To Make You Feel My Love

By: Jennifer Folk

A.K.A. Lois Lane

loislane41@hotmail.com

 

The screen beeped at her and Alex was suddenly snapped back to reality. What a day, she thought. It had seemed non-ending. This murder trial she was prosecuting for had to be the biggest waste of time Alex could ever remember. The only reason it was still going was because money had changed hands somewhere along the line. But she had gotten word today that it had been taken care of. Tomorrow all she had to do was show up in court and the judge would send this guy packing. And then Alex thought wearily, I am taking a vacation whether they let me off or not.     

            She rubbed her neck and felt the tense muscles beneath her fingers. “What I wouldn’t give for one of Walker’s back rubs right about now “, Alex said out loud and to no one in particular. Of course she was the only one who knew he gave back rubs and mind numbing ones at that. She was also the only one who knew exactly what her back rubs did to him. On more than one occasion had Walker tried to disguise the effect of her massages with a strategically placed pillow. She smiled at the memory. Glancing at the clock she realized it was much later than she had thought. Too late for C.D.’s tonight, she thought. And she had so wanted to talk to Walker. Oh well, it can wait till tomorrow, she thought, suppressing a yawn. It’ll have to wait. “At the rate I’m going I’ll be lucky not to fall asleep at a stoplight “, she said as she chuckled softly to herself.           

              

            The next day found Walker more than a little upset at not seeing Alex last night. He knew she’d be in court at 10 and seeing as how he didn’t exactly have any pressing cases that needed his undivided attention at the time, he might as well go and bother Alex. He headed to the courtroom stopping to pick up a cappuccino just the way she liked it knowing she wouldn’t have time to stop for one on the way. She never did. She was usually drinking his. They practically shared every cup of coffee he managed to scrounge up. He smiled thinking about it. Even the most non-intimate of gestures could turn out to be the most intimate in his memory. Just sharing a cup of coffee with her was enough to get him through the day. Now why is that? he wondered to himself. But of course he knew the answer. Or did he?          

 

            The next day for Alex found her racing around her apartment, desperately trying to find where she had dropped her left shoe the night before. Her oversleeping had not made the morning any more pleasant nor did the fact that she realized she had left all her notes on her desk at the office. Still on her hands and knees searching for the evasive black shoe that had to have walked off by itself, she grabbed the portable and hit the speed dial. In less than one ring she heard the voice that always sent shivers down her spine.

 

            “Walker “, a decidedly low male voice growled into her ear.

 

            “Walker, this is Alex. I need a favor. A big one .” He heard the desperation in her voice and decided not to make any smart comments about her whereabouts the previous night. There would be time for that later.

 

             “What do you need, Alex?“ he asked with just a hint of suspicion in his voice. Knowing her it could be anything from hauling in a pig farmer witness to showing up for a date of which he knew nothing about until an hour beforehand, both of which he had experienced and experienced for the sake of this woman. For the second time that day he found himself asking why that was.

 

             “I need you to stop by my office and pick up my court notes. I was so tired last night I left without them. It would be a big help.“  She almost dared him to say no.  “Sure. They’ll be there waiting for you. But you owe me and I plan to collect, “ he said in a manner so devilish that Alex could almost see the sly, cocky smile spreading across his face.   

 

            “Walker, you’re a lifesaver. I’ll see you there.“ She put down the phone just as she was entering into the kitchen. Might as well have a bagel before I go, she said to herself, knowing full well that it might be the only real food she’d have all day.    

 

             Opening the fridge door, she leaned down to grab the bagel bag and in the process found the elusive black shoe. “Now how on earth did that get there?” she wondered out loud . I must have been sleepier than I thought. Well after today, she thought, I will be basking in the luxury of being on vacation. And not even Walker could keep me from going. Well, maybe Walker but no one else. She stole a quick glimpse of her watch and nearly choked on her bagel. Late for being late. She rushed out the door briefcase in hand, half a bagel hanging from her mouth, and completely without her left shoe.

 

            Walker made his way into Alex’s office, flipping on the light as he came through the door.  Where’d she say they were again? , Walker thought as he began going through the papers stacked on her desk. As he was finishing up searching the first pile and starting on the second, his elbow bumped another smaller stack of papers and they flew to the floor in a mess. “ Alex definitely owes me big for this one”, Walker mumbled as he bent down to pick up the messages strewn across the floor. There must be 50 messages here. Doesn’t she ever call anyone back? Walker finished gathering the papers and was just about to stack them on her desk when a name on the top sheet jumped out at him. Dalton Reed.            

 

            He stopped breathing. Dalton Reed. His knees suddenly felt weak. Dalton Reed. Had Alex called him back? Dalton Reed. Over and over that name assaulted his thoughts. He hadn’t thought the guy was serious. He knew Alex didn’t like to talk about him but Walker didn’t like talking about Ellen either. They had never really discussed Dalton and Walker just assumed that he was out of sight therefore out of mind. His at least. When had he called? He then remembered he had the message right in front of him. Last night. The message said he had called last night. That couldn’t have been why Alex had never showed up last night, or could it? Walker didn’t like where his thoughts were taking him. He wasn’t one to pry and if he hadn’t had to pick up the notes for Alex he never would have seen..... The notes for Alex!!! He had almost forgotten the reason he was there in the first place. He glanced at her clock. Boy, was he ever going to hear it now. He just prayed she was running as late as he was.   

 

            Walker’s prayers must have been answered because they arrived at the exact same time. Almost running into one another, they both skidded to a stop right outside the courtroom door.

 

            “Walker! Did you get the notes?” Walker gave her an odd look, almost as if to say How could you do this to me? Alex assumed it was because of the notes and laughed at his expression. Walker looked at her laughing and felt his insides twisting. To hide his hurt, he just took her elbow and guided her through the doors.

 

            Walker watched her as she slowly gathered her papers and stuffed them in her briefcase. She looks tired, he thought.  Maybe a weekend out at the ranch might help. Yeah, help keep her mind off Dalton, he thought angrily. It had never occurred to him that one day she might leave. She’d always been there and he selfishly thought she always would. Yeah, he decided, we need to have a long talk. But what am I going to say if I don’t even know how I feel? I mean I do know how I feel. Sort of . But she needs more than that. I guess somewhere along the line I fell in lo---

 

            “Walker, are you listening to me?”, Alex asked impatiently.

 

             “What? Oh, sorry Alex. What were you saying?” Walker replied, hoping he hadn’t missed something important.

 

             “I said, Thanks for getting those papers for me earlier. Is something the matter? You look a little lost”, she said as she pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

           

             “Uh, I’m fine. I was just thinking that you looked pretty worn out and I was going to suggest a weekend out at the ranch, just the two of us.” Walker shifted uncomfortably, hoping she hadn’t seen the look of desperation in his eyes, just seconds before.

 

             “I had been planning a relaxing, peaceful weekend alone, but since you offered I guess I could force myself to have fun with you. It’s going to be hard though.” The old Alex was back. Walker knew from the teasing tone and the twinkling eyes that the woman standing before him definitely had more in mind than just a relaxing weekend. What had he gotten himself into?               

            Alex kissed Walker goodbye, promising that she would be at the ranch by 5, no matter what. Walker hurried down the hall, wanting to get home as fast as humanly possible.  So much to do and so little time, he thought as he started up the Dodge. Everything has to be perfect, he kept telling himself over and over. But he knew if he planned too much and blew it out of proportion, nothing would go like he wanted it to. So he slowed down. A half-hour later, he pulled up to the ranch. As the truck pulled to a stop he saw another car in his driveway and it looked very familiar. CD Parker. Why, oh, why, did he have to come just now? And what the hell did he want?  Walker wondered as he walked up the front steps and slowly opened the door.

 

            “Cordell, is that you?” CD called from the kitchen.

 

             “Who else would it be, CD?”, Walker asked in a tone as nice as he could muster under the current circumstances. “Cordell, you would never believe what happened”, CD said in an incredulous tone. “Try me”, Walker grunted as he came to sit on the couch next to the older man.                   

            “Well, it’s like this Cordell. I was at home cooking up a batch of chili. I'm working on a new recipe and the stove catches on fire.” “Just like that”, CD replied as he snapped his fingers. Walker took a deep breath and counted to 10.

 

             “And you want to stay here with me while they fix it, right? CD, its only a broken stove. I doubt it will affect your entire way of life if you don’t have a stove”, Walker said slowly, praying for a small miracle.

 

            “Now listen here Cordell. If I ever hear you talking about me and my stove that way again you won’t feel how hard I hit you till your butt lands in Canada. You know good and well that my stove is my life and any way you might hurt Gertrude’s feelings.” CD spoke as if his life began and ended with this stove. 

 

            “CD, Trivette has a very nice apartment. I’ve seen it. It’s not a death trap. Stay with him. Please?”, Walker was almost begging. CD gave him an odd look.

 

            “I am staying with him. I just stopped by to drop off all my cooking utensils. You know how those repairmen are. They’ll take anything that’s shiny if given the chance. What’s with you anyway? You act like your pants are a little too tight .” Walker stood quickly and moved towards the door.

 

            “I’ve had a long day, CD. I just want a little peace and quiet that’s all”, Walker said as if were the most natural thing in the world.

 

            “Cordell, it’s not even noon yet”, CD replied with a suspicious tone.

 

            “OK, so I had a long morning. It happens. I’ll be seeing ya.” Walker hoped he didn’t sound as rude as he thought he had sounded.

 

            “Yea, see ya Cordell.” CD waved as he drove away.

 

             “Wait a minute “, Walker yelled after him, “Who’s Gertrude?”

 

            Walker closed his eyes and took a huge breath. Cordell, you have three days. Three days to change Alex’s mind. She can’t be with Dalton. You have to do whatever it takes to keep her with you, because if you lose her to Dalton this time, there’s no looking back. Walker almost lost it then. The thought of Alex waking up each morning in Reed’s arms was more than enough to turn his stomach. But the thought of any kind of commitment was more than Walker could handle at the moment. He needed to be absolutely sure about his feelings for Alex and at the present time, the only feelings he was absolute about were those that he felt for Amigo.            

 

Alex dug through her purse for her keys.  First my shoe, now my keys, what a day, Alex thought wearily as her hands grasped metal at the very bottom of her handbag. Inside the phone began to ring.           

 

             “I’m coming, I’m coming”, Alex said as she fumbled to find the right key. The door finally swung open just as the answering machine picked up. “ Hi this is Alex. Leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” Alex slipped off her shoes, careful to notice where she put them and fell back onto the couch as she listened to the caller.

 

             “Alex, this is Dalton.” Alex sat bolt upright in her seat. “I left a couple messages at your office but I guess you didn’t get them. I’m back in Dallas and I’d like to see you. There’s a couple of things I’d like to ask you, too. My number’s 555 - 7878. Call me.”   

 

             Alex’s thoughts went into high gear. Messages at the office, she thought as her mind reviewed the past couple of days at work.  I never looked at any of my messages. The stupid murder case. I wonder how many he left?  Alex looked down at her hand to find them shaking.  Why did he have to come back this weekend, Alex thought as she tried to pull herself together. Why the first weekend that Walker had invited her to his ranch and she didn’t have to beg for it, did Dalton have to come demanding answers.  No, I won’t do this to myself. I’ve been wanting some answers from Walker and I’ll have them. If Dalton loves me enough to see past the love I have for Walker maybe his proposal isn’t that farfetched after all, Alex thought, gaining more confidence with each passing moment. “ Walker can’t skirt around his feelings forever and whether he loves me or not, he’s going to find out just how I feel, and this weekend is as good a place as any to start”! Alex picked up the phone and began to dial.

 

             Walker heard a car in the driveway and said a quick prayer. “ Walker, could you help me with my bags?”, Alex shouted as she came up the front steps.

 

            “Bags, as in more than one? Alex, what exactly is your definition of a weekend?” Walker frowned as he walked toward the open trunk of her car.  “Well, if you really don’t want me here I’m sure that there are plenty of other men in Dallas that would -----“

 

             Alex was suddenly cut off short by the hard, fast kiss Walker planted on her lips. Walker knew he’d had to do something and kissing her was the first thing that had popped into his mind. He learned quickly though that his brilliant idea was turning into a whole lot more than just a kiss. Walker started to pull apart but Alex would have none of it. The bags they were holding crashed unceremoniously to the ground as Alex slowly wound her arms around Walker’s neck. The kiss was full of much more passion than Walker had originally planned on giving. A little longer with Alex’s warm body pressed against his and he would be looking around for a pillow to hide the effects.            Alex slowly pulled away but still held tightly to Walker. Her knees were so weak they’d probably give out any second. “Does that answer your question?”, Walker asked, as a sly smile crept across his rugged features.

 

             “Uh, maybe”, Alex said breathlessly. “What was the question again?” Walker laughed as he handed her a bag.

 

            “I think it had something to do with these extremely big bags we’re carrying. What exactly do you carry in a bag this big?”, Walker asked, as he feigned exhaustion while trying to lift the bag up the stairs.       Alex rolled her eyes and answered smartly. “ Your ego”!   With that she turned on her heel and headed for the house.

 

            Walker was just entering the house as Alex sauntered down the staircase.   

 

            “Something smells wonderful”, Alex said as she came to stand next to Walker. “What is it’?

 

            “I guess you’ll just have to wait and find out. Dinner will be served in 20 minutes.” That being said, Walker climbed the stairs to deposit Alex’s bags in her room.    Funny, he thought, Alex already has a room here. Why not make it a permanent room? Or better yet, make the permanent room his bedroom.

 

              “Wishful thinking, pal”, his mind told him as he headed back down the stairs. But his mind suddenly took back that statement when he entered the kitchen and found Alex standing barefoot on a stool, trying to reach his dinner plates in the top cupboard. He stood in the doorway a minute watching her, something that had become quite a well-liked pastime for him. She stood on her tiptoes and Walker silently admired every last inch of her. He thought he could never get enough.   

 

            She finally got the two plates she was looking for and stepped down. Before she even had a chance to turn around, Walker arms were encircling her waist. She stiffened in surprise, then relaxed as the tall cowboy behind her began trailing kisses up and down her neck.

 

             “I thought I told you that dinner would be served in 20 minutes”, Walker growled into her ear. She shivered. Her mind was fast becoming a clouded mass of jumbled thoughts.

 

             “I was trying to speed things up a little so we could get to the relaxing part of the evening sooner”, Alex told him, “but if you want to wait 20 more minutes . . .”

 

            Walker grinned at her wanton ways. What was he going to do with her? Well, his mind reminded him, you have spent many an hour dreaming about that exact question and have found many different positions to answer it in, most of which involved something along the lines of her being on top.

 

             “Walker, are you OK? Your face looks a little flushed.” Walker looked up to see concern in Alex’s beautiful blue eyes.

 

             “And yours looks beautiful”, Walker answered her.  “I’m fine but if I stand here any longer looking at you and your beautiful face the fire in the hearth won’t be the only one flaming tonight .”

 

            Alex couldn’t believe her ears. Was this really Cordell Walker, the man who had more trouble voicing his emotions than any other human she knew? There was something slightly different about him tonight, though. She just hadn’t figured out what it was just yet.

 

              “Is that so, cowboy ?” Alex smiled at him and felt her body warm as he brought his mouth down to taste her waiting lips. A surge of heat passed from his lips to hers and ignited what was already a well-tended fire in them both. A low groan escaped her lips and Walker knew then that Dalton had never kissed her like this. These emotions and desires were real. Stemming from what had been building between them ever since the very second that they had laid eyes on one another in that stuffy courtroom. Walker told himself to pull away, that this could only get hotter with every second that ticked by. Still holding tightly to Alex’s waist, Walker slowly pulled away. He might be needing to make that room permanent much sooner than he had thought.          

 

            “Alex, I really think we should have dinner”, Walker rasped as he tried desperately to resituate himself.

 

             “I think you might be right”, Alex said as she quickly pulled out of his warm embrace and turned to get the silverware.

 

            Over dinner the conversation was light and easy and didn’t require too much thought. That was good because neither Alex nor Walker were able to come up with anything intelligible after the incident in the kitchen. After dinner, Walker washed the dishes while Alex dried.     

 

            “Walker, do you still love Ellen?” Alex blurted out before she realized she had actually voiced her thoughts out loud.

 

             The dish he had been washing clattered back into the dishwater and broke. Alex noticed. It seemed he was always breaking some kind of glass when her name was mentioned.  Well that just won’t do, Alex thought to herself. I have to get him over this and on with his life. Alex looked up and saw Walker looking at her, something he seemed to be doing a lot of lately. 

 

            “Alex, can we finish up the dishes first?” There was something in his eyes as he stood in front of her that chilled her to the bone.

 

             “Walker, for once the dishes can wait”, Alex said as she pulled his hands out of the dish water, dried them and still holding tightly to them, led him into the living room.

 

            He immediately went straight to the fireplace to lay on more logs but he knew that the heat from the fire would do nothing to take away the chill he felt in his body right now. He turned toward Alex and found her gazing at him intently. He walked over and carefully sat down beside her. His arm went around her almost automatically. It was an unconscious gesture but Alex still knew what it meant. With his arm around her she was pressed right up against his chest and could feel every emotion that was coursing through his body. She felt the rawness and was starting to regret having ever said anything.

 

            She had gotten to him, but it had to be done. They couldn’t go on not knowing. It wasn’t fair to either of them. His eyes were still focused on the fire. She turned to look at him. She saw emotions cross her face that scared her and she felt that fear in the very core of her being.  

 

            “Alex, I loved Ellen. I was going to marry her.” She completed me.”

 

            That ripped through her like a knife. Ellen had completed him. How could she possibly hope to compete with that? She had asked for it but she never expected an answer like this. Walker slowly went on.

 

             “She showed me another world. She showed me pleasure and love. And she showed me life. My life began, ended, and revolved on her. She knew my soul. She knew my thoughts. She knew my life.”

 

             The knife twisted deeper into Alex’s heart. He was describing everything that Alex had ever hoped to have with Walker. Everything that she had wanted with him, Ellen had already gotten and taken with her to the grave. Love, ghosts, and jealousy was what it all came down to and Alex wasn’t sure if she could handle any more. But still he continued.

 

             “We wanted children. She wanted two boys and I wanted two girls. We even had their names picked out.”

 

            No, she thought, don’t tell me the names. I don’t want to know their names. I can’t take it. Why are you doing this to me, she wanted to scream at him. But she held it in. If it was this painful for her to endure, then it must be tearing Walker’s heart in two.

 

             “Carlos and Ray if we had two boys and Elizabeth and Sarah if they were girls.”

 

            Alex nearly doubled over in pain. It was a stripping down of his very self and she was the one with the open wounds. She had to stop him. It was fast becoming too much.

 

             “Walker, I can’t.” 

 

“We had even looked at rings a couple of times even though neither of us had actually said the words. “

 

             “Walker, you have to stop. I can’t do it.”    

 

“Then she was gone. She had just accepted my proposal. Well, it wasn’t an actual proposal, but the best one I could get out at the time. And then she was gone.”

 

             “Walker, you’re hurting me.”

 

            Alex took his face in her hands and looked straight into his eyes. Eyes that were so filled with pain she almost cried. But she held strong. It must have dawned on him as he looked into her face and saw a pain just as strong reflected in it. He realized her pain went as deep as his. It was in that moment that he completely and totally understood his feelings for the woman sitting before him. He searched for the perfect words. The ones he finally chose were simply, I Love You, and with them he was set free.                                       

                                                           

 

                                                            Part II                                                                                            

            Sunlight streamed in the bedroom window and Alex rolled to face it head on. That seems to be becoming a constant theme in my life these days. Was it only just last night that the man with whom she wanted to spend every day of her life with, had echoed back to her every word that she had dreamed of him saying. But it hadn't been a dream. No, her mind told her, it was very real and there were all sorts of ways to prove it. She lay back on the bed and slowly went over every detail of the night before starting when she had heard the words that she had waited more than eight years to hear.

 

            She had looked into his eyes to make sure he'd meant it. She couldn't figure out why he had chosen just then to say it, though. He had been going on and on about Ellen and their seemingly perfect love while she had been torn apart by his words. Then he had realized her pain, realized what his words were doing to her and stopped. But then he had just said it. I love you. Like it was the most natural thing in the world. Like he said it to her every day. And she had just stared at him with a blank expression covering her face. He had pulled back when he couldn't see an immediate reaction in her. But how was she supposed to have reacted? He could have said what did for any number of reasons, none of which being the right one. He could have said it so he wouldn't lose her to another man. He could have said it to ease her pain. He could have said it because he truly did love her but she had doubted. And she had made that doubt painfully clear when he questioned her about her silence. The conversation of the night before was coming back to her all too clearly now:

 

            "Alex, did you hear me? Did you hear what I said?” He looked at her and tried to read her face but it was expressionless.

 

            "I heard you, Walker "

 

            "Then tell me .”

 

            "Tell you what, Walker ? That you just told me you loved me and I have no idea why. "

 

"What do you mean, why did I do it? I said it because I meant it. Every word of it was truth. I have never lied to you Alex.”

 

            "I never said you lied, I just wanted to know why. Walker, you saw how much I was hurt by what you said about Ellen and you wanted to make it better. So you said the first thing that came to your mind that you thought might make me feel better.”

 

            "Is that what you think? That I would say something as passionate as that and not mean it with my whole heart and soul? I thought we knew each other better than that.”

 

            "Walker when I asked you if you still loved Ellen it was meant to be a simple yes or no question. I never got an answer. You went on and on about your feelings for her then. I wanted to know about now. Right this very minute. You completely evaded the question.”

 

            "Alex, I was trying to show yo---.”   

 

            "You just don't get it do you? I wanted a yes or a no. You gave me a maybe. Walker, if you still love her as much as I think you do then I maybe I ought to just leave. There's nothing left here to salvage.”

 

            "Alex please don't do this. I love you. How many ways can you possibly take that?” 

 

            "At least five. Walker you said it to me for all the wrong reasons. You haven't even so much as said you cared about me in the past five or six years. Am I just a passing cowgirl? If I had taken that position in Colorado would you have even remembered my name?”

 

            "What job in Colorado?”

 

            "A District Attorneys job in Denver. It was last year. Forget about it.”

 

            "Alex, what are you saying?”

 

            "I'm not saying anything. I just wanted an answer. Walker, I can't take anymore. Arguing is going to get us nowhere. I'm going to bed. Goodnight.”

 

            She had stood and started towards the stairs when his words assaulted her and she knew the real reason he had said what he did.

 

            "Was Dalton in Denver waiting for you?”

 

            She stopped dead in her tracks. That name. She slowly turned around.

 

            "I beg your pardon?”

 

            "I said, was Dalton waiting for you?”

 

            "What does Dalton have to do with any of this? He was out riding the circuit, you know that.”

 

            "So you're telling me that the only reason you stayed here in Dallas was because of me?”

 

            "What else would keep me here, Walker?”

 

            "But why?”

 

            "Because I love you Walker. I don't love Dalton. I never did. Is that so hard to understand?”

 

            "You love me?”

 

            "Yes, I love you but Walker the difference between my saying those words and you saying them is that I actually mean them. You still are very much in love with Ellen, that much is obvious and I bet you found out that Dalton was back in town and you had to find some way to keep me with you. Walker, I'm not stupid. You have a hard time with your feelings, granted and yes, you have been through a lot in your life, but moving past it is always something that has eluded you. I can't be here if you can't put it behind you and move on.”

 

            Walker just looked at her. She had never seen such a pained expression cross his face. When he spoke, she could barely stop herself from running straight into his arms.

 

            "Alex, there will always be love in my heart for Ellen. She was a part of me for so long that it takes a lot to get through the hurt. But I did it. She is behind me and you are ahead. As for Reed, I won't deny saying I love you just to keep you for myself. The thought of you in his arms and not in mine was almost too much.”

 

            "Then you didn't say it because you really loved me. Walker, I'm going to bed. Tomorrow I'm leaving. We both need some time and space to think.”

 

            Again she turned to start the long climb to her bedroom and again Walker stopped her with his words.

           

            "Alex, you can't marry Dalton.”

 

            She turned halfway and met his eyes dead on.

 

            "If I don't get a better offer by the time he asks, then I will accept his proposal. Dalton is a good man Walker, whether you choose to believe it or not. He loves me. Not because he has to. Not because the threat of another man is forcing him to but because he wants to.”

 

            "But you don't love him, you love me.”

 

            "Then I guess I'll have to get over it.”

 

            "Alex, what do I have to do to get you to believe me?”

 

            "I don't know Walker, I just don't know.”

 

            This time she made it to her room and closed the door behind her. She barely made it to the bed before she collapsed. The tears flowed freely and she cried herself to sleep. Walker had followed her up the stairs hoping, praying that she would give him another chance to explain himself, but she didn't. He stood outside her door and listened. He wanted to hold her and wipe away the tears that he knew were streaming down his cheeks. He knew because the tears were also streaming down his. He waited outside her door for what seemed like an eternity. He waited till he knew she was asleep and entered her room. The moonlight shone through the open window falling slightly on her face. An angel, he thought. And I blew it. He sat in the rocking chair in the corner and watched her.

 

            Where did I go wrong?, he thought over and over. And she loves me. The beautiful woman who has put up with me for eight long years, loves me. He remembered what she had said earlier about Ellen and his feelings for her. Was Alex right?  Was he still in love with Ellen? No, he thought, no, I put Ellen to rest when I put Vince Pike away for good. A part of me will always love her but that part is tucked away in my heart. Alex is my heart now. But how do I get her to see that? She can barely stand to look at me. I guess I'll just have to make her look. I love her, no matter what she thinks. He rose slowly and quietly made his way to the door. With one last look, he left.

 

            Alex played pieces of the conversation over and over again in her mind. How did it all get so ugly, she wondered. Well, I might as well get up and face it. Hiding under the covers won't get me anywhere. She sat up and swung her feet to the floor. She looked to the nightstand to check the time. Instead her eyes fell on a book worn with wear. She picked it up and saw a note stuck to the front cover. Two words : Read Me. She noticed a page had been book marked. She turned the book over to read the title on the side. It was a book of poetry. She opened to the passage Walker had marked not knowing exactly what to expect. She read the poem slowly, taking in every word.

 

                                                The Road Not Taken

 

                                 "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

                                    And sorry I could not travel both

                                    And be one traveler, long I stood

                                    And looked down one as far as I could

                                    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

                                    Then took the other, as just as fair,

                                    And having perhaps the better claim,

                                    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

                                    Though as for that the passing there

                                    Had worn them really about the same,

 

                                    And both that morning equally lay

                                    In leaves no step had trodden black.

                                    Oh, I kept the first for another day!

                                    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

                                    I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

                                    I shall be telling this with a sigh

                                    Somewhere ages and ages hence:

                                    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --

                                    I took the one less traveled by,

                                    And that has made all the difference .”

 

                                                                        Robert Frost

 

            Beneath the poem was a note written directly on the page. She knew he had written it last night after their fight. She read and reread it just to make sure she wasn't missing anything:

 

            Alex, I decided to take the road less traveled. It was the road to your heart. And it was the road that I should've taken more often. I love you. Please hear me out.

 

            She almost started crying again. It took everything she had to tear her eyes away from the letter and stand up. She gathered up her clothes and a towel and headed for the shower. She let the water warm up before she stepped in. The hot liquid embraced her body and she closed her eyes. The water ran over her and she shivered. Memories flooded her mind. Good times with Walker. Bad times. All the years fell over her and she knew that they did have to sit down and talk this thing out, whatever it was. It had ended terribly last night but Alex didn't regret any of what was said. The hot water began to run out. She turned the water off and stepped out. Looking at the steam covered mirror she realized she had been in there a lot longer than she had originally planned. She dried off and had just started to put her clothes on when she noticed a small bottle on the counter with a note attached to it. It said: Wear me. A bottle of the sweetest perfume Alex had ever come across. She wondered if she should put it on. She was noticing a pattern. She dabbed some on and finished dressing. Back in her room she sat on the bed pulling her socks on. As she did, she looked around the room. It really is my room, she thought. I've got an extra set of clothes here. I even have a toothbrush here. Strange, she thought, how it already feels like my own house. She thought back to all the hours she and Walker had spent snuggled up on the couch, staring at the fire or all the nights they had spent on the porch swing staring at the stars. She really felt like she belonged. That this is where I should be. Always.

 

            She slowly made her way down the stairs. Still in her stocks she tried to be as quiet as possible. She wanted a glimpse of her cowboy for herself before she could bring herself to face him. At the bottom of the staircase she could see his rugged figure outlined against the morning light. His back was to her as she made her way through the front hall to where he was standing. Right before she reached him, he turned around.

 

            "How did you know Dalton was in town?”, she asked, wanting to know everything about his feelings toward her.

 

            He looked at her, smiled and said simply, "Later," and slipped his arm around her waist and led her into the kitchen.

 

            The table was set for breakfast even though it was almost ten. Walker pulled out her chair for her and she took a seat. He went into the kitchen and was back in less than a minute with two steaming plates of food. He set one down in front of her and moved to take his place in the seat across from her. They started to eat and the room was silent. Alex was used to it but for some reason the silence between them this morning disturbed her. She started to speak but Walker cut her off.

 

            "Later," he said softly and she knew then that "later" would come when Walker was ready to deal with it.

 

            When breakfast was finished and the dishes were done, Walker again put his arm around her waist and led her into the living room. He sat her down on the couch and then sat down himself. He turned to face her. He spoke in a voice so utterly torn with emotion Alex could hardly believe it was coming from him. But she listened, just as she had last night. She told herself to leave last night behind. Today would not be about winning a verbal battle.

 

            "Alex, I found out that Dalton was in town when I went to get the court notes from your office. I accidentally knocked over a pile of messages and his was on top. Alex, I saw his name and I stopped breathing. I thought that that was why you hadn't stopped by CD's the night before. That was why I looked so hurt when I gave you the notes.”

 

            "And that's why you invited me out here this weekend.” Alex had to check herself. She was going to start sounding like she did last night. That's not where she wanted this conversation to go.

 

            "Alex, I told you that was part of the reason. The other was that you looked so exhausted I thought you were going to collapse at my feet if you didn't get some rest. I was worried about you.”

 

            Alex could see that he was serious and for a moment she felt sorry that she had ever gotten involved with Dalton, but only for a moment. "Walker, Dalton was a big part of my life for a while. I won't deny it or forget about it. It was a good thing. I guess there's just something about me and cowboys.” She gave him a small smile.

 

            "Alex, I know that Dalton meant a lot to you. Ellen meant a lot to me, but last night I realized that I put Ellen to rest when I put Vince Pike behind bars. All I know is that I love you.”

 

            Alex saw the love in his eyes and in the way he was holding her. She couldn't even remember when his arms had gone around her but it felt so right.  

 

            "Walker, I want us to be together. I want to feel your love and know that I will never go another day without you in my life. But we have to straighten this all out once and for all.” Alex took a deep breath before she went on.

 

            "I loved Dalton. Maybe not as much as you did Ellen but it was love. There have been others besides him and I know there have been others for you too. But for the past eight years there has been no one else but you.”

 

            Walker looked at her as if he was seeing her for the first time. He wasn't sure if he had just imagined her saying the words. What she said next made his heart soar as high as his eagle counterpart. The tears flowed freely from both of their eyes and all he could do was hold her.

 

She had said simply, "I love you.”

           

                                                         Part III

            She had said it last night but she knew he needed to hear it again. So she had said it. She now wiped the tears from his cheeks and looked at him. Looked at him in a new way. In a way a woman looks at the man she loves. In that moment everything else faded away. There was no Dalton, no Ellen. It all dropped out of sight. Walker took her into her arms and held her. Held her as if the world was going to end within the next hour. She basked in it. The feel of his arms around her, the feel of his breath on her neck, the smell of him. A mix between cologne and rugged cowboy. A scent that was pure male. Pure Walker. But she knew for a fact that he wasn't pure, the way she was thinking. He had proven on more than one occasion that purity was not a word in his vocabulary. His voice broke into her thoughts.

 

            "So what now ?”

           

            She knew this was something else that had to be dealt with but not just yet. Alex turned in his arms, looked him right in the eyes and said "Later.” And that was enough. He understood. He always understood.

 

            It was only eleven in the morning but the snow outside was just beginning to settle. The fire jumped and sparked. His arms tightened around her. He kissed her hair, her neck. She couldn't believe the love that was within them both. But she knew much longer in his arms and she'd end up in his arms in his bed and no matter how much she might want to.... she knew it would have to wait. That's what their relationship had always been about, waiting. So she reluctantly broke free of his arms and stood up. But not for long.

 

            "Walker, I want to build a snowman. Where are your snowsuits?”

 

            Walker gave her a skeptical look and said with a smile, "Snowsuits, Alex? Do I look like I would happen to have a few extra floating around?”

 

            With that he grabbed her waist and pulled her towards him once again. She landed squarely on his lap and was instantly aware of his reasons for staying seated.

 

            "I think," he said as a devilish grin spread across his face, "that we should just stay inside today. Lay by the fire. Play a game of Twister. I'll even make you some hot cocoa with marshmallows.”

 

            Alex's insides flip flopped when she saw the look in his eyes at the mention of Twister. Oh, the possibilities. And hot cocoa. Her one weakness, besides him of course. He knew all the right words and she was slowly melting under his gaze.

 

            "I guess we could wait a little while longer before going out. I mean, the snow will still be there, right? And it has to have time to really settle out.”  She tried to act nonchalant about the whole thing but Walker saw through it in an instant.

 

            "I think we can definitely wait a little longer..."

 

            His voice trailed off as his lips met Alex's. Alex's mind reeled. She lost all control of her senses. Her hand slid up to touch his face as he deepened the kiss. It was a sweet invasion. Their tongues dueled in and effort to gain control. Alex won out. He moaned deep from within and Alex needed no more encouragement. She slowly started to reposition herself. She didn't stop until she was straddling him. Her arms went around his neck and he pulled her closer. Her insides were throbbing and she could feel him straining against his jeans. She broke off the kiss only to refocus her attention on the small area of exposed skin at the top of his shirt collar. She slowly undid the first button of his shirt. Then the second. Every button that was undone revealed more of the raw masculine flesh she knew was under it all. His skin was hot and her kisses only added kindle to the fire. He could barely breathe much less think coherent thoughts. All she was doing was kissing him. On his chest. With her hot breath lingering after every one. It amazed him the affect she was having. It felt so incredible . She almost had the last button undone. At last his chest was fully exposed to her wanting eyes. He helped her slip the shirt from his shoulders. She just sat staring at him.

 

            How in the world did I ever go without this, she thought. But we can't let this go too far, her mind reminded her. She wanted to take that Jiminy cricket conscience of hers and hang it on the nearest tree. It feels too good, she thought. I can't stop it now.

 

            Walker saw the desire in her eyes and decided it was her turn to be pleasured. As her hands began sliding up and down his chest, exploring every inch of it, he began to unbutton her blouse. Slowly, each one came undone. He slid it back over her shoulders and gloried in the sight of this perfect woman who loved him. The lace of her bra was almost his undoing. His right hand reached out to touch her skin but he stopped just before his hand made contact. It was almost as if he didn't want to mar the silken flesh that was before him. Alex sensed his hesitation and placed her hand over his and moved them both to cover her lace-covered breast. From there Walker hesitated no more. He massaged her breast until a taut bud rose through the fabric. She arched in response to the sensations that were pulsing everywhere in her body. He bent his head and offered his lips to her once again. She accepted graciously and instantly took the kiss to a higher plateau of passion. He tore his mouth from hers and dragged his lips down to taste her breasts through the fabric of her bra. Her hands came up to grasp his head and pull him closer. He pulled down the fabric only on that side and rubbed his beard against her bare skin. Ripples of pleasure wracked her body. She had never thought a beard served any practical purpose. Boy, was she ever wrong.

 

            Walker slowly covered the breast he had been focusing on and moved to the other one. Just as his hand cupped it and squeezed, the inevitable happened. There was a knock at the door. Walker thought it was his pounding heart but Alex knew better. She stopped mid-kiss and opened her eyes. Walker's were open as well and staring straight into hers. She decided to ignore the knocking and continue the seduction. He pulled away from her.

 

            "Alex, it's thirty below out there. We can't let them just stand out there.”

           

            "But its two hundred above in here so it balances out.”

 

            She started kissing his neck. The knocking turned into pounding until they could ignore it no longer. Alex stood up, buttoned her shirt halfway, and went to answer the door. Walker had to wait a couple of seconds to compose himself. Bare chested, belt buckle undone, and barefoot, he padded behind Alex to the door. She opened it not knowing what to expect but knowing that whoever it was wouldn't be there for long if she had her say. The door swung open and the tall silhouette of a man was illuminated against the white snow outside. Alex was momentarily blinded from the whiteness but Walker saw just fine. Dalton Reed. Alex realized it only moments after he did. Dalton Reed. They both stopped breathing. Dalton Reed. Their knees went weak. Dalton Reed.

           

            "Surprise.” It came in a low male voice and Dalton took a step forward. Alex took a step back, ran into Walker's bare chest and stopped. Dalton raked his gaze over her entire body. Walker slowly placed his hands on Alex's hips in a manner that could only be called possessive. Dalton didn't miss it or the look of loathing written over every inch of Walker's stony features. Alex could barely believe the change in Walker's body within the last minute. She felt his tension and his hands were slowly putting more and more pressure on her waist. And yet it gave her a thrill. She knew that Walker was jealous and in that moment did she know that he truly loved her. She felt it. She saw it. She had to do something about it before an explosion occurred.

 

            "Dalton, what are you doing here?," Alex asked in a voice that left no doubt in Walker's mind as to who she really loved.

 

            "You called me. You said you wanted to meet with me. I'm here. Let's meet.” His eyes gave away nothing.

 

            "We decided we were going to meet on Wednesday at the Marina. Last time I checked it was Saturday.” Alex crossed her arms and did not take her eyes off him. Walker couldn't quite believe what he was hearing. She WAS going to meet with him and she had never so much as said a word about it. He stiffened but his hands remained at her waist. He hoped Alex hadn't felt it. But she did. And she also heard his quick intake of breath when she mentioned meeting Dalton. She knew she would have to explain, and fast.

 

            "I guess it is Saturday," Dalton drawled, " but I stopped by your office and they told me you had the day off so I thought I'd come and find you and see what you had to say.”

 

            Walker's hands became even tighter on her hips and his body was starting to feel numb.

 

            "You want to hear what I have to say?," Alex replied.

           

            "Well, that's what I drove all the way out here for.”

 

            "Then we don't want your drive to be for nothing, do we Alex?” Walker's voice had changed into a tone that she had only heard him use with criminals.

 

             They moved into the living room and Alex sat down across from where Dalton was seated. Walker remained standing. He knew what had to take place. He picked up his shirt from its place on the floor and shrugged into it. As he buttoned it up he explained to Alex. "I'm gonna be out in the barn. Amigo should have been fed by now but I got sidetracked.” Alex blushed a crimson red when she saw the raw desire in his eyes once more. "I'm sure you two have things to be discussed. I'll be in the barn if you need me.” He finished buttoning his shirt, grabbed his coat and hat from the stand and with one last glance towards Alex, he walked out closing the door behind him. Dalton gave her a sly smile. He stood up and moved to sit next to her.  "So....," he said as he took his seat. Alex stood up just as he sat down. She then turned to face him.

 

            The wind whipped and howled and blew snow every which way except away from Walker. He tipped his head down and trudged ahead. He reached the barn and stumbled inside. Every ounce of his being was aching with need. He wanted Alex for himself. Now he wasn't sure of anything. But she had said that she loved him, didn't she? And hadn't she told him that it had been good with Dalton but that she had never really loved him? Everything swirled in his mind in a jumbled mess. Then he started thinking about what had almost happened in his living room, on his couch, in front of the fire that was nothing compared to the fire within them both. Walker had not been in the barn more than five minutes when the door swung open and a lone figure stepped inside. Bundled from head to toe, the figure walked straight towards him. The person stopped within inches of touching him and he heard a sound. A muffled laugh came from within the depths of the scarves and hats and hoods. He only prayed it wasn't Dalton coming to mock him. The man would be dead in under a minute and Walker knew there would be no way to stop himself. Then the layers started coming off. When the facemask was finally lifted to reveal a mass of curly blond hair, Walker didn't even stop to think. He just acted.

 

            Alex had taken approximately two minutes to assure Dalton that there was nothing more she wanted in the world other than Walker. That it had been good while it lasted but that there was only room for one cowboy in her life. Reed had taken one look at her shirt, misdone buttons and all, recalled Walker's absence of a shirt when they came to the door, and the look of absolute love and desire that had passed between the two and knew that he had stayed away too long. She had allowed him to hug her but she knew that neither she nor Walker would ever hear from him again. Even as Dalton had been getting in his car, she had already been halfway to the barn. She had stopped when she first saw him. He had stood there and watched her walk the slow path over to him. Amigo had nickered as she went by but she was sure Walker hadn't even noticed. When she had finally revealed herself to him, the biggest look of relief crossed his face and Alex was overjoyed when she saw the love and passion in his eyes. She dared to hope it was for her. Then she was being held and crushed in the biggest bear hug she had ever received. Walker just held her. He squeezed her until she thought that she could no longer breath and almost as if he could read her mind, he released her. And then just stared. He looked at every inch of her and then held her eyes. He was almost afraid to ask.

 

            "Where's Dalton?”

 

            "Oh, it took him about two minutes to realize that he should have come back when he said he would and not four years later.”

 

            "So he's gone and we'll never see him again?" Walker tried not to sound too hopeful but Alex knew him too well.

 

            "Never.” The look on her face told him it was true. His knees almost gave out. He almost lost it.

 

            "So, you're mine? Forever and ever?"

 

            "You got it, cowboy"!

 

                                                         Part IV

 

            Walker looked at her, wanting to believe every word she had just said but it just wouldn't process in his mind. He couldn't believe it was actually true. So he pulled her to him once again and held her. Whispering "I love you" over and over again in her ear. Alex was close to fainting from the exhilaration of what had just taken place. She held Walker just as tightly as he did her. They needed this. They needed the closeness and warmth of each other. Without it they were nothing. But as much as Alex wanted to stay in this moment forever, the cold was beginning to get to her. So she let go of his waist and pulled her head back. His arms were still around her but his eyes were staring right into hers and then they both started to laugh. Neither knew why. Maybe it was just being in love. Maybe it was because they were both freezing their asses off in the bitter cold. Maybe it was because they needed to. Alex decided that after everything that had gone on today, they needed something fun, something relaxing.

 

            "I've got a great idea. When we get back to the house, let's play a game of Twister.” Alex was so giddy that a kiddy game right about now sounded just perfect. Walker's mind was on other things.

 

            "Who needs to go in the house? We can play Twister right here in the hay.” With that, he grabbed her hands and pulled her down on top of him in a huge pile of hay. Alex laughed out loud and Walker thought it was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. She kissed him fiercely on the lips but jumped up and ran for the door as soon as their lips parted.

 

            "Last one to the house is a bowl of rotten egg," Alex called out as she started out towards the house, pulling on hats and gloves as she tried unsuccessfully to run in the snow.

 

            It only took Walker seconds to catch up to here and sling her down in the snow for another dose of her powerful womanhood. He kissed her eyelashes where snowflakes had come to rest and he kissed the tip of her nose where a single snowflake had landed and melted from the heat inside her. Then he carefully brushed her lips with his, barely grazing them. But Alex demanded more and suddenly her hands were behind his neck urging a more potent kiss. But he stopped just centimeters from her face. His tongue was on her lips then and tracing them over and over until she thought she would die if he didn't kiss her fully right then. And so with her lips parted, she pulled his head down farther and their tongues met again for the second time that day. This time, though, Alex decided to let him set the pace and he did. But what a maddening pace it was. He gently explored every inch of her mouth, leaving no part untouched and no section not aching for more. She tasted him and wanted to know no other. It was the taste of the man she loved and nothing would ever come close. She broke free and lay staring up at the sky.

 

            "You distracted me," she said with a smile.

 

            "But what a pleasant distraction to have had, don't you think?”

 

            She stood up once again and reached for his hands to pull him up. He allowed her to, albeit unwillingly. They walked to the house hand in hand. They stepped inside and the warmth immediately enveloped them. Alex started to take her hat off but Walker's gloved hand stopped her. "Let me.” Two simple words and Alex was trembling. If only two words from this man could make her heart do somersaults and her hands start shaking, what was going to happen when he started using complete sentences.

           

            He started with her mittens. First her right then her left. He caressed her hands with his fabric-covered hand. He moved his hands upward and pulled her hood back. Next came the hat. As her blond tresses fell about her face, Walker could only stare. An angel he thought for the millionth time. My angel. He leaned down and gave her a sweet kiss that promised her a lifetime of his love. He quickly unsnapped the outer buttons of her coat and slowly pulled the zipper down the length of her chest. It unhitched without a sound and Walker pushed the coat from her shoulders, the same way she had done to his shirt in what seemed like eons ago. She stepped out of her boots and stood in front of him. He kissed her again. His hands reached out to encircle her waist but she stopped him. With her lips still pressed lovingly against his, she pulled the gloves from his hands.

 

            From there she proceeded to strip him of everything she had been stripped of and the whole process lost nothing in the translation. It was such a simple thing that had turned so erotic. Alex had never experienced such a thing with any other man. Not even her ex husband. That thought of her ex husband had come out of nowhere. She suddenly couldn't remember whether or not she had told Walker about him. But that could wait till later. Much later she realized as the kiss quickly became more than it had started out as.

 

            "You know," she said against his lips, " we still haven't made it to the living room.”

 

            "I know," he answered right back. But knowing his limits when he heard them, Walker broke away from her and led her into the living room.

 

            "Now about that game of Twister," she barely was able to get out before she was pulled onto his lap. Not that she was complaining. This might just be her new favorite chair. She loved the way she fit perfectly on his thighs. And what thighs they were. She had never seen them fully exposed but if his jeans were any indication . . . She had to force her mind out of the bedroom. That could wait. Well, maybe that could wait. Twister would be a test of both their self-controls. But oh what fun the testing will be, she thought as she leaned in and rested her head on his shoulder.

 

            "Alex, you know I don't have any kids games around. And I definitely don't have Twister. I've never even played much less bought it.”

 

            Alex looked at him with an expression of sheer horror. "You've never played Twister? I can't believe it. Cowboy, you don't know what you're missing.” She laughed at the face he made and then stood up. "It just so happens that I brought along my Twister mat. You're in for it now, Ranger Man.”

 

            His eyes followed her as she went through the doorway and up the first few steps of the staircase. He hadn't missed the look of mischief in her eyes before she had darted upstairs. Twister, he thought to himself. Of all the games to pick she had to pick the one that involved touching and feeling and touching and . . . He was still dreaming about the touching part when Alex came bounding down the stairs with a lot more energy than she had gone up with.

 

            "I got it," she said with a huge grin lighting up her entire face. She waved the spin board in front of him and asked him to hold it while she spread out the mat. She carefully moved the coffee table out of the way and proceeded to unfold the huge piece of plastic. All Walker could do is groan as she sat him down on the couch and removed his boots, the one article Alex hadn't bothered with earlier. As soon as they were both in their stocking feet, Alex directed him to one end of the mat.

 

            "But Alex, I have no idea how to play.”

 

            "Oh, you'll learn fast, cowboy.”

 

            She flicked the spinner and with that the game had begun. The spinner stopped and Alex read out the directions.

 

            "Right hand red.” Walker looked at her when she said this and she grinned. Boy were they going to have fun with this one, Alex thought. They adjusted themselves to the directions and the spinner went around again. "Left foot blue.” Again they adjusted themselves.

 

            "What was the point of this game again, Alex? I don't think I heard you the first time.”

 

            "The first one to fall down because they can't bend any more loses. And you my friend are going to lose everything but that cute little smile of yours.”

 

            "Wanna bet?” The challenge in his voice was unmistakable. Alex's eyebrows raised as she saw the twinkling in his eye.

 

            "Right foot yellow.” She looked over at him again. "Bet?”

 

            "I win, you give me a massage. I lose and I give you a massage.”

 

            "Sounds like a win win situation to me.”

 

            "Well. . ."

           

            "Consider yourself challenged.” Her eyes sparkled and she knew she had to win this one. She looked down at the spinner. "Right hand yellow.”

 

            By now they had sufficiently tangled themselves but they kept on going, neither one wanting to lose out on such a choice prize. Throughout the next half-hour they played with a fierce competitiveness. But they still had fun. On more than one occasion had Alex "accidentally" brushed Walker's thigh trying to reach a certain color. And Walker figured out fairly quickly just how to make Alex tremble and almost lose it. There was a sensitive spot just below her right ear and when kissed just so ... They went at each other like this for a few minutes more and then cam the straw that broke the camel's back, or Walker's well muscled thigh as the case may be. "Left foot blue," Alex said. Walker reached underneath her to reach the colored circle but his legs just gave out and Alex, who had been precariously positioned over him, fell only seconds after he did. But not before declaring her victory. Her body was flush against his and she was cradled between his thighs. Alex knew this had been a good idea. She looked up at him. And then she laughed. She knew he had been expecting to win but she liked to keep him a little off balance.

 

            "I won, cowboy. Now what do you plan to do about it?” Alex grinned in a smile that lit up her entire face.

 

            "How about. . . this?”! And he started tickling her. Everywhere. And she couldn't stop laughing. Every time she thought he'd given it up, he'd grab her waist and start all over again.

 

            "I give up... Please.. no more..."! She was breathing heavily from their playing and had to lay back and catch her breath. He smiled down at her. Somehow he had flipped her and she was now beneath him. What a pleasant position to be in, she thought, her mind now going over all the other positions she'd like to have him in.

 

            "So you're crying mercy, are you? I thought you were tougher than that.”

 

            That was all Alex needed to hear. She sat up in a flash and had him beneath her in mere seconds. Her legs straddled him.

 

            "You know ," Alex said with a wanting look in her eyes, "I'm beginning to like this being on top bit.”

 

            Walker chuckled and started to slowly massage her thighs through the tight denim that encased them.

 

            "Does it seem a little warm in here, Walker?” Alex met his eyes and, never taking her eyes from his, removed the sweater she had been wearing. Beneath it was a spaghetti strapped tank top and the hint of a bra. Walker drew a sharp breath. Alex thought it was the most wonderful sound in the world. His hands continued their assault on her legs and she grew hotter as his hands moved farther and farther up the length of her.

 

            "I think it's about time I collected my prize, don't you think?” Her eyes were glazed with passion and she could think of no other man who had made her feel the way Walker did. His gaze drifted to chest and she knew what he was thinking.

 

            "I guess if we really want to make this massage proper my shirt has to come off. Am I right?” Walker could do nothing but nod at her words for he was mesmerized by the action of her hands. Slowly, as if to torture him, she drew the top over her head to reveal the soft skin he had gotten so little of earlier in the day. His hand reached out and again stopped just before actually making contact. Alex saw his hesitation and reached around her back to unclasp the hooks of the lace underwear. Gradually, inch by sweet inch, it was peeled away from her. She cast it aside and backed away from him. He looked at her in confusion. She reached over to the couch, grabbed a pillow, and pushed the Twister mat aside. Then ever so gently, she lay down on her stomach.

 

            "I want to feel your hands, Walker. I want to feel your love.”

 

            Alex's eyes closed as she felt his fingertips trace her spine. She shivered. She heard him stand up and step over top of her. He then slowly lowered himself until he was straddling her back. Alex had dreamed of this. Fantasized about this. THIS was nothing like his previous back rubs. He started on her lower back and moved his hands in a circle. He felt the tension in that area melt away. He moved an inch upward. This time he grasped her waist so that only his thumbs applied pressure to her silken skin. He pressed a little harder each time. He alternated between his hands and thumbs all the way up her back. Alex's mind had completely left her body. Such exquisite sensations came from Walker's knowing hands. His hands. She had always liked his hands. Broad and weather worn but soft to the touch. Alex was jerked back to reality when she felt his hands grasp her bare breast and start massaging them as his thumbs continued their magic on her back. Her nipples became taut peaks under his caresses. He squeezed and a moan rose from deep within her. Walker had slowly been pacing himself but he had known the instant that his knuckle had brushed the side of her breast that his control was lost and he was going to end up taking her right then and there.

 

            Alex recognized his loss of control and decided that it wasn't quite time to cross that big line. But there was nothing wrong with walking right up to the line and taking a good long look was there? She turned over to her back and reached up to place her arms around Walker's neck. She pulled him down for a kiss but instead flipped him over so she was once again on top.

 

            "Turn over," she demanded.

 

            Walker could barely get out a word he was so aroused with need for this beautiful woman.   "Why?”

 

            "I thought I'd return the favor.”

 

            "But I lost, remember? And you can get that look out of your eyes.”

 

            "What look?” Alex feigned innocence.

 

            "That look that tells me I ought to have a serving of cocktail sauce to go with me.”

 

            Alex only grinned. She quickly disposed of his shirt and he turned over but not before he was able to grab a quick kiss which he dragged from her lips down to her navel. His beard raked across her skin and she shuddered. The nerves in her body exploded. She started his massage in the middle of his back and worked her way up and then back down again. Then, in exactly the same manner he had used she reached beneath him and raked her nails against his well-defined chest. When she got to his nipples and dug her nails in he stiffened and could let out nothing more than a groan of pleasure. It amazed her to see the muscles in his back rippling like waves at the ocean. The pure male of him hit her and she was overwhelmed. She fell onto his back and crushed her breasts up against him. She had surprised him but that wasn't for long. Walker flipped himself over and slid out from beneath her. He stood up, towering over her. His breath was ragged. He reached for her hand. He looked at her. Really looked . And she looked right back. And then she knew what was about to take place and she could no sooner stop it than stop herself from breathing. And Walker knew she knew it. She took the lead once again and slowly pulled him to the stairs. She started up the staircase facing him taking each step one at a time. His eyes stayed focused on hers. She did see them wander to her bouncing breasts every now and again but his eyes always returned to hers. They reached the top of the stairs and he moved in front of her holding her hands behind him. He stopped just before entering his room. He wanted to give her one last chance to back out because the threshold stood in front of them both and once they had crossed it, there was no turning back. Alex looked ahead into the room and saw his massive bed calling to her and Walker next to her calling to her also. She stared into his eyes, kissed him full on the lips, led him into the bedroom and closed the door behind them.

 

 

                                                            Part V

            The door clicked shut behind them. Silence enveloped the room. The wind howled outside. Alex's heart was racing. She hadn't expected this to happen so soon. Soon?, she thought. I guess eight years is soon enough. Walker led her over to stand next to the bed. He let go of her hand but remained close. He leaned in and kissed her parted lips. Her lips were soft and yielding and it took all the strength Walker had left in him to tear himself away. Alex started to protest but Walker held a finger to her lips. He moved away from her and a chill suddenly came over her half-clothed body. Her eyes followed his every movement. He closed the drapes and in the dark she heard the striking of a match. A warm glow came over the room. He walked to his dresser and lit a candle. A single candle. A single flamed burned as he approached her once more. He didn't stop until he was within her embrace. She held him tightly to her. He leaned down and nuzzled her neck. A quiver shot down to the very core of her being. His warm breath on her skin set her entire body ablaze.

 

            His hands stroked her back. Her hands came up to his face. She dragged his mouth from her neck and lowered it to her breasts. Walker's fingers massaged the length of her back and reached down to cup her well-rounded buttocks. Alex drew a sharp breath as the tip of Walker's tongue circled one rosy nipple. It budded under his touch. He moved closer, now placing his lips on the pink tipped aureole. His mouth teased her breast until she was moaning his name. Then he sucked more of it into his hot cavern and her body arched in response. He suckled it until a groan escaped his lips and he had to have more. He released her breast from his mouth and trailed his tongue over to her other breast. This time he wasted no time in drawing it into his steamy depths. Alex commanded her head to fall forward and watch the man she loved as he laved on her upthrust breasts. She felt herself becoming wetter and hotter for him with each passing second. She wanted him to be buried inside her so deep that he would touch her very core. She wanted to stroke his length and watch this glorious man buck in response. But Walker was taking it slow and she was not about to argue, not when such incredible sensations were jolting through her like lightening bolts. Walker's lips sucked, teased, licked, nipped, and fondled her breasts with such tenderness Alex thought she might melt in a puddle at his feet.

 

            She sensed a change in his caresses. His hands slowly moved from her luscious backside to be placed on the front of her thighs. His fingers crept up to the button at the waist of her blue jeans. It opened and Walker dropped slowly to his knees before her. His knowing fingers took hold of her zipper, and, ever so gently, began to pull it down. When it could go no farther, he stopped. His hands then move to her hips and tenderly drew her jeans on a downward descent. She ran her fingers through his hair and closed her eyes. All this pleasure and we haven't said one word. He knows me, she thought. Walker looked up at Alex's face and read her desire. Her jeans were now down to her ankles and Walker helped her out of them, their skin touching once again. Her panties were the only remaining physical barrier before she became totally bare to his gaze. His hands ran up and down her legs almost as if he was devoting every inch of her body to memory. His slipped beneath the cotton barrier and slid his hands across the expanse of her taut buttocks. He massaged as his head leaned in to rest on her stomach. She felt his hot breath through the constraints of her underwear and her mind reeled. His hands slipped out from beneath the fabric and reached for the waistband. He drew it down just as he had her jeans. It was a maddening pace but Alex knew it was worth it. She stepped out of the last shred of clothing that had covered her from his sight. She didn't feel the least bit awkward.

 

            Walker started at the tips of her toes and kissed every inch of her bare flesh that was revealed to him. He stood up ever so slowly and finally reached his full height. He grasped her hands with his and took a step back. And then, in the glow of candlelight, Cordell Walker whispered what she had heard no other man say to her. He looked her straight in the eye and uttered only a single word.

 

            "Perfect.”

 

Tears welled in her eyes but she quickly wiped them away before Walker could notice. This time she was the one who approached him. She brushed her lips against his and reached down for the snap on his jeans. As she quickly unzipped him, his hands roamed her heated body. She slid his jeans down and his straining member was suddenly free. Now the only piece of clothing left between them were his cotton, navy blue boxers. She traced her finger along the top of his waistband. Then she pulled them down a fraction of an inch at a time. And soon he was totally revealed to her. Inch, by throbbing inch. When his manhood was finally naked to her, she could barely believe its magnificence. It pulsed and quivered for her. Only her. And she meant to have it.

 

            She fell to her knees and took in the sight of him. Her heart pounded even harder within her chest and she reached out to touch him. She heard his quick gasp as her fingers slowly encircled him. She ran her thumb along it rigidity. Walker's hands massaged her head and she continued. Her nails skimmed the pulsating flesh and he struggled to maintain his control. He was fast losing it. She then dipped her head for a taste. Just as Walker had done with her breasts, Alex let only her tongue make contact first. She traced the head of his phallus and slowly took it into her mouth. He bucked in response. Walker could think of nothing but how she was sheathing his member in her hot little mouth. It drove him wild and she knew it. She sucked with an intensity that Walker had not known she possessed. He almost spilled his seed right then. But he fought for control. She drew her lips from their place on his tip and raised herself up so that her breasts were even with his stiff rod. She gently touched her pebbled nipple to the opening at the end of his shaft. His body rippled and Alex looked at his face, seeing the pleasure she was bringing to this man that she loved so dearly.

 

            Walker was beyond sensible thoughts. He reached down and dragged her up to meet his waiting lips. It was not the soft caress of before but a hard and driving need. His tongue plunged between her soft lips to find the sweet spot he knew was there. She tasted of woman, of need, of desire, and hunger. It was all he could do not to throw her roughly on the bed, spread her glorious thighs and impale her savagely with his hardened length. He lifted her, tongues still intertwined, and carried her to the bed. She whimpered with need as she pulled him down with her.

 

            He pulled back the covers and lay down with her. His massive arms supported his weight but Alex suddenly tickled him causing his arms to buckle. She needed his weight on top of her. She needed to feel his need, his arousal. She reached down between them and clutched his shaft. She began rubbing it harder and harder in tune with her growing desire. His hand followed hers down and reached the hidden cleft between her legs. He parted her nether lips and entered her with his finger. She was hot, wet and ready. He slid his finger in and out until he lost control and had to feel himself inside her liquid coated tunnel. He rose above her and touched the tip of his quivering manhood to her opening. He looked down at her. She stared back.

 

            “Alex, I don’t have any protection.”

 

            “We don’t need any. I don’t care”, she said thickly.

 

            “But what about-“

 

            “Cordell, I want to feel you, every heated inch and I don’t want anything to rob me of that feeling.”

 

            Walker saw it in her eyes. She really didn’t care. If they were blessed with a child that night… Walker felt the same way she did. He wanted no barriers impeding their perfect joining. And so there wasn’t.”

 

            Alex’s hand was still on his hard member, guiding him in. She took him in, inches at a time. When he was finally full within her, her eyes opened wide. He stayed still within her. This moment was too perfect to waste on quickness. He opened his eyes then and forced them to stay open. He wanted to watch Alex be satisfied. He wanted to watch her climax off of him. They stared at each other and Walker began his thrusts. Starting out slowly, he built their need into a frenzy. He pumped harder as their desire grew. His mouth found hers and their tongues dueled. Then his tongue started to match the rhythm of their bodies. She groaned from deep within and Walker slid his lips from hers only to refocus on her hardened nipples. He nursed them until Alex was wild with need and needed release. She arched under him as his thrusts came harder and faster. Their eyes never left one another. Walker felt Alex shudder beneath him as wave after wave of pleasure racked her body. He felt the rippling of her climax as she cried out his name. Her nails dug into his back and she pushed him to the brink. He gave one last bucking stroke and came. Her name was on his lips as completion came for Alex’s cowboy.

           

            He lay limp on top of her as the world came floating back. His arms went around her as he slowly rolled to his side. He held her close, glorying in the feel of being close to the woman he loved. Her head lay on his chest and their legs intertwined. He pulled the blankets around their bodies and held her even tighter. He closed his eyes. This was something that he had dreamed about. He had never felt closer to anyone in his entire life then he did to Alex right now. He was more contented than he had ever been. He felt like he was floating. That he was surrounded by clouds. But his head was brought out of the clouds by a wetness he felt on his chest. He opened his eyes and looked down at Alex. He saw tears falling from her eyes and his first thought was that he had hurt her.

 

            “Alex, what’s wrong? Are you ok? Did I hurt you?”

 

            “Hurt me? Walker, I’ve never felt so loved and unhurt in my entire life.”

 

            “Then why the tears?”

 

            “Walker, you called me perfect. You made love to me. Made love. You worshipped my body.”

 

            “And what a beautiful body it is.”

 

            “Walker, these are tears of joy, of bliss, of ecstasy.”

 

            “Then I didn’t hurt you?”

 

            "No.” She propped up her pillow and sat up. He did the same and snaked his arm around her waist. She leaned in to rest her head on his bare chest. He rubbed his hand up and down her arm. They lay in silence. The candles dripped down. The snow still whipped around outside but there was only warmth within the space of Walker's bedroom. He let out a breath.

 

            "Alex, I've been thinking.”

 

            "About....?"

 

            "Actually I've been thinking that you might want to make this bedroom your permanent bedroom.”

 

            "Permanent? I don't under...Permanent. Your asking me to..."

 

            "Marry me.”

 

            Alex turned in his embrace to look into his eyes. He had never lied to her.

 

            "Alex, you know me. You know how seriously I take my job. You've stuck with me all this time. You never made me choose. If you say yes I will love you more than you will ever understand but my job will hold its place in our marriage.”

 

            "And so will mine.” She stared at him for what seemed to Walker like an eternity.

 

            "Yes.”  She reached up and placed a tender kiss on his lips.

 

            "Walker, before we get any deeper into this I want you to know about my first husband.”

 

            "Alex, you don't have to tell me anyth---"

 

            "But I want to and I think if we want to have a relationship, a marriage, and most importantly a friendship, then you need to hear this.”

 

            Walker held her a little tighter in his arms and she began.

 

            "Steve and I thought we were in love. Maybe we were, maybe we weren't. Its not important. What is important is that our marriage fell apart because he couldn't handle my job.”

 

            "Alex, you know that I understand it.”

 

     "I know you do I just want to make sure you know every aspect of it. I work late nights. Sometimes I don't even sleep because I'm up with a case. I get upset when I can't find an answer and I tend to take it out on what’s nearest to me. Pillow cushions work real well.”

 

            "And..."

 

            "And I'm afraid I'll take it out on you like I did with Steve.”

 

            "But that won't happen. Alex you and I are alike in so many ways, including our jobs. We work all hours but the important thing is that we'll be together. If not in body, in spirit. We can feel each other Alex, and you know it. We've both felt it. So we'll never be apart and we'll love each other always. It's just that simple.”

 

            "Simple?”

 

            "Simple.”

 

            "Walker, nothing about our relationship has been simple. You tend to complicate the heck out of it.”

 

            "Meaning?”

 

     "Meaning that your sitting here wondering what I mean when you should be wondering what your next move is going to be.”

 

            "My next move?”

 

            "Uh-huh.”

 

            Alex quickly switched positions and straddled him, pulling him beneath her as she went. In a matter of seconds, Walker was flat on his back staring up at his beautiful fiancée. She rose above him and let her arms fall to her sides. She grasped his hands and led one to her upthrust breast and dragged the other one across her stomach and down to her downy nest of hair. He entered her with his finger and she arched her head back. He massaged her nipple until it was as hard as his growing member. Alex pulled herself straight up then and pulled his finger from her depths and replaced it with his sheath. Her body opened to his and she slid down his rigid pole, encasing it in her warmth. She slid up and down. He held her hips and thrust upward as she pounded herself onto him. Her body was slick with sweat as she pumped even harder. She twisted slightly and new waves of pleasure cascaded over her. If she moved just so... And then they came. Together. And Alex fell across his chest. Their breathing slowly returned to normal and Alex looked up at him.

 

            "That was a pretty good move," she said as she smiled.

 

            "I thought so.”

 

            She moved up closer to him and slid down so that she was again nestled against his still damp chest. Her hand rested on his stomach and she closed her eyes. She never wanted to go a minute without having this man with her.

 

            "Walker, I never want to go a minute without having you with me. You complete me.”

 

            "And you complete me. You make me whole, Alex. I love you so much that a lifetime with you will never be long enough to show you. And to think of all the time we wasted..."

 

            "Wasted?!"

           

            He looked at her. She looked taken aback.

 

            "Our time together was never wasted. I have loved you since the first minute I looked up and saw you in that court room. I'll never forget it. You threw me totally off guard. And then that New Year's Eve party? Walker, our time has been our own."

 

            "I meant the time that we wasted not doing this....," he said as he leaned down and nuzzled her ear.

 

     "It wasn't wasted. Granted, you certainly are good at keeping your feelings hidden but I saw something that night at the ranch when you had to go and fight that guy Bodeen alone that made me realize you were with me for the long run. We've had so many "moments," Walker. Think about it.”

 

            "I guess we didn't waste those years. Do you remember when I wanted to have my way with you when we went rafting?"

 

            "I remember. I still can't believe that you were willing with all those people around to hear us.”

 

            "That would have made it interesting. They would probably have figured you were screaming because of a snake.”

 

            "I do not scream."

 

            "Oh, honey I've never heard a more glorious sound than your screams. Especially when its my name your calling out.” He grinned and ducked as she swatted at him.

 

     "Oh but sweetie don't think I'm alone in my serenade. You can moan enough to drive me wild.”

 

            "I do not.”

 

            "Oh but you do.”

 

            They both laughed at the conversation and continued to banter back and forth for the better part of an hour. Walker finally rolled over and looked at the clock. Four in the afternoon. Amazing, he thought. He looked at Alex once more and rose from the bed. He walked over to the candle that had burned throughout their lovemaking and blew it out. He then turned on a light and turned to Alex. She now saw him. Every inch of him in the light. And she loved what she saw. He saw her looking him over and noticed that her eyes seemed riveted to his thighs. He'd have to remember to ask her about that later but for now.... It was her turn. He walked over to the bed and drew back the sheets until she was fully revealed to him.

 

            "Honey, at the risk of sounding redundant, you are perfect.”

 

            "I don't know if it's possible to love you any more than I do right now.”

 

            She scooted across the bed to stop in front of him. She reached her arms up around his neck and drew him down to have a taste of him. His lips were sweet and his embrace full of love. He slowly pulled away from her.

 

            "Why don't you go get a quick shower and I'll go down and get the fire going again.”

 

     "Sweets, the fire has already started and won't ever be put out.”

 

            She gave him a quick fierce kiss on the lips and bounded off the bed into the bathroom. A minute later he heard the sound of running water. He slowly pulled on his clothes, taking his time remembering just how Alex had removed each piece from his body. She loves me, he thought. And I love her.  Why did I never think of this before, he asked himself. Because you're an idiot, came the reply from his mind.

 

            He went downstairs and checked the fire. He added a few logs and sat down to enjoy the warmth. After a few minutes, he rose and went out to the kitchen to grab a cookie. Looking down at the cookie, he was once again reminded of Alex. She had made these Christmas cookies for him the first day of December. December, he thought. What's the date of today? He looked at his calendar and realized it was the 17th and he had no tree to speak of, let alone house decorations or lights out yet. He knew exactly what he and Alex could do for the rest of the day. He walked over to the counter and flipped on the mini television and waited for the forecast. The weatherman came on and gave warnings about the snow that had suddenly blanketed Dallas. A freak snowstorm with up to four feet of snow. What was going on? It must be the spirits. They always seemed to know when he needed a miracle of sorts and two in one day was plenty for him. Just as the weatherman was finishing his report, Walker heard quiet steps on the stairs and grabbed a cookie for Alex before he headed back into the living room.

 

            Alex crossed quietly to take the cookies from his hand. She took his and fed it to him and then lifted hers to her own mouth. She had never felt more... more... more something. She just couldn't put her finger on what it was but it had everything to do with her lone star cowboy. He grabbed her around the waist and looked down at her. She is so precious to me, he thought. How is this possible? Almost as if reading his mind, Alex spoke.

 

            "Miracles happen every day, Cordell. We're lucky enough to receive a tiny piece of heaven. You're not dreaming. I promise.”

 

            "Promises, promises.”

 

            She grinned remembering back to when he had first said those words to her. Tahiti, she thought. Now there's an idea... Walker brought her back to reality as he started nuzzling her neck.

 

            "Alex, you know Christmas is only about a week away and I still haven't gotten my tree.”

 

            "I noticed. Neither have I actually. I guess we've both been pretty busy.”

 

            "Well, I was thinking, why don't we go cut one down now?”

 

            "But its going to be dark soon.”

 

            "Soon but not yet. The sun's just starting to set. Come on.”

 

            With that, he picked her up and carried her over to the entranceway and set her down. They quickly bundled up and, after a short stop at the barn to grab an ax, they were on their way. They didn't have to go far. It took only till the fourth one to find the right one and Walker wasted no time in chopping it down. As soon as it fell, Alex reached down to grab a branch and start the walk back but Walker stopped her. She gave him a questioning look but he only took her hand and twirled her around till she once again stood in front of him.

 

            "Walker, what are you doing? It's gonna be dark soon.”

 

            "I wanted to watch the sunset with you.”

 

            "But Walker we do that all the time. Sometimes from the inside. Where its warm.”

 

            "But you never knew I loved you before. This is our first sunset in love.”

 

            Alex's eyes misted over. She couldn't even see through the blur.

 

            "Can we at least watch it from the porch swing?”

 

            "Sure but we'll have to hurry.”

 

            So they ran the tree back to the house and set it on the porch before snuggling together on the swing.

 

            "Walker, can I ask you something?”

 

            "You can ask me anything, Alex.”

 

            She took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

 

            "I just wondered why its so hard for you to voice your feelings. Don't get me wrong. Lately you've been amazing. Half the things you've said I could barely believe that they came from your mouth but I just wondered why it was so hard. Do you have an answer or is that something I get to discover about you?”

 

            "Probably something you have to discover because I don't think I have an answer. It's a combination of a lot of things.”

 

            "I like discovering things about you.”

 

            "Really?”

 

            "Yes, really.”

 

            "For instance?”

 

            "For instance you wear boxers instead of briefs.."

 

            "And sometimes nothing at all if I'm in a hurry.."

 

"Ooooh, honey, you never should of told me that.”

 

            "Why not?”

 

            "Because now every time your in my office on business all I'm gonna be able to think about is whether or not you have anything on underneath.”

 

            "Good, cause then you'll know how've I've felt for the past eight years every time I looked at you.”

 

            She turned within the blanket and slid her arm around his waist. She gave him a comical look.

 

            "See, that's exactly what I mean. I can't imagine you saying anything like that to me four years ago.”

 

            "Yeah, but four years ago we weren't considering making my bedroom yours.”

 

            She smiled then and put her head in the crook of his shoulder. The sun set slowly and though it was cold outside, they were warm in their love for each other. When the last ray of light had faded from the sky, they rose quietly and went back into the house. Alex immediately went to cozy up on the couch while Walker tended to the fire. He stood for a brief instant over the fire before turning back to Alex. He looked at her in the fire's glow and he felt his eyes moisten. He walked over to his stereo and flipped it on. He changed the channels until he found a slow song. He strode over to the couch and held out his hand in a silent invitation. The song: " I Just Wanna Dance With You.” He held her tightly knowing that tomorrow life would return to normal and this could all be a dream. So as they danced he inhaled her scent. It was the woman he loved and he wanted to memorize her. Commit every aspect of her to memory. And she was doing the same to him. The song ended and an upbeat tune blasted from the speakers. Walker quickly turned to shut it down but stopped when Alex put her hand on his arm.

 

            "Listen to the words..."

It was "Stand Beside Me" and Alex's eyes told Cordell Walker that that was exactly what she wanted. She wanted him by her side. Not ahead of her, not following from behind, but with her every step of the way. And he understood. Before the song was over, Walker swept Alex into his arms and she didn't offer any protest. They approached the stereo and Alex hit the power button. he sat her in front of the fire while he placed a soft rug directly in front of the fireplace. Again he held out his hand. She joined him in front of the glowing warmth and let both her cowboy's love and the passion of the night take over.

 

            The next morning, Alex woke to find herself enveloped in a pair of strong arms and a soft breath on her neck. She wondered if he was awake. She didn't wonder long.

 

            "It's about time you woke up, princess.”

 

            "What time is it?”

           

            "About 7.”

 

            "I gotta get up. Can I have the shower first?”

 

            "Why don't we take one together and save time?” A sly grin that was all Walker spread across his lips.

 

            "Only if you promise to behave. I only have ten minutes.”

 

            "Ten minutes, I promise.”

 

            A half an hour later, they emerged from the bathroom in a state of disarray. Alex was again searching for the elusive shoe and Walker was desperately trying to find his boots.

 

            "Promises, promises. I told you I only had ten minutes to waste in the shower.”

 

            "Alex? Honey. When I start something, I finish it. Every...last.... inch.... of .....it," he said as he punctuated each word with a kiss.

 

            "And I am very glad you do but sweetie, I really gotta get to work.”

 

            The dream was slowly coming undone, he thought. I knew it would be like this.

 

            "Cordell? Are you listening?"

 

            "What? Sorry.”

 

            "I love you.”

 

            His heart clenched and he couldn't believe the words were actually meant for him.  His voice caught as he answered her.

 

            "I love you too.”

 

            "All right cowboy now kiss me proper so I can have a good day.”

 

            "You know you're going to need this every day before you go to work and I can't always be stopping by your place every morning so..."

 

            "So.... I guess I might have to spend a few nights out here.”

 

            "That's why I love you.”

 

            "I love you too.”

 

            He kissed her like he would never see her again. And she felt that change but she knew that this whole relationship scared him. But she loved him and she knew that no other man would ever... could ever... be the man that Walker was. And he loved her. He had just said so. So she kissed him once more and walked to her car. She walked slowly but with each step she felt farther and farther away from him. But she knew it was inevitable that they had to do this. Go their separate ways for the time that they worked. When she had accepted this weekend she never dreamed it would be so hard to leave. As she backed out, she started missing his arms and his voice even as she was only at the end of his driveway. Even though he was right behind her in his vehicle. She smiled. Not a truck, a vehicle. How many times had he corrected her on those terms? She drew a shaky breath, took one last look in the mirror and turned right onto the main road. He turned left.

 

            He had a lead to investigate. Jimmy had called soon after they had emerged from the shower. As Alex drove down the road, her eyes teared up. She loved him so much. And they had only gotten two days together before reality had set in. She desperately grabbed for the radio knob, hoping that a station might be playing the song that they had danced to the night before. But as her hand reached for the power, it hit a tape in the tape player. She pulled it out to read what was on it. She rarely left tapes in the player and was curious to see which one she had forgotten to put away. But as she looked at it, she realized it wasn't a tape from her collection. On the label were two simple words: Play Me. Her breath caught in her throat and she shakily put the tape in the player. She turned it up and waited. The beginnings of  a song floated through the air and the song had not even gotten halfway when she had to pull the car over so that she could compose herself . It was in that moment that she knew that their love would last an eternity and that he would do everything in his power to make her feel his love. She put her head on the headrest and let the word of the song transport her.

 

                        "When the rain is blowin in your face

                        And the whole world is on your case

                        I would offer you a warm embrace

                        To make you feel my love

 

                        When evening shadows and the stars appear

                        And there is no one there to dry your tears

                        I could hold you for a million years

                        To make you feel my love

 

                        I know you haven't made your mind up yet

                        But I would never do you wrong

                        I've known it from the moment that we met

                        No doubt in my mind where you belong

 

                        I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue

                        I'd go crawling down the avenue

                        No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do

                        To make you feel my love

 

                        The storms are raging on the rollin' sea

                        Down the highway of regret

                        The winds of change are blowin wild and free

                        But you ain't seen nothin' like me yet

 

                        Nothing that I wouldn't do

                        Go to the ends of the earth for you

                        I could make you happy

                        Make your dreams come true

                        To make you feel my love"

 

This story is my first for the list. Not my first ever but still... I'd
love any feedback you can give me. I used the music stylings of Garth
Brooks, JoDee Messina, and George Strait(?). I hope you enjoy the story as
much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

'Walker Texas Ranger' and it's characters belong to CBS Inc., Norris Brothers Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a great show and it's cast and crew. This story is part of a mailing ring and may be distributed and copied freely, in its entirety, for personal use.

 

All original author and copyright information must remain intact.

 

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