped--I'm going to take a couple more before bedtime."                   
                                       
Sarcophagus - Part 23  

 

 

            Walker hesitates about going to the shower; he turns around and asks quietly, "Uhhh, Alex--what's the limit on taking those muscle relaxers?"
            "Two every 4 hrs, why?"
            "Well, just go easy---you know how I feel about taking pills."
            Alex sips her tea and smiles back at the Ranger, "Yes, honey--I know. You don't even like taking aspirin--I promise, I will not overdose."
            He winks at her and then continues on into her shower, "Don't suppose you would want to join me?"
            Alex is climbing out of her bed, "I thought you would never ask."


                                       ****************************************


            "Calm down, Justin, why are you so out of breath?"
            Justin stares back at his friend, Barry--"Because I ran almost all the way from the hospital."
           Barry shakes his head, "From the hospital? Justin, that's almost 10 miles, didn't your friend, that cop, give you a ride home?"
            Justin is drinking the water quickly and splashing it on his face, "No, he hadn't come back to the hospital yet to pick me up, I had to get out of there."
            "Why? What happened?"
           "You were right, Barry!  You were right all along--that Ranger Walker is involved with what happened at the old farmhouse.  I got to call my Dad and tell him that he can't let Cody and Korbin go out to that Ranger’s place on Saturday, can I use your phone?"
           Barry nods his head and as Justin starts to dial the number of the garage where his dad is working, Barry suddenly grabs the phone away from him.
            "Wait a minute, Justin---don't tell your Dad, and least of all don't tell that cop/pig friend of yours!"
            Justin pulls the phone back, "What do you mean, I got to tell my Dad and quit calling Ben a ‘pig’."
            "Okay, okay, I won't call him a porker anymore, but Justin---don't tell them anything---I got an idea."
            Justin lays the phone down slowly, "What kind of idea?"
            Barry starts to grin, "We're sitting on a fortune here, don't you see? The reward for information on that John Doe and what happened at the old farmhouse keeps going up---Justin---we can solve this case and be rich!"
            "You're crazy!  I will not put my cousin’s lives in danger just so you can get some reward money and get your name and picture plastered all over the newspapers."
            "Not just me, Justin---US! Think about it---your Dad could sure use some of that money for the custody case coming up--or hell---he could take the money and you guys and leave the country. Then there wouldn't be any danger of your cousins being separated from you--you don't want that to happen, do you?"
            "I don't understand what you're getting at, how is letting Cody and Korbin go out there to that Ranger's ranch going to let us solve any case. It's too dangerous."
            Barry shakes his head in disbelief, "You're such a dork, you know that? If we went out to the ranch with them, while one of us keeps that nosy Ranger occupied, the other could go through his house and get some clues."
            "What clues? Barry, he wouldn't be fool enough to leave any clues in his home. He's not stupid."
                "$25,000 dollars, Justin---that's what the reward is up to---And, for that much, I would be willing to take the chance that Ranger makes a slip up---they all do!  If you would watch the detective and forensic shows, you would know that."
            Justin reaches for the phone again, "Barry, half the time our TV didn't work, now it won't work at all because the electricity has been cut off-I'm calling my Dad."
            "No, Justin," Barry pulls the phone line out of the wall---"think about it---$25,000, half of that is yours--think what you can do with that kind of money!"
            Justin takes a deep breath, "That is a lot of money, sure wouldn't have to worry about our electricity getting cut off again, and our phone."
            "Yeah, and your Dad wouldn't have to work 3 jobs to support you and your cousins---come on, Justin---let's go for it."
            "What's your idea?  Whatever it is, I got to know that my little cousins wouldn’t be hurt."
            "First of all, do you think that this Ranger would be upset if you brought me along on the horseback riding"?
            "I don't know, cause I hadn't planned on going."
            "You've got to change your mind about going, Justin--tell him you're bringing a friend. There's no way that he would try anything with both of us being there, he couldn't handle both of us!”
            "I'm not so sure about that," mumbles Justin, "So, what are we going to do once we get there?"
            Barry nods his head, "I'll think up a plan--just give me a little time. Are you sure that this John Doe knows this Ranger Walker?"
            "He printed the name out, actually it was just W-a-l-k-r--but the poor man can't hold the pen for very long, the bandages on his hand make it almost impossible for him to write, and he also printed the name of ‘Alex’."
            "Alex? Who's he?"
            "I don't know, the doctor thinks maybe it's short for the last name of Alexander. Maybe we could go through the phone book and see if there's one listed in this area?"
            "Are you crazy?  That name is pretty common, can you imagine how many Alexander’s would be listed?"
            "Yeah, I suppose you're right. I’ve got to get home, got to go over to Mrs. O’Malley’s and pick up my cousins, it's almost suppertime.  Maybe I should wait for awhile, and give Cody and Korbin enough time to get another meal cooked for them."
            "What about you, Justin, you could use a hot meal, too."
            Justin shrugs, "I'm doing okay---I had lunch at the hospital with John Doe, the food was pretty good, and man--I ate every bite---so I'm pretty full."
            "Yeah---right---wait here, I'll make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There might be a cola, too."
                  "Thanks Barry, you're a good friend."
            Barry smirks, as he looks at the phone cord hanging halfway out the wall, he points to it. "Yeah, well--good friend or not, I'm going to get my butt busted for that."


                                   *****************************************


            Ranger James Trivette has just returned home from a date and not in a very good mood. He starts pulling his clothes off and throwing them on his bed and swearing underneath his breath.
            "Who does Pam think she is? A headache? Give me a break, since when does making love interfere with having a damn headache?" the Ranger is now mocking the voice of his date.
            "Oh Jimmy, my head hurts so--I can't concentrate--I want to make love to you, but my body is not cooperating."
            "Hell! I was doing most of the work, all she was doing was just laying there----I can't sleep---I'm not going to be able to sleep, --- I'm so horny," he shouts.
            His phone rings, he lets it keep ringing. "It's probably her--wanting to apologize--well she should!  Getting me all worked up and then saying she can't perform because her body is not co-operating---bull crap! This isn't natural, I haven't had any sex in over 48 hrs---I'm climbing the walls--it ain't natural for a man to go this long without it."
            The phone continues to ring, the Ranger grabs it, "What?  I'm not accepting any apologies."
                 "Jimmy?" A voice asks.
            Trivette doesn't recognize the voice immediately, "Yeah---who is this?"
            The voice is soft, "It's me, Lynn."
            "Lynn who? I don't know any Lynn---oh--wait---Lynn Masters?"
            "Yeah, it's me--I was wondering--are you free for dinner?"
            Trivette sits down on the side of his bed, "It depends---if I say 'yes', are you going to put another knee to my groin?"
            "I'm sorry about that, Jimmy----you just took me by surprise asking if I wanted a threesome with---that slut---Tammy?"
            Trivette smiles thinking about the idea of having both Lynn and the other waitress from I-Hop between the sheets. He clears his throat quickly and says to himself "Hell, even one on one would be nice and if I remember right, she gives a pretty decent blow job."
            "
Uhhh, Lynn---why don't you come to my place, and we'll have Chinese sent in--and let bygones be forgotten?"
            "Are you still angry with me, Jimmy?"
            Trivette starts rubbing his crotch, "Nooo---I'm not angry---what do you say, dinner--at my place?"
            Lynn turns and looks over her shoulder, Andy is staring back at her and nodding his head. "Okay, where do you live?"
            "My address is 1603 Las Vegas apt #7 in Richardson, do you know where that is?"
            "I'll find it--I'll be there within the hour."
            Trivette hangs up the phone and gives out a victory yell, "Hot damn---the night is not wasted--- and you, Pam, can have your blasted headache, I'm going to get laid---it's about time." The Ranger is still mumbling as he takes off the remainder of his clothes and heads for the shower, "Damn, another 24 hrs without it and the 'kid' could go blind, isn't that what they say? Oh no--that's what they say about masturbation---oh hell, no hand jobs for me----not tonight---no sir-ree."
            Lynn turns and faces Andy, he walks up to her slowly and reaches out to touch her cheek "You know what you have to do---get back in with that Ranger friend that you were sleeping with in Abilene, 'worm' your way into his friendship with that Ranger Walker---and then---take the 'Neanderthal' away from my Alexandra."
            Lynn shakes her head slowly, "It's not going to work, Andy----"
            Andy grabs her by the throat, "You will make it work---and once I have Alexandra, you can have your son---and the two of you can go far away--I will never bother you again---that's a promise."
            Lynn nods, and tries to speak, "Okay--I will do as you ask--- but please, I need some assurance that Michael is okay. May I please talk to him?"
            Andy backs off, "You have to understand that I work in ---secretive ways and that the people that are watching your son have to be very secretive, too--I can't just let you talk to him whenever you wish---but, I can let you hear his voice, will that be enough for you?"
            Lynn starts to cry, "Yes---oh yes--if I can just hear his little voice--that would mean so much--oh please-----let me hear him."
            Andy smiles his sardonic grin, "When you get back from spreading your legs for that black Ranger---you can hear little Michael's voice---but---you better have some good news to tell me-or the deal is off! Understand?"
            Andy drives Lynn to Richardson, pulling up in front of the apartment building where Trivette lives. He observes the neighborhood, and comments, "Nice--real nice--- But, I can
remember a time when the blacks stayed in their place-in -the housing projects along with cockroaches and every other kind of low-life."
            "How can you say that, you're not old enough to remember segregation? The Negroes have had their rights for years, Kennedy saw to that."
            Andy smirks, "Well, let's just say that if Kennedy were alive today, I would personally assassinate him for what he has done for civil rights."
            "How can you be so cruel? Jimmy is a nice man, he's a hard worker and does his race proud, and there are many others--just like him that are trying to be good citizens."
            Andy's voice changes again, "Oh my--my heart bleeds for them---they have been treated so badly."
            Lynn takes a deep breath and shakes her head, "Andy----when did you change so much, why are you like this, always wanting to hurt someone and to have things that you know you can't have?  Annie is dead, and no matter how hard you try, you can't live within her body."
            Andy hits the dashboard, causing Lynn to jump---"Annie is not dead---she lives within me---I promised her that I would take care of her for always---and I will. Our bodies are still joined, just as they were when we came into this world, and together we will exit this hell-hole."
            Lynn sighs, "I should hate you, Andy, but I don't. You were a completely different person before Annie died, and at one time I thought you had feelings for me, and that we could have a life together, but after Annie's death---you changed---- You are still blaming yourself for her death."
            Andy's eyes turn a darker green as he turns in the seat to face Lynn, "I'm not blaming just myself, I blame you---and you know the reason why."
            Lynn reaches for the door handle, "I'm not getting into this with you---I will call you tomorrow to come and get me."
            Andy throws the car into gear, causing the door to hit Lynn in the side and she falls to the curb. He backs up the car and throws a handful of one dollar bills down on the pavement, "Don't call me, bitch---call a taxi."
            Lynn gets up slowly and heads up the stairs to the apartment building, going in search of apartment # 7, she rings the doorbell.
            When Trivette answers the door he's dressed in a silk bathrobe, the smell of his cologne reaches Lynn's nostrils.
            She smiles softly, "I remember that cologne, and it always smells so good--especially on you."
            Trivette is all smiles as he reaches out to take her hand, "Come in pretty lady-come into my web, I have a nice dinner ordered for us and a bottle of the best champagne I could find."
            Lynn walks in nervously as she looks around at the small apartment that is decorated mostly in black. She looks around at the pictures of African heroes, as Trivette eyes her.
                 "Something wrong?" He asks.
            "No," answers Lynn, "Your decor is very interesting--but rather dark in here."
            Trivette laughs, "I'll turn the lights on for you, I was just remembering that when we were in Abilene--you preferred the lights off."
            Now Lynn is laughing, "At least I could see, but this place is so dark, you need night vision."
            Trivette flips the lights on, he stares back at Lynn-"My God--what happened to you?"
            Lynn reaches up quickly to touch her face, "What do you mean, do I look that bad?"
            Trivette crosses the room and reaches out to touch her, "Have you been in a fight with someone, you have some bruises on your neck."
            Lynn grabs her neck, "Oh this----it's nothing--I was wearing a turtle neck and I guess I was allergic to it and it rubbed against my skin----"
            "Come on Lynn---who do you think you're talking to? I'm a law officer, don't you think I know the difference between a sweater rash and handprints---who did this to you?"
            Lynn turns and starts walking to the door, "Never mind, it was a mistake to come here…"
            "Wait a minute," Trivette grabs her, "Come on back over here and sit down--let's talk about this."
                  "There's nothing to talk about---I came here hoping that you would understand, but I was wrong---I'm leaving."
            "No, you're not leaving---you're staying here. If you don't want to talk about it, okay. There's a bathroom in there and-----some---women's clothes---sleeping clothes---I mean----- you can put them on---if you want?"
            Lynn looks towards the bathroom and then back to Trivette, she remembers his hard, muscular body, she clears her throat.
            "You sure don't waste any time, do you---making your intentions clear."
            Trivette lowers his eyes, "We both know why you're here, we've been intimate before, Lynn. Why stand on any formalities?"
            "Do you mind if I take a shower first?"
            "No, I don't mind---want some company?"
            Lynn hesitates as she thinks about what other scars and bruises that the Ranger might see, "Could I just have a few minutes to myself—first?"
            Trivette nods, "Sure---I'll see if the champagne is ready----then I'll join you---okay?"
            Trivette watches as Lynn heads for his bathroom, "Damn---she looks like she's been a punching bag for someone--but even so--she's still pretty----and damn---I'm getting hot."


                                              *****************************

            Walker sighs as Alex washes his back with a warm washcloth, "Sounds like someone else's back is all knotted up."
            The Ranger smiles, "It's just tension and the anticipation of wanting to get that son-of-a bitch that is stalking you."
            Alex kisses his shoulders, "Honey---we said we weren't going to talk about that- now relax and let me massage your shoulders. Is the water hot enough?"
            "Yeah, it's fine," Walker answers as he turns around to face her, "I should be the one--massaging your back--how you feeling?"
            Alex sighs as she tiptoes up and puts her arms around the Ranger's neck, their bodies rubbing against each other. She purrs, "I'm feeling better, the cramps are not as bad."
            Walker grins as his right hand glides over her buttocks, "Good---does this mean that Mother Nature will soon be taking a hike?"
            Alex nods her head and whispers, "What are you complaining about, don't I make sure that you're not doing without?"
                  "Yessss---but when do I get to return the favor---I want to be able to please you---all the way."
            Alex giggles, "I'm not complaining---and Mother Nature is definitely on her way out."
                "When?" Asks the Ranger.
            She nibbles on his neck, "How about Saturday night-----after the opera."
            Walker squints his eyes, "How about before the opera, actually--we could skip the opera all together and spend the day in bed?"
            "No, we can't! Are you forgetting, you're taking Korbin and Cody out to your ranch to ride horses."
            "I haven't forgotten--that's the early part of the day---I'll have everyone gone--by noon."
            Alex backs up and lathers the washcloth again and starts washing Walker's chest, "I'll believe that when I see it!  Honey, you know that when those kids come out there, they're going to want to ride all day---and knowing you and how crazy about kids that you are, you're not going to be in any hurry to get rid of them."
            Walker sighs, "Yeah, you're probably right--- I can't wait for you to meet those kids, Alex---that Korbin is something else. I feel so sorry for both of them--losing their parents and sisters at the same time---it's almost unbearable to think that they might lose their chance to stay with the only people that truly love them.  Every time I think about that Aunt--I get so damn mad----"
                 "Walker, honey---you are getting yourself all worked up---are you forgetting that those kids have representation---me?  And, I'm a pretty good lawyer, aren't I?"
            "No, I haven't forgotten." Walker strokes Alex's face with his forefinger, "and, I want to thank you again for what you're doing. You're giving up cases that could mean a lot of money for you instead you're taking their case for free. You don't know how much this means to me--that you would do something like this."
            Alex's blue eyes stare deep into the Ranger's eye, "Don't you know by now, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you?"
            Walker pulls her to him, kissing her long and tender, "And, there's nothing I wouldn't do for you---you're my life, Alex--the very breath I breathe."
            "I feel the same way about you too, Walker--and I know that we agreed to take things slow, but I have to say it--I love you--I think I've loved you from the very start." Alex stops and looks back at Walker, "I know you have trouble expressing your feelings into words, and I know that you've been hurt terribly with Ellen's getting killed and all----but I can't help how I feel about you."
            Walker says nothing as he looks back at Alex, and she takes his silence as a negative response and backs away.
            "I'm sorry that I put you on the spot--"
            Walker pulls her to him again and holds her tight, "I do have trouble with the words, I've only said those words to one other woman in my life, but Alex I do love you. I love you so much it scares me, I'm so afraid that once I've said the words---I'll lose you."
            "Lose me?  How? What are you talking about? Are you referring to our jobs and the danger involved-----"
            "Yes, I think about the scumbags that we have both come across in our careers, sickos that will try to get to us through the other, because they know we are each other’s weakest point. And it scares me to know that there are murdering bastards out there that will go after you to get to me------"
                   "Walker---it wouldn't matter what our jobs are---how about the average citizen that goes to work from 8-5, and are involved in drive by shootings, innocent bystanders that are hurt and killed just because some idiot decides to end their life?  Yes, we are at a greater risk because of our careers, but honey---that shouldn't change our feelings for each other---we don't stop living or---loving."
            Walker nods, "You're right, I know you're right---but it still doesn't stop me from worrying myself sick over you----look how long it took me to let you into my life? It wasn't because I didn't care or want you, I kept you at arms' length because I didn't want to expose you to the kind of life I'm involved in."
            "That doesn't make any sense; I have put people in prison too!  I've had threats against my life, but you weren't the blame for any of that-that's my career and the pitfalls that go with it!  When La Rue was holding me prisoner and then tried to rape me, was that your fault? Did you turn your back on me and walk away because my career put me in danger?"
            "That's hardly the same thing, Alex----I make enemies---and, and---"
            "And what? I've made enemies too, are you saying that we would be better off being involved with a doctor, lawyer, a country and western singer---what?"
            Walker shakes his head at the mention of a country singer, "Let's don't get into that--that's a sore subject and we will only end up arguing--just like we would if I mentioned a certain rodeo rider."
            Alex smiles and goes back to rubbing Walker's chest, "You're the only rodeo rider that I'm interested in, honey."
            "I better be!" Walker answers sharply, "You see----you see how quick our anger turns when we mention certain people?"
            "Then, why are we talking about things that make us angry? I just merely expressed my feelings for you, and I can't help that I'm not a meek little school teacher ----or librarian that goes home sharply at 5pm, and the highlight of her day is feeding nine cats and knitting."
            Walker laughs, "Nine cats?  Haven't you ever heard of  spaying and neutering? I thought you believed in animal control, and being a big fan of Bob Barker's."
            Alex hits him playfully in the chest, "Would you be serious? I'm just trying to make a point here."
            "I know hon, and I definitely prefer you as the fast talking, sneaky, sexy, and long legged attorney that I've fell in love with, compared to a boring little--librarian---with nine cats."
            Alex remains quiet, as her eyes look deep into the Ranger's, "What did you just say, did I hear you right?"
            Walker squints his eyes, "Are you going to make me say it again?"
            Her arms go around his neck, as she purrs softly, "Only if you want to--and only if you mean it."
            The Ranger's arms go around her slim waist as he pulls her closer, "Let's put it this way," as he kisses her tenderly, "I've been having a lot of thoughts lately---about us---and our relationship."
            "What kind of thoughts?"
            Walker swallows as he reaches down and touches Alex's abdomen, "I was thinking---about----how---it would feel---to have ----"
            The pounding of someone banging on Alex's door is extremely loud as voices are being shouted---"Miss Cahill----are you okay?"
            Both Alex and Walker are reaching for towels, "Who the hell is that?"
            Walker pulls Alex back, "Wait here," he warns her as he stops in the hallway for his gun. He peeks through the peephole to see Alex's superintendent and police officers staring back, he jerks the door open.
            "What's wrong?"
            Alex is walking slowly out of the bathroom, grabbing her bathrobe, "Mr. Wilson---what are you doing here, what's wrong?"
            The police officers pull the man aside and motion to Walker, "There was an attack on the doorman, someone tried to slit his throat."
            The 'super' is nodding his head, he's all out of breath, "Yeah, it's lucky that someone saw the attack--that crazy woman came out of nowhere and went after Zeke with a knife, a mile long."
            Alex gasps, "Oh no---is Zeke alright, was he hurt bad?"
            The police officers take Walker aside as Alex goes to Mr. Wilson and tries to console him. Walker is still standing in the middle of the room with nothing but a towel around his midsection.
            "The doorman will be alright, he's been taken to the hospital, and like the 'super' said, he was lucky. There were some witnesses that saw the whole attack, the doorman was talking to them, when this woman comes running out of the shadows and starts slashing at the poor man---right in front of them!"
            "Can they identify the woman?"
            The second officer is looking at Walker enviously as he looks back to Alex as she, too, is wearing nothing but a bathrobe. "It happened so fast, the witnesses say that she was tall, dark headed----and kept screaming that someone had to pay."
            Walker nods, "Okay, get the lab boys here and I want every inch of the scene covered, and I want to talk to those witnesses."
            "We've got the area taped off and got officers asking around to see if anyone else saw anything."
            The Ranger looks quickly to Alex, "Get an officer up here to stay with Miss Cahill, I'll be down shortly."
            The officers walk out the door slowly as they watch the Ranger walk over to Alex, putting his arm around her. The 'super' follows the officers out.
            As the super goes back to his office, the one officer turns to his partner and grins, "Looks like we interrupted something between the Ranger and Assistant D.A."
            "Better get that smirk off your face, or Ranger Walker will knock it off," answers the second officer.
            The second officer smiles, "All I know is, that Ms Cahill is quite a looker, and even with the robe on, you can tell she's got one hell of a body.  Sure wouldn't mind playing "submarine" with her."

 

Sarcophagus 24

By Sasquaw

            Walker is talking to the witnesses, a couple in their mid forties. The woman is shaking, unable to talk, and her husband is shaking his head and looking to the Ranger.
            "I'm telling you, Ranger--I ain't never seen anything like it. The woman just came out of the blue, screaming and slashing through the air with that knife--it must have been at least a foot long."
            "You told the officers that this woman was screaming 'someone has to pay'---was she directing that towards the doorman?"
            "I suppose," the man answers slowly, "because my wife and I were standing in between Zeke and this mad woman. She shoved us both out of the way and started slashing at him, screaming in a high-pitched voice. I shouted for my wife to run, and she did---straight to the main office---and called the police."
            Walker looks back to the man, he's slender and rather fragile, "What did you do?"
            "I kept screaming at the woman to stop, but she just kept stabbing Zeke--over and over, the blood was squirting everywhere," the man looks down at his shirt and the blood covering it--"look at my clothes--they're soaked!"

"Can you describe the woman, was there anything that was noticeable---?"
            The man shakes his head, "Nooo---I first thought that the woman was maybe a jilted lover of Zeke's or something like that, but at the same time I remember thinking that Zeke was a happily married man with 4 kids---I never heard him say anything bad about anyone. But, there was something weird in the way the woman walked."
            Walker eyes the man, "What? What about the way she walked?"
            The man is stammering, "She had trouble walking in those high heels she was wearing, and even more trouble while running in them. Her ankles kept twisting over, you know---like she wasn't used to wearing them. I remember thinking why was she wearing heels, and why were they so damn high?"
            "What about the voice, would you be able to recognize it?"
            The man backs up, shaking his head, "No--no way! All I can tell you about that voice is that it reminded me of that woman from--what's that movie--the one about the motel and that man and his Mother was the same?"
            The officer standing next to Walker replies quickly, "You mean Psycho, and the Bates Motel?

"That's the one," the man shouts, "she reminded me of that woman and that 'screeching' voice---yep---that's the one!"
            Walker dismisses the man, but tells him he may be questioned again, he turns to the officer. "Did your men find anything?"
            "Nope, not a thing, Ranger Walker. When we get the report back from the lab, they can tell us what kind of knife was used."
            "What about Zeke, how bad is he hurt?"
            "There was a lot of blood, but I heard the medical attendant say that he was lucky the knife didn't hit the jugular--I think he's going to be okay. I'm on my way to the hospital now to see if I can question him."
            "Wait up, I'll ride over with you," the Ranger replies.

 

                         *******************************************


            The black Ranger is panting heavily as he keeps looking at the woman that is riding his midsection. Her face is twisted in pain and ecstasy.
            "Slow down, Lynn--we got all night."
            "I'm sorry," she too, is panting, "it's just been so long."
            Trivette groans as he reaches up and pulls her down beside him, "All the more reason for us to take it slow."
            The woman rolls over in the bed as she eases away from him, "I'm sorry---it's just that with you, I get so---damn excited."
            Trivette grins, "Can't get enough of 'the kid', huh? I must say, you were more than ready, hardly gave me time to get worked up. But, that's okay, I'll take an encore!"
            Lynn smiles as she touches Trivette's face, "You're so sweet, not like----like---some of the others I've been with."
            "I aim to please," he lets his hand glide slowly over her long and sexy body--she jerks back as his hand touches her pelvis. "What's wrong---you act like you're in pain?"
            "I'm fine--it's nothing."
            "No, you're not fine, I felt you wince when I entered you for the first time-- and you sounded like you were hurting--now what's wrong?"
                  "Jimmy---it's nothing---it's just that I haven't been with anyone in awhile and it did hurt--but I'm okay."
            The Ranger lies back in bed as he continues to observe her, "I'm not so sure about that, has someone hurt you---down there?"
            Lynn turns her head, reflecting on the nights spent with Andy and his cruel ways of having sex, and the objects he insisted on using. She shakes her head as she looks back to Trivette, "Would you stop asking so many questions?"
            Trivette sighs, "Okay, if you say so---but I still think that those marks on your neck and the pain in your abdomen is related in some way."
            "Just drop it, okay---or I'm leaving."
            Trivette puts his hands up, "Okay--subject is dropped--want some dinner now?"
            The woman nods as they both get up from Trivette's bed, he heads for the shower again. She watches him as he reaches for the bar of soap that he used earlier.
            "You sure shower a lot----and you use that soap like it's going out of date."
            "You can't be too clean--especially after---sex. It's just a habit of mine, I shower a lot and I use an antibacterial soap to help cut down---on---infections--you know?"
            "Are you saying that you're afraid of catching some disease from me?"
            Trivette continues to rub harder with the soap, taking extra care around his testicles and foreskin. "Not just you, Lynn--I take precautions with every sex partner I have, you know that."
            "But, you were wearing a condom-----"
            "Yeah, just like I did when we were in Abilene together and just like I do with all sex partners---but---I still bathe a lot and practice good hygiene---because I don't want any surprises--get my drift?"
            Lynn smirks, "You mean un-wanted pregnancies?"
            Trivette stares back at Lynn, "That's right---when I get ready to have a family, I want them on my own terms---not just in the throes of lust."
            "You sure didn't talk like this when we were in Abilene--now you sound----so defensive towards me."
            A smile crosses the Ranger's face and then a smirk, "Well, excuse me if I sound a little suspicious of you---after all you did put your knee into my balls----and you haven't been exactly honest with me on a few things."
            "Like what?"
        Trivette is now reaching for an antibiotic cream, he applies it gently to his genitals, "Well, for starters---how about lying to me saying you were an uncover FBI agent?   Really, Lynn, did you really think that Walker and I believed that story, even for a second?"
            The woman shifts around uneasy as she steps inside the shower, "I explained that to you and your partner---I wanted that funeral home investigated and I thought if I told you I was an uncover agent--you would be more willing to work with me."
            Trivette reaches for a towel, "Yeah---that's another thing---and those pictures that you said you had of some horrible doings going on there. Then all of a sudden, NO PICTURES! You lied about having pictures, didn't you, they were never in any safety deposit box---were they, Lynn?  Why all the lies?"
            Lynn is throwing things around inside the shower; Trivette's soap goes flying through the air, just missing his head. She stops and stares back at him, "And you, what about you, Jimmy?"
            "What about me?"
            "Were you truthful with me, and what about that suggestion you made to me about having a threesome with Tammy---who's idea was that--her's or yours?"
            "What difference does it make who suggested it, all you had to say was "no"--you didn't have to almost castrate me!"
            "I said I was sorry about that--but that sort of thing disgusts me."
            Trivette lowers his voice, "Everyone to their own thing---and while we're on the subject---if that sort of thing disgusts you, then how do you explain the kind of relationships you've been having?"
            "Now, what are you talking about?"
            "For Christ's sake, Lynn--I'm a Texas Ranger and I've seen your type of cases before---you've been molested, haven't you?  You have been involved in some kind of sexual activity that you haven't exactly consented to---haven't you?"
            Lynn's eyes are wide, "You don't know what you're talking about----"
            The Ranger's temper is rising, "The truth, Lynn--for once----can't you just tell me the truth--who has been doing these things to you?"
            Lynn is now crying as Trivette glares back at her, "I want the truth, Lynn--I have the right to know---we did just have sex--I deserve to know if any of your sex partners had any kind of diseases."
            "You were wearing a condom, what are you so afraid of--we didn't have any oral sex--so why are you paranoid?"
            The Ranger starts to reply as his telephone starts to ring, he looks back at Lynn. "I gotta get that--we'll finish this discussion when you get out, and you better be prepared to tell me what is going on with you."
            Lynn watches as Trivette crosses the room and snatches up the phone, "Yeah?  Who is it?  Oh—hey, Walk man, what's up?"
            The woman is trying to listen as she hears Walker's name mentioned, she eases out of the shower and walks slowly towards Trivette, pretending not to listen. The Ranger nods and starts reaching for his wristwatch, "Yeah---be right there."
            Trivette drops the towel from around him and begins putting his jeans back on, "I gotta go---police business."
            "You sounded upset, was that your partner, Walker?"
            "Yeah, some trouble over at Alex's place, someone tried to slit the throat of her doorman--Walker wants me to meet him and Alex at the hospital."
            Lynn turns her back quickly to Trivette---"Someone tried to kill her doorman---who? Did they see who did it?"
            Trivette is now reaching for his gun belt and wallet, "No---some crazy woman came out of nowhere---Walker seems to think that Alex's law clerk is involved in some way---she was getting threats from his sister."
            "Oh my God," gasps Lynn--
            Trivette looks back to Lynn, "Uhhh, look--we got started out on the wrong foot----would you please stay here till I get back---we need to talk."
            Lynn nods, "If you're sure that you want me to stay."
            "Yeah, I'm sure.  There's Chinese in the microwave---help yourself--I'll be back soon."
            The Ranger kisses her lightly and then he hurries towards the door, she runs to the door and listens as his footsteps are heard going down the hallway. She runs back to the phone and dials: she hears his voice.
            "Andy---please say that wasn't you that attacked that doorman-----"
            His voice changes "Of course not---it was me---you bitch!"
            "Andy, stop it---are you crazy?  Ranger Walker and Trivette are on to you----why did you do that, don't you know that you can't get to that lady lawyer?"
            "Stop trying to tell Annie and me what to do!  It's your fault that Annie got all upset after the way you talked about her earlier-----'someone had to pay'---and Annie decided that it was time to send another message to my Alexandra--the doorman was merely in the way."
            Lynn slams the phone down and starts pacing, "He's crazy---I've got to tell Jimmy about him, Jimmy will help me------"
            The phone rings, scaring Lynn. She lets it ring for the longest time, then it stops and starts ringing again. She answers slowly, "What do you want now?"
            "You better have some good news for me, Lynn---are you satisfying the Ranger?"
            "I'm doing what you asked-----"
                  "That's not what I asked," Andy screams into the phone, "what about that Neanderthal boyfriend of Alexandra's---are you making plans to lure him away from her?"
            "I just got here for heaven's sake, I have to have time to come up with a plan-----"
            "Your time is running out-----if you ever want to see that son of yours, you better start putting your ass in gear."
            Lynn slams the phone down again, then she takes it off the hook. She begins walking around Trivette's apartment, for a bachelor he's exceptionally neat. Then she says to herself, "Who am I kidding, he probably has a maid to come in and clean up."
           
She continues to walk around, she sees an elderly African woman, flanked by two men, one of which is Trivette. She can see the resemblance to the woman and the older man; they must be his Mother and brother. She sees pictures of Trivette kneeling down between two little girls, she wonders who they are. She sees diplomas from the Dept of Public Safety, and Trivette shaking hands with a older man in uniform.. The caption reads: Capt. Bruce Malloy accepts James Washington Trivette Jr., into the Texas Rangers. Lynn smiles at how handsome he looks, she looks at more pictures, and then she sees him.
            She picks up the picture and stares at the four people in the photograph, there's an older man, Trivette, Walker, and a blonde headed woman that has her hand resting lightly on Walker's left knee. They are all smiling and staring into the camera, the woman is very pretty---her eyes are a deep blue.
                  "Soooo--this must be her---Andy's love--so he says. And, what's this?" She reaches for another picture of Trivette, with Walker and the blonde. Alex is turned sideways with her arms around the waist of Walker, and he has his head tilted down towards her, a warm smile across his face. Trivette is all smiles with his left arm stretched out across the blonde and over Walker’s right shoulder.
            Lynn studies the picture, her finger caresses the bearded face of the Ranger. "I think I'm going to enjoy this little task---."  Her thoughts go back to that motel room where she saw Walker emerging from his shower with just a towel around him, thinking that she and Trivette had already left for their date. She licks her lips slowly remembering his body and that muscular chest.
               "There's something about you, Walker----you've got that mystique about you--so ruggedly handsome, that when you enter a room--your mere presence demands attention!   Of course, having that hard looking body doesn't hurt either--I couldn't keep my eyes off you."
            Lynn starts to laugh quietly, "Now---if Jimmy had suggested that Walker would be in the threesome--that would have been a completely different issue---I wouldn't have had to think about it twice."


                                          ******************************


            Walker and Alex have visited with Zeke, he can offer no more information about the woman that the witness has offered. While Alex comforts Zeke's wife and two of their kids, Walker and Trivette are going over all the background of Andy.
            “His name is Andrew Gates, born in New Orleans, his parents moved to Texas when he was very small. Parents are deceased and so is a sister, his twin. He's got an older brother doing time at Huntsville, two counts of first degree murder."
            "Who did he kill?"
            "An elderly couple down around Copper Springs about 15 years ago, a real 'sicko', he tortured them for days before finally slitting their throats, there were reports that he also---drank some of their blood."
            Walker shakes his head and looks towards Alex, he replies angrily, "What about this Andy---any trouble with the law?"
            "Nope, just traffic tickets. He was an honor student all the way through high school, then in his senior year, he just dropped out--no one had seen him since. That is until in June he came to work in Alex's law office, he came highly recommended."
            "By who?"

Trivette looks back at the files, "By a law firm in Mineral Wells, a lawyer by the name of Radison De Walt---and by the way, he was killed in a automobile accident just a few months later."
            "Any suspicions of foul play?"
            "Was ruled as an accident, brakes failed, car went over an embankment--he and his wife were killed instantly."
            Walker nods his head slowly, "Get a hold of all of the information on that accident, Trivette, sounds too fishy to me."
            Trivette studies his partner's troubled face. He's seen this look too many times.  "Walker---do you really believe that this Andy is the one that is stalking Alex and responsible for stabbing the doorman?"
            "Yes, I do, Trivette---Alex said that a woman identifying herself as Andy's sister made threats against her----"
            "But, Andy's sister is dead."
            "How did she die?"
            "She was killed in a fire---witnesses say that Andy was trying to get her out of the burning building, but it went up like a tinderbox. Witnesses also said that he and his sister, Annie, were almost inseparable---where you saw one, the other was nearby." Trivette clears his throat, "Also, some of the witnesses said that the sister sometimes accompanied him on his dates, which in itself was rather weird."
            "But, why would this woman identify herself as his sister? Doesn't make much sense, does it?"
            Trivette shakes his head, "No---but, Walker, didn't you say that some woman was in your house the night that Alex called you, and this woman said you were in the shower? Do you think this could be the same woman?"
            "My thoughts exactly, partner--I'm going to talk to that witness again and get him and Alex together, to see if they can remember any similarities in the voice".
            "What about the phone company, maybe they can come up with a recording of the night in question.

            "It's worth a try, also--I think we need to drive down to Huntsville and talk with this brother, maybe he can shed some light on wherever that s.o.b. brother of his has disappeared to."
            "Okay, but I don't think he's going to be too cooperative, he's been in solitary confinement for over a month now--got a real temper."
            "We'll give it a try, pick you up around 6am."
            The Rangers go their separate ways and Walker and Alex go to talk to the male witness again.


                                                ******************************


            The Rangers have been on the road to Huntsville for well over an hour, neither of them saying much.
            Trivette reaches for Walker's coffee thermos, sips at it, grimacing. He pours the rest of the coffee out his window.
            "You know, Walker--that 'road kill' wouldn't taste so bad if you would just add a little sugar and cream."
            The Ranger is in deep thought, "If it tastes that bad, don't drink it!  You usually bring your own, where is it?"
            Trivette is still trying to get the taste out of his mouth, "Didn't have time to make any or check with the lab guys about those samples-was up most of the night---with Lynn."
            Walker turns his head slightly, "Lynn?  You mean she finally got in touch with you---what's going on?"
            Trivette is silent for the longest, "She's having this problem with a ex-boyfriend--seems he likes rough sex---and he's been getting a little rough with her. She's got several bruises---and bruises that can't be seen---down around the pelvis."
                    "Trivette, you know that woman has a tendency to lie about things-----look at the lies she told us about being an undercover agent--and then those infamous pictures that never surfaced? What kind of lies is she telling you now?"
            "The bruises on her neck don't lie, Walker--she's obviously being used as a punching bag."
            Walker sighs, "Yeah, well---I'm sorry about that--just be caref