Tricks of Memory
By Sissy & Chris
Walker was having a hard time bringing his mind into focus. Everything seemed blurry, disjointed and the noise was deafening. He finally realized the phone was ringing and reached over to answer it. "Walker."
"Walker?" Trivette said again to make sure Walker was really awake.
"We found Alex."
As Trivette came into the waiting room he spotted Walker pacing the small room like a caged animal.
Walker saw Trivette coming and quickly walked up to him.
"Where is she?"
"Sheís in the recovery unit."
"How is she? I want to see her." Before he got the words out of his mouth he was heading toward recovery. The time he had spent waiting had not been easy and he was getting very upset which caught Trivetteís attention right away.
"Sheís awake and up moving around, but WalkerÖ,"
"I want to see her!" He demanded.
"Walker, listen." The way Trivette said it brought Walker to a halt.
Trivette took a deep breath, "Alex was found about six this morning, ten miles outside of Dallas, lying in a ditch. She was unconscious and suffering from the cold and in shock." Trivette watched Walkerís face change as his emotions ran rampant. "Evidently she had been there a long time."
"Do you know who did this to her?
"No, not yet. But weíre working on it."
"Címon, Trivette, whatís the rest of it?"
Unsure how to tell him Trivette walked past him and headed for recovery. Trivette stopped in front of the door and turned to Walker.
"Walker, remember she was in that ditch for quite a while. AndÖapparently sheís been abused." Trivette saw Walkerís eyes narrow and become harden.
"The tests show no type of sexual abuse. Just physical." Trivette turned and walked away to leave Walker to enter the room alone.
The room was severely white, which was added to by sunlight streaming through the huge bay windows. The room contained a small hospital bed, a chair, nightstand, and a blond figure staring out the window.
Her back was to him and he watched her for several minutes, silently thanking God that she was safe. She had on the standard hospital gown and robe. He wanted to rush to her and take her in his arms but something was telling him to wait.
Softly he said "Alex." And waited for her to turn around.
He walked up to her and lightly touched her shoulder as he said her name again.
She turned to face him then, looking up into his eyes. Walker drew in his breath and winced when he saw the bruises and scratches on her face and a slightly swollen bottom lip.
"Oh, God, Alex." he whispered. It tore his heart to see her like this.
He lifted his hand to her face, but not touching her skin. He felt an angry rage building inside of him as he thought of those who had done this to her.
As Walker looked into her eyes he noticed that something was missing. The sparkle that was always there was gone. They were her blue eyes but not the eyes of his Alex. The eyes he looked into were not the eyes of the woman he loved.
"Do you know me?"
At Alexís apartment, Walker unlocked the door and stepped aside to let her in. She took three steps in and glanced around as Walker closed the door.
"This is my place I guess." she commented.
"Yes," he said as he walked into the kitchen area.
"Are you hungry, thirsty? Would you like something to eat or drink?" Walker asked.
"Maybe something to drink. What do you have....I mean, what do I have?"
"Water, orange juice, soda, and some milk or I could make some coffee, if you like."
"You havenít even looked in the refrigerator yet."
Walker just looked at her with a lopsided grin.
"Coffee, if you donít mind." She said with a smile of her own.
"Coffee it is." As he went about fixing the coffee, she wondered how this man knew so much about her apartment.
As she looked around the living room she noticed a cabinet with framed pictures in it. She walked over to get a closer look. She picked up one photo showing a very young couple standing side by side with the mountains in the background. They seem to be very happy. In the corner was written, "1956." She assumed that they must be her parents. Setting down the picture frame, she picked up another one, this one of the women alone. Another frame held a picture of the man alone. She stared at the pictures a moment, hoping that their faces would prod her memory.
The sudden "Alex" made her jump.
"Sorry, didnít mean to scare you," Walker said as he handed her the cup of coffee.
"Oh, thank you Ranger Walker."
"Are you having any luck remembering who those people are," he said as he motioned towards the pictures.
Alex sighed deeply. "No. But Iím guessing that these are my parents."
"Yes." he said and proceeded to fill in the blanks of their names.
"It doesnít help."
A gentle tapping at the door drew their attention. Walker turned away from her to answer the door. "Alex, is Jody Williams. Sheís going to stay with you just for tonight. I have to go see Trivette about some things but Iíll be back later to check on you. Okay?"
"Okay. Oh, Ranger Walker, Thank you."
He smiled and walked out the door.
"So Iím a Deputy District Attorney? Well, looks like Iíve made a pretty good living at it."
"Yes, you have," Jody chuckled.
"I was wondering...could you tell me something about my family?"
"Alex, weíre trying to locate your father. It would be best to let him tell you about your family."
"OK. Then, can you tell me about myself?"
"What is it you want to know?"
"Just about my life, anything at all that might help."
Jody gave a complete rundown on Alex from the time she accepted the Deputy DA assignment up to the present.
"Thereís something missing. Is there something youíre leaving out?"
"Well, yes, I guess I am. But I donít think it should be me who tells you."
"If you donít, then who will?"
"What does he have to do withÖ."
"Heíll tell you everything that I havenít Alex. Trust him."
Okay, she could wait. But she was beginning to wonder why Ranger Walker would know so much about her personal life. I guess Iíll have to ask those questions the next time I see him.
"Itís late Alex. You should get some sleep, youíve had a long day."
"Yes, youíre right" she answered. ĎBut a longer night coming up.í
At Ranger Headquarters, Walker had been sitting at his desk for hours reading and rereading the file on Alexís disappearance.
"Trivette, have you come up with anything, anything at all?"
"Man, Iíve gone over everything they found with Alex, but thereís nothing, absolutely nothing," the young Ranger said as he turned from his computer to face Walker. "Nobody saw anything around the time she disappeared. Itís as if she was there one minute and gone the next."
"It had to have happened on her way home. I should have taken her." Walker breathed deeply as he rubbed his hands over his tired eyes.
"Walker, the only way you could have stopped this, is if you were with her constantly and we both know that Alex would never stand for that. We donít know if this was something out of your past or hers. Weíve got to focus on now and hope that Alex remembers something before long."
When Alex answered his knock on her door he noticed she was already dressed. "Good Morning. Hope you slept well."
"Ranger Walker. Good Morning."
"Alex, you always called me Walker, before."
She looked at him and grinned. "Well, if I called you Walker before I shall call you Walker now."
"Ah...she was called back to the office, said she would call to check on me later."
He stared at her as she talked, hoping for a sign that she might remember something, anything, but the eyes were still blank His gaze caused a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, I told you I would stop by to check on you. Do you need anything?"
"No, it seems I have everything, everything that is except my memory," she replied jokingly.
He smiled tenderly, happy to see that at least she still had her sense of humor.
"Yeah, besides that. Well, I should be going. I have a few leads I need to check on."
"Leads to my problem?"
"Well, yes, as a matter of fact they are."
"Would it be alright if I came with you? Maybe I can help."
Walker knew that if she came across anything familiar, it might help. It could also be dangerous, but at least heíd be with her. And truthfully, he wanted her with him.
The silence was heavy in the Ram as Walker and Alex rode along the quiet country road.
"Where are we going?"
"To Carl Johnsonís "
"Whatís at Carl Johnsonís?"
"Itís where they found you."
A very heavyset man in farmerís overalls greeted them. "Ranger Walker?" the man said.
"Thatís me." Carl beamed at Walker.
"Thank you for meeting us, Mr. Johnson."
"No problem, Ranger."
"Can you show us where you found her?"
"Sure. Come on."
As Walker and Alex followed the large man, Carl Johnson chatted on about his farm, how he had one of the best sheep raising operation in the area. The three of them walked past the main buildings and into a wide-open field. At the edge of the field was a small groove of elm trees.
They reached the line of trees when Carl stopped and pointed, "There," he said. "By those two large trees is where my hand, Riker, found her, that lady ADA. Is she all right, she was in pretty bad shape when Riker found her."
Walker looked to Alex to see if she had any reaction to what he said. She just nodded her head and began to walk toward the ditch. "Alex wait for me." Walker watched her as she walked toward the trees as he spoke to Carl.
"Mr. Johnson, is it possible for me to speak to Mr. Riker?"
Carl shook his head. "Sorry Ranger, Iím afraid not," he said. "My wife said he came up to the house mumbling about a dead body. That scared him half to death. And that same day he ups and quit. Shame, too. I mean, heíd only worked with us for two weeks, but he was a good hand. He was a little up in years and I think finding that lady just about did him in."
Walker nodded at Carl as he turned toward the place Alex had disappeared.
"Thank you, Mr. Johnson," he said as he took off after her.
She was standing by the trees with looking up and her eyes closed.
"Alex?" He called her name, and realized how cold it was here. The trees were so close together that it kept the sun out. He couldnít help thinking of what led her here and what she had endured the five days she was gone.
"Is this where they found me, Walker?" she asked, without opening her eyes.
"Yes, thatís what he said."
"I seeÖ.I seeÖ" she stammered as she turned to look at him
"See what?" he asked as he came up and took her in his arms.
"IÖ I see myself running and...and...I canítÖ..,"
"Itís okay. Take your time." As he held her, he could feel her shaking but he didnít think it was from the cold.
She closed her eyes leaning into his chest, trying to steady the pictures floating around in her head.
"Iím runningÖÖSomeone is chasing me." She paused.
"Go on? Do you see anything else?" He asked as he held her tighter.
"I see...a man. Iím running from theÖ Iím, Iím..." Without warning her knees began to buckle beneath her.
Alex slowly opened her eyes to soft lighting and as her eyes cleared, she saw Walker standing at her bedside holding her hand. "Where am I?" Alex asked in a hoarse voice.
"Youíre in the hospital, Alex." He said as he sat on her bed.
"Donít you remember?"
"No...the last thing I remember is standing in that field."
"You were starting to remember when you passed out."
"I passed out?"
"The doctors believe that you are under so much stress that your body is shutting down as a way to protect you. Theyíve been running some tests but need to run a few more before they release you."
"I...how long will I be here?"
"A couple of hours."
"Will you stay..erÖ..be going?" she asked.
He grinned warmly as he leaned in closer to speak so that only she could hear him. "Would you like me to stay, Alex?" She blushed, but grinned back. "Yes," she answered.
Walker opened the door to Alexís apartment and stepped aside to let her in.
"Well, Alex, would you like me to make some coffee?"
"No, I thing Iíd rather have something to eat."
"Okay, I can whip up some mean bacon and eggs. Howís that?"
She hadnít realized she was so hungry, the bacon and eggs had really hit the spot.
As she looked at Walker she figured it was time to ask the unanswered questions that had been bothering her. "Tell me something, Walker. How did we meet?"
"You were trying a case in court and I was a witness."
"When was this?"
"Almost seven years ago."
"That long, huh? Can you tell me about yourself?"
"What would you like to know?"
Alex had to think on that one a minute before asking, "Tell me why you joined the Texas Rangers?"
"I witnessed the murder of my parents when I was 12 years old and wanted to bring the ones who did it to justice. A few years later, an old Texas Ranger told me the best to do that was by the law. So thatís what led me to became a Texas Ranger."
"Oh, Iím sorry," she said softly, " I didnít mean to open old memories."
"Thatís all right, Iíve gotten past it."
"Okay, then tell me something else. What kind of relationship do we have?"
At that, Walker gave her a lopsided grin. "Iím not sure this is the right time to tell you that?"
She gave him a look of exasperation, "And why not?"
Walker got up from the table and wandered into the living room to the large picture window overlooking Dallas and stood with his back to her. She followed and stood behind and to the side of him.
Very softly he said, "Weíre engaged to be married, Alex." He turned to see the look of total astonishment on her face.
It took a moment for the news to really sink in. "We are?" She could feel her legs going spongy and found the closest chair before they gave out. She looked up at him with a new interest and asked, "How long have we beenÖ engaged?"
"Almost six months. Iím sorry Alex, it probably would have been better to wait before I told you, but you never were one to be put off."
"Six months," she whispered. "Have we ÖumÖÖslept together?" She looked at him in a whole new light.
"Alex, please," he pleaded softly.
She shook her head, trying to clear away the images flashing through her head, as she looked at him again. "Okay, you win, my mind is having a hard time digesting all of this. Besides, Iím getting a headache, and Iím tired, Iím going to bed."
"Iíd like to stay here with you tonight Alex, if thatís alright?"
She gave him a look that froze him in place.
"Iíll sleep on the couch, of course." He explained. "I just donít think you should be alone after what happened this afternoon."
After a momentís hesitation, she agreed. "All right, Walker, Iíd like for you to stay."
They looked at each other for what seem like an eternity before she spoke.
"You donít have to stay unless you really want to."
"I want to."
"Okay, Iíll get you a blanket and a pillow." It took her a moment to realize that she had no idea where she kept them.
Walker saw her puzzlement and said, "Iíll get them, Alex."
Alex looked at him with a sly smile and just before Walker turned away, she thought he blushed.
"Well, goodnight Walker."
Softly he answered, "Goodnight, Alex,"
"Walker! Walker! Help me! Walker!" He jumped off the couch and ran into the bedroom, finding her tossing fitfully, her arms swinging from side to side as if fighting.
"Alex," he called her name but she was still deep into her nightmare.
"Walker! Help me! Please!"
"Alex!" he cried as he went to the bed and gathered her up in his arms.
"Stop! Leave me alone!" She screamed as she began pushing him away.
"Shhh...hush. Alex, itís all right. Itís all right."
When she heard his voice, she opened her eyes. "Walker?"
"Itís alright you were having a bad dream."
"Oh...Walker," She whispered his name as she broke down in his arms sobbing. All he could do was hold her in his arms until her crying eased. He held her tight to his chest and gently stroked her hair.
After a few minutes, she said, "Iím okay, Walker," and started to pull away from him.
"What were you dreaming about?"
"I was...I was dreaming..." She stammered as she recalled the nightmare. He brought her back into his arms, her head nestled under his chin. Even with the nightmare still fresh in her mind, she began to realize that the only place she felt safe was in his arms.
"Take your time," he whispered into her hair. His voice had a soothing effect on her.
"I was dreaming," she spoke softly, "I was in a large room, sitting in a chair, surrounded by several people but the faces werenít clear. I couldnít move. There were straps around my legs and my arms."
She hesitated, but the feeling of his heartbeat against her chest held a soothing comfort for her.
"I looked around the room," she continued, "and I saw other people moving about. But when I talked to them it was as if they were deaf. Then I sawÖ..I saw two maybe three figures coming towards me. I tried to scream, but I couldnít make a sound, Walker." He pulled her tighter to his chest. The rage in him was building to a dangerous level against those who had done this to her.
After Alexís story of her nightmare, he had stayed with her until she had gone back to sleep. He remembered how frightened she was; if he could have held on to her until this was all over, thatís exactly what he would have done. But, she was too independent to let him. But whether she liked it or not he was going to be right by her side until this was straightened out.
"Good morning. Are you feeling better?" Walker was looking intently at her as he sat a mug of coffee down on the table for her.
She realized that he was on his way out. "Going somewhere, Walker?"
"Uh, yeah." Walker said. "I need to check on things at my place. Iíll be back as soon as I can." "Will you be alright till I get back?"
She nodded and he went out the door. Alex shook her head and grinned as she picked up the cup of coffee.
"Good Morning, Miss Cahill. Itís good to see you back." Her secretary was bubbling with enthusiasm, as she always was. "Oh, Iím your secretary, Amy." She says as she sees the look of bewilderment cross Alexís face. "Are you all right?"
"Oh, yes, Iím fine." She says as she opens the door that is lettered "Alex Cahill, Assistant District Attorney" and enters her office. "I thought perhaps seeing where I worked might help me get my memory back."
"And has it?" Walker says as he walks in behind them.
"No." Raising an eyebrow, and glancing around the room she said, "Pretty impressive isnít it. I donít know how I could forget this."
Walker smiled. "Well, you worked pretty hard to get here, and you deserve it. Youíre also very good at what you do. While youíve been looking around, though, Iíve been checking out a few leads on your case."
This got Alexís attention. "What did you find?"
"Alex Cahill, I would like to introduce you to Jimmy Trivette."
She nodded her acknowledgment to the young Ranger that stared at her curiously.
"Hello Alex, Öum Ms. Cahill." he said as he smiled broadly at her.
"Has the reason for her memory loss been identified yet?" Walker asked, "What did the blood tests from the hospital show?"
"They havenít been completely finished, but so far only Phenobarbital was found. That wouldnít account for the amnesia, though. Thatís probably caused by stress, but Walker look at this." Trivette said as he directed them over to a monitor.
"Iíve been checking the area where Alex was found and this is what Iíve come up with. It seems that the ditch where Alex was found runs back to the west several thousand feet. Now, of all the places along that ditch that she might have come from, this one here seems the most likely."
"Why is that, Trivette?" Walker leaned in closer trying to read what was on the monitor.
"This place is owned by Langly Enterprises. Well, after tracing back through all the deeds and the proxy on this place, Langly is the main owner.
"Who is he? Do I know him? Whatís he got to do with any of this?" Alex pleaded.
"I donít know Alex. Why do you think itís him, Trivette?"
"Because of the way he tried to hide the ownership and also because heís into importing and exporting. Now that seems like a funny place to have an Import and Export business, donít you think, Walker?"
"I agree with you there, but I canít figure out how this ties in with you, Alex?" Walker turns around just in time to catch Alex before she collapsed to the floor.
"Hey Walker. Look. I think sheís coming out of it, " said Trivette.
It took a while before her eyes could focus on the image leaning over her. When her eyes finally adjusted, she was looking into Walkerís eyes.
"Hi there," he almost whispered.
"What happened, Walker?" she mumbled groggily.
"Hey, Alex, how are you feeling." Trivette asked as he looked at her with worried eyes.
"You passed out again, Alex."
It was at that point she noticed the worried onlookers.
As she sat up, Walker sat down next to her and realizing she was all right again, everyone went back to their desks or moved on about their business.
"Alex, does the name ĎLanglyí mean anything to you?" Walker asked.
"NoÖ. I donít think so. Although it sounds vaguely familiar. Why? Should it?"
"Iím not sure," he answered. "You were dreaming again, Alex?"
"I heard you mention bright lights and being cold."
"Alex," Walker asked, "Are you sure?"
She shut her eyes, trying to bring into focus an elusive memory that kept fading in and out. "IÖdo remember a light, a very bright light. But thatís it. Sorry."
Walker let out a deep sigh. "Címon, Alex Iíll take you home."
At Alexís apartment, Walker told her to lock her door and stay inside, "There are a couple of things I have to look into and then Iíll be right back. Okay?"
"Okay, Walker. If you say so." He waited until he heard the lock being engaged and then left.
Back at Ranger Headquarters, Walker approaches Trivette, who is concentrating on the computer screen and, placing his hand on Trivetteís shoulder, says "Trivette, this is the most frustrating case Iíve ever come across. Alexís amnesia, her fainting spells and these little bits and pieces she is remembering, none of it is coming together. I just canít seem to get a handle on this."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. Sure wish C.D. was here. We could sure use another head. Whenís he supposed to be back anyway?"
"Youíre right on that, we could use a fresh eye to look at this. But C.D. isnít due back for another four days. Trivette, what do you think would happen if we get Alex hypnotized? Do you think it would bring out what she canít remember?"
"Hey, man, that might not be a bad idea. Youíd have to get Alexís permission first though. Do you think sheíd go for it?" Trivette was getting excited about the idea.
"Well, Iím going back to her place now, and Iíll ask her. Iíll let you know in the morning what her answer is. Okay?"
As Alex lets Walker into her apartment, he notices the papers, ledgers, and a photo album littering her floor, couch and coffee table. It looked like a disaster area.
"Iíve been going through some things to see what I could find out about myself." She explains. "Do you know what my favorite music is? From the looks of my collection of CDís, its country." She goes to the stereo and puts one on by Black Hawk.
"Well, what else did you find interesting?" He said as he cleaned a place on her couch and sat down beside her.
"Actually several things. I found out my parents separated a long time ago. My mother is deceased and my father is an alcoholic. We apparently were estranged until a year or so ago. Evidently I like to go horseback riding, it seems, with you." She turns to look at him.
Walker nodded, "Yeah, I really miss those rides, Alex. Weíve had some great times. Angel misses you, too. Thatís your horse. There in that picture," as he points to the one of her and Angel together.
"Oh, Walker, you know what the worst thing is about all of this? Not knowing the little things. Little things like my favorite color, my favorite food, or even my favorite movie. I donít even know if I can dance." She said as she tried to blink back the tears.
Walker took her hands in his and pulled her close. "Your favorite color is red, your favorite food is C.D.ís chili, and your favorite movie is Titanic. As for dancingÖ? Címon, letís see if you can dance."
He pulled her up and held her close as they danced to "Always Have, Always Will." As they moved to the music, she rested her cheek against Walkerís and closed her eyes. He tightened his arms and she heard him breathe deeply. He held her as if she belonged to him. She suddenly felt this sense of loss that seemed to crush her. Before she knew it, the tears began to fall.
He could feel her tears on his face. "Am I that bad of a dancer, Alex?" he whispered.
She smiled at him through the tears and, as he looked into her face, he suddenly saw it. It was in her eyes. For just a split second Alex, his Alex had appeared.
He slowly brought his lips to hers, bringing her in closer, feeling her lean into him completely as her arms circled his neck. He felt that if he moved away she would fall. He reached down and scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom. He gently placed her on the bed and knelt on the floor beside her, stroking her hair and telling her everything would be okay. Within a few minutes, she was fast asleep. He covered her with a blanket and closed the door on his way back to the living room.
Sitting on the couch, Walker started gathering up her pictures and papers and piled them on the coffee table. After clearing the couch off, he realized he was exhausted, and laid down to sleep.
He felt her hand on his cheek, light as a feather, and he sat up quickly, seeing Alex on the floor next to the couch. In a soft hushed voice she said, "Darling, I remember."
He reached out to touch her face and looked deep into her eyes. He knew at that moment that he had his Alex back. He put his arms around her and pulled her up on the couch with him. They clung to each other for what seem like an eternity.
Leaning back slightly, he looked into her eyes again, "Can you remember what happened?" he asked.
"I remember most of it. I had been working on the Langly indictment, and went to C.D.ís to meet you for dinner. Then I came home. As I was getting out of my car, a hand covered my face with a cloth. I felt hands grabbing me, but I never saw any faces. Everything is kind of hazy after thatóimages, people talking, people screaming, bright lights, then total darkness. At times, I thought I was going mad. I remember lying on the cement floor. At one time, I was strapped to a chair but I donít remember why. I think I saw some crates being brought in, but Iím not sure about that. I must have somehow gotten outside because I remember running through a cold, wet ditch with someone behind me, chasing me. I tried to run but I felt so tired. My arms and legs felt like lead. Then suddenly I was lying face down in the mud. My head was pounding like crazy. I heard someone say, "Where did she go?" and then another voice replied "Doesnít matter, sheíll be dead by morning. The dogsíll take care of her." The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital and Ö you." She collapses in his arms, sobbing quietly.
"Itís all right now, Alex. Youíre safe with me. Tomorrow weíll go out to that place and bring them all in. Weíll clear this up once and for all." He promises.
She nods, wrapping her arms tightly around Walker and snuggles her head into his chest.
Thankful to finally have his Alex back, Walker lays back on the couch bringing Alex with him and, within a few minutes, both are sound asleep.
"Trivette, is everyone in position? Letís move!" Walker starts through the gate with the Ram and the other police cars are right behind him. They pull up to the front of the house, jump out and head for the door.
"Come out with you hands up. We have a search warrant." Trivette puts the bullhorn down and, as the door is rammed, heís on Walkerís heels as they dash through the opening. A thorough search is made, but nothing is turned up. Not one single scrap of paper. The place looks as if it has been empty for months.
"Weíre too late!" Walker exclaimed. "They must have realized with Alex getting away that eventually weíd come looking for them. No telling when they left."
At C.D.ís, Walker sits down next to Alex in the booth, puts his arm around her and kisses her softly on the lips. "Alex, when we got there, it was wiped clean. Not one shred of evidence. Weíve still got people out there, checking for fingerprints or anything else they might have left behind. Langly has probably left the country. Weíve put out an APB and itís being sent all over the States, but I donít think weíll ever find him. Are you going to be all right?"
"Walker, Iím just glad Iíve got my memory back. I think thatís the worst thing to ever happen to anyone, losing yourself like that. The only good thing was that I think I was starting to fall in love with you all over again." With that said, she kisses him passionately on the lips. Walker felt that all was right with his world again. He had "his Alex" back.