The Rape

                   By Sissy (sissy@svs.net)

& Chris (ckline-usa@foreverliving.com)

 

It is close to midnight when Walker and Trivette get off the elevator, “Walker, couldn’t this wait until tomorrow. I’m tired and dirty and I wanna go home.”

 

“Trivette, Alex and I have plans for this weekend and writing up this report is not part of ‘em. It won’t take that long then you can go home.”

 

Walking past the ADA’s office, Walker sees the light on, “I wonder why Alex’s light is still on. She should have gone home hours ago. I hope she hasn’t gotten a new case that’s going to spoil our weekend.”  He stops, looks at Trivette, “You go on, I’m gonna check on her and then I’ll join you.”

 

As he pushes open the door to her office, memories of the night before brings a smile to his face and a stirring in his groin, but when he sees the turned over chair, papers scattered around the room and the tipped over lamp his heart leaps into his mouth. He leans back out the door,  Trivette, get in here!”   As he moves into the room he draws his gun. As he comes around the desk, he whispers, “Oh, God,” when he sees Alex lying on the floor. Holstering his weapon, he drops down to his knees beside her, feeling for a pulse. When he touches her, she moans.

 

“Oh, God, Alex” he whispers as he takes off his jacket to cover her nakedness. In a sweeping glance he takes in the bruised cheekbone, the split lip, the discoloration around the eye, bruises on her throat, and wrists, the bite mark on her breast, and the bruising on the inner thighs.

 

As he covers her, Trivette comes rushing in the door, “What’s wrong, Walker?” Then he sees Alex on the floor, “Oh, my God…Walker is she…?”

 

“She’s alive, Trivette. Call 911.” He takes her hand in his as his eyes fill with tears that quickly change to rage, “I’ll catch this guy, Alex, and when I get done with him he’ll wish he’d never been born.” He sits with her until the paramedics arrive then backs away to let them take over.

 

*****

 

At the hospital, Walker stands beside the bed, holding her hand, “Alex, honey, please look at me. Alex, this isn’t your fault. Look at me…please.”  He places his hand gently on the side of her face as she slowly turns to look at him. The bruising on her face and neck more vivid then when he first found her.

 

Her voice is so soft he has to lean over to hear her, “Oh, Walker, I feel so dirty. Hold me, please?” He sits down on the edge of the bed and gently takes her in his arms, bringing her up to his chest. He feels the tears soaking through his shirt, as her emotions react to the violation she has endured. Again, Walker feels the rage building within him.

Trivette and Walker work day and night on the investigation, but cannot seem to get the break they need. The fingerprints they had gotten weren’t on file anywhere and because the rape took place late at night, no one had seen anything. Alex had given them a description of the man, a face, she says, that she will never forget. They were able to get a DNA sample, but that is useless unless the perpetrator is caught. Once that happened, they would have something to match it to.

 

*****

 

Six weeks later, Alex is sitting in a booth at C.D.’s. All outward signs of the attack are gone but her mind is still struggling with the viciousness of the rape and the ‘why’.  She had never seen the man before he had broke into her office that night just as she was getting ready to leave. He had said nothing during the whole ordeal; he only smiled as if he took great delight in his violation of her body and his power over her. She thought she had gotten past what had happened, but now?  Alex squeezed her eyes shut, and shook her head trying to remove the memories from her mind.

 

“Alex, honey, are you all right?” Sliding in across from her.

 

“Yes, C.D., I’m fine.” She makes herself smile, “When did you say Walker was coming?”

 

“He should be here any minute, but you know Cordell…Here he comes, now. Right on time. I’ll get your lunch and be right back” He gets up, waves at Walker and heads toward the kitchen.

 

Walker slides in next to Alex, kisses her on the cheek, “Hi, hon, been waiting long?”

 

“No, not really. Walker, can you take the afternoon off? I really need to talk to you and it may take awhile.”

 

He’s sees apprehension in her eyes, and quickly responds, “Sure. Just let me call Trivette and let him know. Do you want to go to your place or out to the ranch?”

 

“Let’s go out to the ranch, if that’s all right.”

 

The look on her face scares him and he can’t shake the feeling that whatever it is she wants to talk about, it isn’t good, but he keeps these feelings to himself as he calls Trivette on Alex’s cell phone. “Trivette? Walker. Listen, I’m going to take the afternoon off. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?…Yes, Trivette, that’s right, the whole afternoon.” He puts the phone away and looks at Alex who seems a million miles away, “There. All done. You want to go now, or after we eat?”

 

“Maybe we’d better eat first, you may not feel like it later.” Walker turns to look at Alex but before he can say anything, C.D. brings their lunch.

 

As C.D. watches them he can tell that no one is eating much and no one is talking much. He thought Alex was getting past what had happened but when she came in for lunch he knew something was eating at her.  He’d been watching the two of them ever since he took their lunch over, and after pushing their food around on the plates, they finally get up and leave without even a backward glance at him. ‘Something’s up; that’s for sure’

 

*****

 

The ride to the ranch is silent for the most part. The couple of times that he tries to get her to say something ends in her just shaking her head. When he pulls up in front of the ranch house, she gets out of the truck almost before it stops and walks up the steps to the porch.  She starts to open the door, hesitates, then turns to sit in the swing instead.

 

Walker comes up on the porch and sits down beside Alex on the swing. He tries to put his arm around her but she slides away from him. “Alex, baby, what’s wrong? What has you so upset?” He reaches out and takes her hand. She tries to pull away but he keeps a firm grip on it until she relents. “Alex, please, tell me what’s bothering…”

 

“I’m pregnant!” She blurts out.

 

Turning her head so that he can look into her eyes, he sees her unshed tears.  “Honey, is that all?  I think that’s great. We should probably push the wedding date up but that’s fine with me. Besides, we…”

 

“You don’t understand, Walker…it could be from the rape!” With tears flooding her eyes, she leans into him, crying like her heart is breaking.

 

He tightens his arms around her, holding her close, “Alex, how can you be so sure. If I remember right, I could have had something to do with it.” He smiles at the thought of fatherhood.

 

“Oh, Walker, I know, but there is a chance that it could be from the rap…”

 

He stops the words with his fingers on her lips. “Come on, Alex. Don’t. Surely there’s a way to find out for sure.”

 

“Not for another month. The doctor said that then they could take a blood sample from the baby to know for sure. But what if it isn’t yours, Walker, what if it’s that…that man’s? What then?”

 

He pushes her back so he can look into her eyes. “Alex, I hope you don’t think that will make any difference in the way I feel about you. I love you. What happened to you was out of your control. You do believe me, don’t you?”

 

“I believe you… but what will you think of every time you look at this baby knowing how he came to be?  Will you hate him, knowing what his father did to me? Will I hate him because of his father?” The tears are coming fast and furious, now. “Walker, this has been tearing me apart ever since I found out this morning. I don’t know what to do.” She collapses in his arms, emotions tearing into her soul.

 

He tightens his arms around her. “I do. You’ll have this baby, whether it’s mine or not, you couldn’t live with yourself if you didn’t. You’ll love him because it isn’t in you to hate anyone, especially because this is something he had no control over. I’ll love him, for the same reason, but also because he is a part of you.” As he tells her this, the sobbing quiets, “He will be ours, Alex, because we’ll be his parents.”

 

Alex pulls back from his chest and looks up into his eyes, “Walker, I love you so much.” She kisses him tenderly than relaxes in his arms once again knowing that everything will be all right.

 

As the swing gently sways back and forth, Walker’s mind is at peace with what he has told Alex. However, knowing how the people will react to the news of her pregnancy, and knowing that the rape will be brought before the public again, dredging up the horrible memories within Alex, he decides they will be married before he knows for sure whether the baby is his or not. There will still be gossip, but they’ll handle it together as a married couple.

 

He starts to tell Alex his decision, when he realizes that she has fallen asleep in his arms. It will wait.  He lays his head against hers and closes his eyes. A smile crosses his face as the thought of becoming a father fills his mind. He, too, falls asleep, knowing that regardless of the blood test, he will be a father.

 

Alex stirs, inhaling deeply, the scent of the man holding her. She looks up to see him watching her, she closes her eyes as he kisses the tip of her nose. “Hi, sleepyhead. Did you have a nice nap?”

 

“Ummm…Sure did. You feel so good.”

 

“Do I now.” He tightens his arms around her. “Are you feeling better?”

 

“Uh huh. Much better. You always know what to say to make me feel better.”

 

“I only said what I felt in my heart, Alex. I love you more than anything in this world.. Whatever happens to you happens to me, too. Don’t ever forget that.”

 

“I love you, dearly, darling, and I know that no matter what happens we’ll be alright.”

 

“Good. Now, how about we go in and get something to eat, I’m starved.” He stands and brings Alex up with him and they go in the house together.

 

After a light meal of bacon and eggs, they clean up the kitchen then go to the living room where Walker sits down on the couch and pulls Alex down beside him. “Hon, I think we need to make some plans. I’d like to move our wedding date for no later than two weeks from now. What do you think?”

 

“Why so early, darling, is there a reason?”

 

“Alex, when word gets out that you’re pregnant, the gossip is going fly fast and furious.  I know, I know…you don’t care what people say. I don’t either. But you know it will hurt, regardless. I’d like to tell C.D. and Trivette, but other than them, I don’t care if any one else knows. As far I’m concerned we can forget about the blood test and as far as the public goes, this baby is mine. Can you understand what I’m saying?

 

“I think so. It’s your way of telling the public that you love me and want to marry me regardless of whether the baby is yours or not. Does that sum it up?” Her eyes are full of the love that she feels for him. A single tear escapes and flows down her cheek.

 

“That pretty much says it, yes.” He gently wipes the tear away with his thumb, “Now will you set a date? Maybe next weekend?” He says hopefully.

 

“Walker, how about…September the 26th, will that do? That’s just two weeks.”

 

“Two weeks, huh. Well, I guess it does take a little bit of time to set one of these things up doesn’t it?”

 

“Yes, darling. It does take time. Like where, who’s coming, the invitations, the cake, and my dress. Little things like that.” She giggles and then starts crying, “Oh, Walker, am I being ridiculous to want a nice small church wedding after everything that has happened?”

 

“Hey, hey, stop that. Hon, if you want a church wedding that’s what we’ll have. I believe our friends will understand and the rest of the people can just go jump in the la…mmph” he receives a jab in his ribs from her elbow.

 

“Walker, be nice. But you’re right. I’ll call Josie and maybe she’ll help me arrange a nice small intimate wedding with just our closest friends, how’s that sound? When do you want to tell C.D. and Jimmy? Tonight, tomorrow morning?”

 

“Why don’t we call and see if they can come out this evening, it still fairly early. How’s that sound to you?”

 

“Good, I’ll go fix some coffee while you call them, okay?” She goes out to the kitchen and Walker picks up the phone.

 

*****

 

“Alex, they’re here.” Walker goes to the door and opens it as they come up on the porch.

 

“Cordell, you wasn’t too clear on the phone, is everything all right between you and Alex?”

 

“Yeah, man, you did sound kinda funny.”

 

“Every thing is fine. We just want to talk to you two, now come on in. Alex is getting the coffee.”

He stands back and waits for them to come in, then shuts the door and leads the way into the living room. “Find a seat and get comfortable.” He then goes to the kitchen.

 

*****

 

Whispering softly, “Alex, are you alright with this?”

 

“I’m fine, just a little nervous. Stay close, okay?”

 

“Like a second skin.” Gives her a quick kiss on the lips.

 

She smiles and picks up the tray with the cups and Walker brings in the coffee.

 

*****

 

“Here’s the coffee.” Walker sets the pot on the table in front of the couch.  As Alex sets the tray down, one of the cups falls off of the tray onto the table.

 

“Oops, sorry. Guess, I’m a little nervous.”

 

“Okay, you two.  What’s going on and what’s there to be nervous about? You know we love you both and there’s nothin that’ll change that so out with it.”

 

“We know, C.D. And really, it’s good news. Alex and I have decided to move up our wedding to two weeks from today, September 26th.”

 

"Hey, partner, that’s great. Congratulations!” Looking over at Alex, Trivette sees a less than excited lady.  Smiling he says, “Hey, Alex, come on. You finally got Walker to commit to a date. Don’t tell me you’re getting cold feet.”

 

When she looks up, he sees the tears in her eyes. She stands, “I’m sorry.” And runs out of the room and up the stairs.

 

“Alex!…Alex, I’m sorry.”  Looking back at Walker with a bewildered face, he starts to go after her.

 

“Trivette. It’s okay. Give her some time. She’ll be fine. Sit down and I’ll explain what’s going on.”

 

“Walker, I was just kidding.  You know that. I would never do anything to upset Alex.”

 

“I know, Trivette. It’s okay. Just sit.”  As he takes his seat on the couch next to C.D., Walker continues, “The reason we’re moving up the wedding is because Alex is pregnant.”

 

The look on Trivette’s face becomes even more confused. “Pregnant? But you two have been talking about starting a family for awhile now. I would think that Alex would be excited about it, not upset.”

 

“Jimmy, I think there’s more to it than just Alex being pregnant. Am I right, Cordell?”

 

“Yeah, C.D., you are. Alex is afraid that the pregnancy might be the result of the rape. It’s tearing her up inside. I’ve tried to tell her that chances are that’s not the case and even if it is, it doesn’t matter. I love her and I want to marry her and the baby will be ours.”

 

“Cordell, I’m sure Alex knows that but you’ve gotta understand how hard this is for her after everything that she’s been through. Isn’t there anyway to know for sure and put her mind at ease?”

 

“Yeah, Walker, there must be some kind of test or something that they could run.”

 

“There is, but they can’t run it for another month and you know the press is going to have a field day with this if it gets out and Alex has been through enough. I just want us to be married and settled before word gets out.  No one is going to know about this except you two and I think Alex is planning to tell Josie since she’s going to ask her to help get everything planned.”

 

“Cordell, you know no one is going to hear anything from either of us. I know things are going to be a little rough for you two but I also know that you’ll both be fine as long as you stick together.  And any time you need us, all you have to do is ask.”

 

“That’s for sure, partner. I really feel like an idiot for making that comment to Alex. Maybe I’d better go up and see if I can apologize. I hope she knows I’d never do anything to hurt her.”

 

“She knows, Jimmy.”  They all turn to find Alex standing in the doorway of the living room.

 

“Alex, I’m so sorry. I had no idea what was going on or I never would have made a comment like that.”

 

“Don’t worry, Jimmy.  I’m the one who’s sorry. I shouldn’t have run out like that and left Walker to explain all this alone.”

 

“Alex, darlin, come on over here and sit down.”

 

Alex pads across the carpet and sits down on the couch next to C.D. He places an arm around her and pulls her into a warm hug.  “Honey, you know I love you like a daughter and I know you’ve been through an awful ordeal but you listen to Cordell. Everything is gonna work out just fine and we’re all here for you whenever you need us.”

 

Hugging him tightly, “Thank you, C.D. I love you. I should have known that you and Jimmy would stand behind us no matter what happens. I’m sorry I ever doubted that.”

“You’re forgiven, sweetheart, just don’t let it happen again, now, you hear?”

 

This last comment brings the smile C.D. is looking for.  “There now, that’s better. Now, come on, we got some celebrating to do. We’re having a wedding in two weeks!”

 

The next few hours are spent talking about and planning for the wedding.

 

*****

 

The next morning Alex goes to see Josie and tells her about the rescheduling of the wedding and the reason behind it.  After hugs and Josie swearing not to say anything, Alex explains that they just want a small church wedding with just their closest friends invited. Since C.D. was doing the catering, that was one task already completed and after giving Josie the needed information of names, and dates, she pulls Josie into a warm hug, “Thanks, Josie, I really appreciate you helping me on such short notice. I never could have done it with out you. You’re a good friend.”

 

“Alex, what can I say? I love weddings! I’ll get started right away and when I have everything arranged, I’ll call you, okay? If you think of anything we’ve missed, call me, will you?”

 

“I will, Josie. I’ve got to go to the office but I can probably come back later this afternoon, okay?”

 

“That’s fine, but don’t worry if you can’t make it.” Josie gives Alex a hug, “Bye, I’ll call you later.”

 

*****

 

When Alex gets to the office, she speaks to Amy for a few minutes, that turns to enter her office. Hesitating slightly in front of the door, she lets out a deep sigh then pushes it open.  She sits down at her desk and starts going through the folders stacked in the center of her desk.  She works diligently for almost an hour, and the stack slowly gets smaller. She stops for a minute and leans back in her chair stretching her arms over her head, sighs deeply and picks up the next folder.  When she opens it, big, black, bold letters jump out at her: “YOU CAN’T MARRY HIM, YOU’RE CARRYING MY CHILD!” She drops the folder as if it were red hot, stands up and starts shaking uncontrollably.

 

“Amy, has Alex come in yet?”

 

“Yes, Ranger Walker, she’s been here over an hour.”

 

“I think I’ll go in and see if she’s ready for lunch.” He taps on the door, then pushes it open. He sees Alex standing behind her desk, eyes wild and her trembling violently. He rushes around the desk and takes her in his arms pulling her into a tight hold. “Alex, what’s wrong? What is it?” He looks down as she points to her desktop. He sees the words on the paper and his temper burns white hot. He knows if could get his hands on that man’s throat at that moment….!! Alex’s crying snaps him back to the present and he moves her over to the couch and sits down holding her until she quiets. He takes his cell phone and dials Trivette’s number and when he answers, “Trivette, come down to Alex’s office, now, please.”

 

Within minutes Trivette comes rushing through the door and seeing Walker holding Alex, notices her distress, “Walker, what’s happened?”

 

“On her desk.”

 

After Jimmy sees and then reads the note, he looks at Walker in bewilderment, “How in the world could he have found out this fast?”

 

“Trivette will you go ask Amy who brought those folders in here and left them. And be discreet, okay.”

 

“You got it.” Trivette turns and goes out the door.

 

“Alex, honey, are you alright?”

 

She sits up, looks into his eyes, “Walker, how did he know? I just went to the doctor yesterday.”

 

“He may have been following you, Alex.”

 

“But how did he know that we’re getting married?  Only three people knew besides you and me. How?”

 

“I don’t know, Alex. But I do know we’re getting someone to stay with you at all times. You’re coming out to the ranch, until this guy is caught. We’ll work something out where someone is with you every minute.”

 

“Walker…”

 

“No arguments on this Alex, that son of a bitch isn’t going to get close to you again.”

 

*****

 

Between Walker, C.D. and Trivette, Alex had one of them with her at all times. She moved most of her clothes out to the ranch that weekend. She rode to and from work with Walker and, during the day if she had to go anywhere, C.D. or Trivette went with her. Between the three of them she was watched anytime she left her office.

 

The next day at her office, Walker checked to make sure it was clear before he left her. About midmorning Walker’s phone rang. “Walker.”

 

“Walker?!” The voice was barely audible and full of fear. He drops the phone and goes flying out the door. When Trivette see him jump up and rush out and follows right behind.

 

When Walker pushes open the Headquarters door, he sees Alex standing in front of her door, shaking, and her face white, as if she had seen a ghost. “Alex…?” She pushes the door open. Entering he sees a vase of black roses on her desk, he picks up the card that’s lying on the floor, ‘For the Mother of my baby’. He wads the card up in his fist.  He leaves the room and guides Alex to a conference room. Sitting her in a chair, he stoops down in front of her. “Alex, how did the flowers get in there? Did you leave your office?”

 

Crying softly, she turns to look at Walker, “No, I went into the washroom for a few minutes and when I returned to my desk, there they were.” She covers her face with her hands for a minute, “How is he doing this? How come no one is seeing him? This is making me a nervous wreck.”

 

“I know, hon. This bastard is getting braver, which might make him careless.” Just then Trivette comes in, looks at Walker, and slowly shakes his head.

 

During the week, several more incidents occur. A note turns up in her purse, ‘The baby will look just like me’. Another note on her desk, ‘Which name do you like best for OUR BABY’ with several names listed. And the note that really scared her, ‘Walker is not the father, I am. If you marry him I’ll blow his head off.’ It is lying on her desk when she comes to work, just three days before she is to get married.

 

That night at the ranch, Walker, Trivette, C.D. are sitting in the kitchen trying to come up with a plan to catch the rapist. Alex had fallen asleep on the couch so they had all moved to the kitchen table so as not to disturb her.

 

“Walker, you know that he’s aware of us guarding Alex, so he’s not going to try something stupid.”

 

“Yeah, I know…But what if he thinks we’ve had to back off due to some emergency situation- something that will involve us but not Alex.  If he thinks Alex is left alone in the office don’t you think he’ll jump at the chance to get at her again? We may have to get the Captain in on our scheme but I want this piece of scum behind bars before the wedding.”

 

“I’m with you, pard. But we need to come up with something at night after regular hours. Do you think Alex will go for this? Her being used to draw this creep out into the open?”

 

“If you think it will work, I’m ready to try anything.” They turn to see Alex entering the kitchen, moving up behind Walker and putting her arms around his neck. “You guys are planning on being close by, aren’t you?”

 

“Don’t you worry, little lady, we’ll have you guarded closer than the Pope.”

 

“C.D., I’m not worried about that, I know that you’ll all be there.” She tightens her arms around Walker’s neck, “You just be careful, you know what his last note said?”

 

“I almost wish he would try something, then maybe he would show himse….ugh.” Her arms really tighten.

 

“Walker, stop thinking like that, I need you in one piece on Saturday.”

 

“Can’t get out of it that easy, Cordell.” They all laugh, and then they put their heads together devising a plan to catch the rapist.

 

*****

 

The next night, Alex is still working in her office, Amy has already gone home, and Walker is lying on her couch waiting for her to finish up before he takes her home. Her phone rings, waking Walker from a light nap. He sits up as she answers it. “Alex Cahill…Yes, he is, just a minute.” Hands the phone to Walker, “Its for you. Sounds like Captain Price.”

 

“Walker…yes, Captain… But I can’t leave….yes, sir. What?…I’ll be right there.” Gives the phone back to Alex. “I’ve got to go, Alex.” He starts for the door and she follows him. Standing in the hall, “Alex, I don’t like the idea of leaving you here alone but I have no choice, Trivette was taken hostage during a robbery in a small grocery store. I’ve got to go.”

 

She pulls him to her for a hug and a quick kiss, “I know. You go get Jimmy out of there, I’ll be all right.”

 

“You lock this door, and don’t open it for anyone but me, all right? God, why did C.D. have to go out of town tonight of all nights.” Pulls her close and kisses her deeply than backs up and gently pushes her back into her office. “Lock it, Alex, I want to hear the deadbolt.” He waits until he hears it click, then he turns and runs for the elevator.

 

*****

 

Since she has to wait for Walker to get back she decides to finish up on the case she has been preparing most of the day. Completely absorbed in what she is doing, she doesn’t hear her office door open until it is pushed shut. Alex jumps up, sees the man who had raped her, starts to scream, “You scream, and you’ll die, now.”

 

She chokes back the scream, and in a shaky voice, “How did you get in here? I locked that door.”

 

“Well, Alexandra, remember the last time I was here? I’m sure you do. I made sure you’d never forget me. Well, I made copies of your keys, getting in and out of here has been a piece of cake.”

 

“Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?”

 

“I’ve seen you on the news a lot but what really turned me on was when that LaRue tried to take you in the courtroom. I’ve been thinking a lot about you. When I saw your engagement to Walker announced in the paper awhile back, it made me furious. I decided that I’d fix it so that he wouldn’t want you anymore.”

 

Alex listens to him spout his hate, then calmly says, “It didn’t work, did it. He still loves me and this isn’t your baby, its Walkers.”

 

No! No! It’s mine.”  He starts around the desk reaching for her, when suddenly C.D. opens the door of the wash room and steps out with his gun aimed at the rapist. Alex quickly moves toward C.D. and he moves her behind him. Just then Walker comes through the door, leaps up and plants a foot into the middle of the rapists back, sending him sprawling over the desk. Walker grabs him by the back of his collar and yanks him back, turns him around and buries his fist in the rapists’ face again, and again. All he can see is Alex’s nude and battered body lying on the floor and his rage is burning white hot.

 

He feels hands pulling him back, “Come on, Walker. He’s out. Back off, man. We’ll take care of him now.” Trivette keeps pulling him back, trying to calm him down. “He’ll pay for what he did. We all heard what he said and it’s on tape. Come on, buddy, let it go.”

 

Trivette’s words slowly calm the rage and he backs away. He looks around and sees Alex standing by C.D. Turning toward her, she moves into his arms and he pulls her tightly to him, burying his face in her hair.

 

Trivette goes through the pockets of the man lying on the floor, takes his wallet and reads his drivers’ license. “Jordan Asher. According to these papers, he has his own business as a locksmith. Mostly out of a truck. No wonder he can come and go as he pleases.” He turns and looks at Alex and Walker, “I’ll bet he can’t pick the locks in prison.”

 

As two DPD officers pick Asher off the floor, he looks at Alex and says, “You’ll see, it’ll be my baby.” Alex walks up to him and smashes him in the face with her fist. His legs give and the DPD officers hoist him back up. “I’ll get you yet, I’ll sue for brutality. I got two witnesses here.” Glancing at the two officers.

 

“Brutality, I didn’t see no brutality did you, Charlie?”

 

“Not me, Bill, I didn’t see a thing.”

 

*****

 

The morning of the wedding day is sunny, clear, and warm-a perfect day for a new beginning. Alex slowly opens her eyes, rolls over on her back, stretches her arms over her head and then, realizing this is her wedding day, looks at the clock and quickly sits up. She picks up the phone, dials a number, and when she hears, “Walker” her heart rate increases.

 

“Good morning, Cowboy. I love you.” Her voice still full of sleep.

 

“Hi, yourself. I love you, too. Sounds like you just woke up.” A soft answer.

 

“Um uh…I just needed to hear your voice first thing this morning.”

 

“After today, you won’t need a phone for that.”

 

“I can’t wait. In just a little over five hours I will be Mrs. Cordell Walker. I do love the sound of that.”

 

“It sounds pretty good to me, too.”

 

“I guess I should get up. Josie will be here in a little while to help me get ready.”

 

“I’ll see you later, then. I don’t guess we can have lunch together, can we?”

 

“I’ll probably be getting into my dress sometime about then. But I’ll reserve the evening for you.”

 

“I like the sound of that. I’ll let you go, then. I love you, Alex.”

 

“I love you, too, Cordell Walker.”

 

*****

 

As the time approaches for the walk down the aisle, Alex’s nervousness increases. “Alex, will you stand still, I never will get all of these buttons buttoned.”

 

“I’m sorry, Josie. I just need to see if he’s here. I can’t believe it’s finally happening.”

 

“He’s here. I saw he and Jimmy come in together just a few minutes ago. There, that’s the last button. Now turn around and let me look at you.  Alex, you look absolutely radiant. Walker will be speechless when he sees you.”

 

“I hope not, Josie. He needs to say his vows.” The both laugh and stop quickly as they hear the organ begin playing.

 

“Okay, Alex, that’s your cue. Go get your man.” Josie hugs her then goes to open the door where C.D. is waiting with his arm extended for her walk down the aisle.

 

“Alex, honey, you sure are pretty.”

 

“Thanks C.D. I’m a little nervous, though. How’s Walker?”

 

"Well, you know Cordell, not much in the talking department. He seems fine, though. There’s nothing to be nervous about. Only your closest friends are here. Everything’s gonna be great, you’ll see."

 

*****

 

After the ceremony, Trivette is the first to kiss the bride, “Alex, you’re beautiful.” Turning to Walker, he shakes his hand, “I knew you could do it.”

 

C.D. puts his arm around the both of them, “You two have made me a happy old man.”

 

They have a small intimate reception at C.D.’s with all the traditional wedding events.  When Josie catches Alex’s bouquet and Trivette catches the garter, the look on Trivette’s face is priceless.

 

Leaving C.D.’s, they run to the Ram amidst a rain of birdseed, and after helping Alex into the truck, they drive away with tin cans clanging behind them. As soon as they are out of sight of C.D.’s, Walker finds an alley, gets out and gets rid of the cans and tissue paper and the sign proclaiming them ‘JUST MARRIED’.

 

Arriving at the ranch, Walker goes around to open the passenger door, picks Alex up in his arms and carries her up the steps and over the threshold. Stopping just inside the door he kisses her softly.  “I love you, Mrs. Walker.”

 

“I love you, too, Mr. Walker.” as he carries her up the stairs.

 

*****

 

The past week had really been a torment for Alex. The due date for the baby was fast approaching and she still did not know whose baby she was having. Why had she let Walker talk her out of getting the blood test? She knew why but that still didn’t ease the apprehension. She wanted this baby to be Walker’s more than anything, but she also knew that even if it wasn’t, they both would love it and treat it as their own.

 

Walker feels Alex move beside him. She had been restless all evening, but every time he asked her about it, she’d insisted that nothing was wrong.  He knew this week had been rough on her. Besides the normal problems he knew she was still apprehensive about the birth. He wanted this baby to be his, God did he ever, but he knew that if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter.  He would love it like his very own.

 

He feels Alex sit up, stand and watches as she slowly makes her way to the bathroom. “Alex, are you all right?”

 

“Yes, darling. It’s just one of the many trips that I have to make every night. Go back to sleep, hon, I’m fine.”

 

After she shuts the door, he gets out of bed and goes to the window, knowing it won’t be long before the sun comes up. The sky is already starting to lighten in the east.

 

Walker!”

 

 He turns from the window and rushes to the bathroom. Opening the door, he sees Alex leaning on the sink, standing over a puddle of water. He picks her up in his arms and carries her to a chair. “Stay there, till I get dressed and call the doctor.” He dials the number for the doctor, who tells him to get her to the hospital, and that he’ll call the hospital to let them know they’re coming. He quickly pulls on his jeans, a shirt and slips on his sneakers. “Alex, where is your suitcase?”

 

“It’s in the truck, Walker. You put it in there a week ago.”

 

“Come on, then, lets go.” He rushes to the door, pulls it open and rushes out. A minute later, he returns with a sheepish look on his face, moves over to Alex, puts a blanket around her, picks her up in his arms and carries her out of the room, down the stairs and to his truck.

 

*****

 

At the hospital, they are taken to a birthing room where Walker paces like a caged animal while Alex is prepped for delivery.  When the doctor arrives he takes a quick check, looks at Walker, “Usually the first one can take quite a while before it makes an appearance so you might as well relax, we could be here awhile. You went to Lamaze class with her, didn’t you” Walker nods. “Just help her like you were shown then.”

 

The doctor leaves the room and Walker moves up to stand beside Alex. He picks up her hand and leans down and kisses her lightly on the forehead, “Alex, I love you.”

 

“I love you, too, Cowboy.” A contraction starts and she squeezes Walkers’ hand as he coaches her on her breathing until the contraction eases.

 

“Oh, that was a good one.” She shuts her eyes to rest and Walker mops her forehead, waiting for the next contraction to start. After twenty minutes, with no more contractions, Alex dozes off, and Walker pulls up a chair to relax in, knowing that when the baby starts coming, rest will be a thing of the past.

 

“Aggghh….”Alex groans loudly, causing Walker to jump up quickly, knocking the chair over.

 

“Breathe through it Alex, come on baby, you can do it.” The contraction eases and they both relax, but then within two minutes another starts. “Breathe with it Alex, just like the last one.”

It finally eases, and Walker mops her forehead again, and then pulls his hand out of hers and shakes it vigorously. But when another starts almost immediately, Walker pushes the call button for the nurse. When the nurse pokes her head in the door, Walker says, “She’s had three hard contractions in the last six minutes.”

The nurse checks Alex, “Whoa, he’s coming! I’ll get the doctor.” The nurse leaves and returns a few minutes later with the doctor.

 

After checking Alex, “Well, I guess, this one is in a hurry.” Another contraction begins and everything starts moving faster. “Okay, young lady, when the next one hits, I want you to bear down, can you do that?” Before she can answer, another one starts, and she bares down hard, groaning and squeezing Walker’s hand so hard he’s wondering if he’ll ever be able to use it again. After three more hard ones, “Alex, I think the next one will do it. So I want you to really push hard.”

 

“Oh, God, Walker, I can’t.” The tears are flowing heavy now.

 

“Yes, you can, baby. It’s almost over. One more big push and we’ll see our baby.” As the contraction starts, “Come on, Alex, Push.

 

“AAAAgh…” And she feels the baby leave her body. In a faint whisper, “Walker, you’re having the next one.”  Then gives in to the exhaustion.

 

He laughs and as the baby is laid on Alex’s stomach, in a soft hushed voice, “Alex, honey, look.”

 

He puts his arm under her shoulders and raises her up, and in a soft whisper, “Oh, Walker.” She reaches to touch the baby’s hair. “He looks just like you, darling, such beautiful red hair.”

 

Later, after Alex and the baby have been cleaned up and the bed freshened, Walker stands beside the bed looking down on Alex as she holds their son. He reaches down and touches the baby’s hand. When the baby’s fingers curl around one of his, his heart overflows with love. The joy he feels is incredible.

 

The doctor enters a few minutes later. Seeing the joy on their faces, he knows that the news he has is unnecessary but decides to tell them anyway. “Alex, Walker, I know this is probably not necessary, but for future reference, we ran a blood test on the baby and, as you both probably already know, the baby’s DNA matches yours and Walker’s perfectly.” As he sees Walker’s eyes darken, “I know, you didn’t want the test run, but it needed to be done from a medical standpoint. If any health problems should arise in the future, this information could be essential in treating him. I hope you can understand that’s the only reason we did it.”

 

When he finishes, Walker looks at Alex then turns back to face the doctor, “I understand, doc. That’s fine. I guess it had to be done.”

 

*****

 

Three days later, Alex and Walker bring their son home. Now begins the joys of parenthood.  They decide to name him Raymond John Walker, and plan on calling him Ray, after Walker’s Uncle Ray.  They lay the baby in the cradle in the living room, than sit together on the couch, watching him, each lost in their own thoughts of the past year.

Walker tightens his arms around Alex, pulling her close, “Hon, what are you thinking about? You’re awful quiet.”

 

“Oh…just thinking about this last year. It’s been a year filled with agony, fear, anger, anxiety and hope. But it ended happily with our sweet baby boy.” She snuggles closer to him feeling content.”

 

“This has been a year that we’ll likely never forget. It will be hard remembering Ray’s birth without remembering the other. Whenever I think of you lying there on that floor, it tears me apart.  I’m grateful that Trivette was there when we caught him. If he hadn’t pulled me off of him, I’m afraid I would have beat him to dea….”

 

“Shhh…don’t. Those memories will dim in time, honey. Until they do, we’ll have to help each other get past them.” She turns in his arms and kisses him softly, then stands and moves over to look down on their baby. Walker gets up to stand beside her, and slides his arm around her waist.

 

“Maybe we need to make more memories like him to help push the bad ones out. Next to you, he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!”

 

The End