True Destiny

By Katie 59

This takes place after Destiny Choosen and goes through the beginning of Steady.

Chapter One

Alex decided to answer her office phone which had been ringing on and off for the last five minutes even though she had told her secretary not to put any calls through to her as she had to get a brief done that needed to be filed by the end of the day. With her mind on the brief Alex snapped up the phone and frostily said “This is A.D.A Cahill. To whom am I speaking?" C.D. Parker was the caller and he replied “I’m sorry for bothering at work Alex but I'm at my wit's end with Cordell. He keeps trying to do things the doctors don't want him doing because of his healing stab wound. Is there anything that you can think of to do this weekend with Cordell? You know something that keeps him busy but not to the point where he'll injure himself further. I wouldn't have called you at all but I really need to get back to my bar sometime soon. So what do you say honey? Can you take over with Cordell this weekend?"

Alex thought about all of the things that she'd like to be doing with one Cordell Walker now that he had seemed to call it quits with that little snake in the grass Merilee Summers. Putting a halt to what were adult, very consenting adult ideas Alex thought about the fact that she liked to white water raft and had in fact reserved two places on a weekend trip but didn't have anyone to go with her since her friend Christie had backed out just that morning. Alex not wanting to waste the money she had already spent on the trip and gear then suggested to C.D. “what about white water rafting? I've haven't done that in a while and it should keep Walker occupied this weekend. The course is supposed to be on the gentler rapids. So there's no chance of him hurting himself further on the gentler course. Hey C.D. I'll even swing by the ranch and kidnap him myself first thing tomorrow morning. That way I can keep an eye on Walker all weekend without him realizing that I'm really keeping a mule headed cowboy both busy and safe."

C.D. answered “sounds good to me Alex but are you going to be able to find two open spots on a white water rafting trip this weekend?" Alex assured him “I had already planned to go white water rafting this weekend with my friend Christie but she backed out just this morning so I'll call them and tell them that Walker will be taking her place." C.D. said that sounded good to him then hung up the phone.

Alex arrived at the ranch early the next morning to find a besides himself C.D. trying to argue some sense into Walker. Spotting Alex standing there in the doorway to the living room C.D. said to her “it’s your turn to try and talk sense into Cordell. I'm heading back to my place before I end up telling Cordell here what I think about his pigheaded stubbornness. Hell Cordell keeps doing all kind of crazy exercises even though he knows the doctor's don't want him doing anything but resting so that his wound finishes healing." Without answering C.D. Alex went over to Walker and told him “let’s go cowboy."

Walker asked Alex as C.D. waved goodbye and left Walker's ranch house “let’s go where?" With a hint of mischief in her eyes Alex replied “that’s for me to know and for you to find out. Now come on, go pack a few of your clothes that you'd wear hiking so we can get going."

Without moving Walker questioned her “what kind of hiking are you talking about? Are you planning for us to go to the reservation?" Holding up both of her hands as if she were stopping traffic Alex responded “what’s with the questions? Don't you trust me anywhere with you but the reservation cowboy? Or are you afraid of spending the weekend alone with me? Because if it's the latter let me assure you that we won't be alone together. Or at least I don't think we will be alone together but hey you never know what can happen. Now are you going to hurt my feelings by refusing to go with me this weekend? Before you answer me know this, if you refuse to willingly go with me I'll simply hogtie you and take you with me anyhow. You're going to spend the weekend with me come hell or high water. Got that Cordell John Walker?"

A laughing Walker asked her “so you're going to kidnap me if I don't go willingly with you?" Laughing herself Alex replied “yes Cordell Walker I am officially kidnapping you. No go pack some things so we can get going. And just so you know we will be taking my car, that way there's no chance of anyone being able to get in touch with you. You know like Trivette and besides I already cleared it with Captain Harland." Walker gave in with good grace and packed a few things to take with him. After locking up his house Walker went to Alex's car and waited for her to get out of the driver's seat so that he could drive the car but Alex pointed to the passenger seat as she informed him that she was driving where they were going and that was all there was to it. Knowing how mule headed Alex could be Walker tossed his things in the back seat then got into the passenger seat.

After a day of white water rafting Walker led Alex to a secluded spot where he thought they should place their sleeping bags. All too happy to be out of earshot of the other rafters Alex laid down her sleeping bag by Walker's then after they had seated themselves began to flirt with Walker by telling him how the sound of water was just making her melt. Alex then turned up the heat by saying that she should be getting her nightclothes on and went behind some bushes to do so. As Alex was getting changed a now very interested Walker called out 'snake.' Alex flew back to where Walker was at and threw herself into his arms. Walker pulled Alex to him and they began to kiss hungrily. A short time later the tour guide interrupted them spoiling the moment.

After the tour guide left Walker instead of pulling Alex back to him said that he might as well get changed too and headed behind some bushes himself. Alex looked over at the bushes that Walker was behind and decided to call out snake too. When Walker came out from behind the bushes Alex told him to get back over there and finish what he had started. Walker all but jumped on Alex who kissed him with everything inside of her. Walker returned the kisses and then some.

The next morning Walker asked Alex how she felt and when she replied that she was a little sore he failed to hide his prideful smirk. Alex then quickly told him that it was her shoulders that were hurting. When Walker turned away to roll up there sleeping bags Alex thought to herself 'I am a little sore in all the right places cowboy of mine but you don't need to know that. And I'm going to give you every chance to ease that soreness whenever you want to.'

After that everything went wrong on the white water rafting trip. First a woman hit on Walker right in front of Alex and wouldn't take the hint to back off from the way Alex rolled her eyes. Walker then firmly told the woman that she had the wrong man. But worse than that the tour guide turned out to be an escaped prisoner and a cold blooded killer who forced the group to go down the rougher rapids after getting rid of Walker. Thinking that Walker was dead a devastated Alex could only think to herself that she had never told Cordell Walker that she loved him and that she felt they had been destined to spend the rest of their lives together. Walker who was still very much alive managed to rescue the group. As Trivette and C.D. were coming towards the pair Alex promised Walker that the next time she's take him to an amusement park. Walker replied that no way he was going to an amusement park because he didn't like Ferris Wheels.

When they went back to Dallas a very happy Alex thought she and Walker would now be lovers but that didn't happen because Walker had been informed that his Uncle Ray was soon going to cross the river, a fact that he decided not to tell Alex. Alex however had found out about Ray because Sam Coyote had called to tell her about Ray wanting her, C.D. and Trivette to meet with him at the reservation that weekend. Alex said that they would be there. Once the threesome arrived at the reservation Sam pulled them aside and told them that Ray was going to be crossing the river soon and that he thought Washo needed them to be there for him. All three of them assured Sam that they would be there for Washo in whatever way he needed them to be there for him. Sam then took the three of them to where Walker, White Eagle and Ray were at.

“I’ve asked you three here to tell you that I’m going to be crossing the river soon and to get your assurances that you will be there for Washo." Ray was saying when Walker objected “Ray!"

Ray then stated “I will say what I have to say nephew and you will stand there without saying another word until I'm done." Walker nodded okay so Ray added “Trivette you are to keep an eye on Washo like the brother that you are would. C.D. when Washo becomes a father you are to be his children’s' grandfather. Do you two understand?" They both replied that they understood and would be honored to do as Ray had asked them to do. Ray then motioned for the others to leave them then he told Alex "Miss Cahill I know that you love my nephew and that you are destined to become his mate so I'm going to ask you to take the gift of Walker's heart and never return that gift no matter how many times he tempts you to return that gift because Washo will try to deny your joint destiny, due to his stubbornness. What I’m saying is that I am giving my nephew to you, for all eternity. Alex understand this Washo has been through so much pain in his life that he doesn't show people how he feels about them. The more Washo cares about a person the harder he tries to hide his feelings for that person. And Alex he cares more for you more than he has ever cared for anyone. Promise me that you will always keep that in mind when it comes to Washo, even if he is being his usual hard headed self about things."

Wiping away a few tears Alex replied “I love Washo and I'm never going to turn my back on him. I believe as you do, that we were meant to end up as husband and wife. I will spend eternity with him, no matter what I have to do to make that happen." Ray responded “I can greet the spirits with my soul at peace knowing that Washo will have a family with you." Ray then patted Alex on her back and walked away leaving Alex thinking that her future with Walker was a done deal.

Chapter Two

Walker arrived at the reservation by himself and went to the clinic where a gaunt and tired looking Ray was lying in a bed. Sam Coyote who was there to keep Ray company until Walker arrived asked his old friend “Washo are the others outside?" Walker replied as he motioned for Sam to vacate the chair he was sitting in “No." As Sam was getting up from the chair he questioned Walker “why aren't they with you? Don't tell me that you're being your usual stubborn self and didn't let them know. My god. You didn't tell them, did you? What is wrong with you? Why won't you let your friends help you at a time like this?"

Walker ignored Sam and took his seat. Sam not wanting to upset either Walker or Ray as Ray was already very close to crossing the river simply left the clinic without saying another word. Walker picked up his uncle's hand as he told him “I’m here now Uncle Ray." Ray opened his eyes as he whispered “Washo the spirits are calling me home." Steeling himself so that his pain didn't show on his face Walker replied “I know. Ray, its okay for you to go home to them. Aunt Ruth is waiting there for you to join her."

Ray eyes widened as he saw something that only he could see. After a few minutes Ray muttered “It is time nephew of mine. I go to my ancestors knowing that you have a brother, a father figure and a woman whom the sprits have chosen for you. Ruth my only love I'm coming home to you." Walker even though he was sad at the thought of his uncle dying said to him “Ray I will see you and Aunt Ruth again. I promise you." Ray closed his eyes slipping into a sleeplike state. Within an hour Ray passed away. Laying his uncle's hand back down Walker went outside where White Eagle was talking with Sam. Knowing from the look on Walker's face that Ray had crossed the river Sam asked White Eagle if they could hold off on the burial ceremony until Washo’s friend arrived but Walker told him that they were going to go ahead with the ceremony without his friends being there as Ray had already said his goodbyes to them. Sam wanted to argue that point but White Eagle went along with Walker's wishes.

When Walker returned to Dallas from the reservation he stopped in C.D.'s where Trivette and Alex were sitting in a booth talking with C.D. Parker who called out for Walker to join them, which he did. After Walker was seated Trivette pointedly looked at Alex who took the hint and asked “Walker how is Uncle Ray doing?" Walker stunned the trio by saying “Ray has crossed the river."

Alex exclaimed “What!" A stunned C.D. questioned Walker “Cordell are you trying to tell us that your uncle Ray has passed? When's the ceremony going to be? We are going to be allowed to attend it, aren't we?" Walker replied as he stood up “Ray has crossed the river. The ceremony has already taken place." Walker then walked away from the trio as Alex began crying. Trivette pulled her into a hug in an effort to console her. C.D. sat there with tears in his eyes muttering about how Cordell was the most hard headed man he had ever met. After a while the three of them came to an agreement to let Walker deal with the loss of his Uncle Ray in his own way. The threesome also renewed their vows to be there for Walker.

Several weeks later Alex was informed by her boss, D.A. Clark that the Demarco case was heating back up and that the main witness one Dalton Reed had been threated. Clark then told Alex to see if the Rangers would be willing to go to the arena that Reed was at and protect him if need be. Alex assured Clark that she would do exactly that. After Clark left her office Alex went to Ranger headquarters where she was stunned to find that snake in the grass Merilee Summers was perched on the corner of Walker's desk and that Walker seemed to be staring at Merilee's chest which was barely covered. Alex had to clear her throat several times until Walker noticed her. Merilee coolly got up from Walker's desk as she said to him “thank you for agreeing to help me out Cordell. I'll call you at home later and we'll make plans. That is unless you want to meet me at my hotel."

“I’ll call you later." Walker answered so Merilee left Ranger headquarters. Shocked by the way that Walker seemed to be watching Summers' rear end as she strolled out the door Alex stated what was going on with the Demarco case in business like terms. Walker agreed that he and Trivette would go to where Reed was at and make sure that he was safe. Alex thanked them then told the pair she would also go to where Reed was at herself, just to be on the safe side.

As they were driving to where Reed was at Walker let Trivette know that Alex and Reed had had an affair. Trivette asked Walker if he was worried about the two of them taking up with each other and Walker told him that it wasn't any of his concern. That all he was concerned with was protecting Reed then returning to Dallas to see to it that Merilee was okay. Trivette took that to mean that his partner had either resumed his affair with Summers or would be doing so as soon as he got back to Dallas. Trivette then let Alex know what he thought was going on between Walker and Summers. Alex flirted with Reed in front of Walker hoping to get a reaction out of him but she didn't.

Early one morning Walker went to Reed's camper where a guard was standing by and the guard told Walker that a hot blond had been in Reed's camper all night long. As the guard walked away Alex came out of the camper. Alex tried one last time to see if Walker was interested in her by telling Walker that she didn't know what to do about Dalton. Walker thinking that Alex had spent the night in Reed's arm told her that he could see Reed's love for her Alex in his eyes. Alex with her heart breaking decided that Walker truly wasn't interested in her romantically and would never again be interested in her sexually. That she had just been someone handy to have sex with during that white water rafting trip. Alex then went back to her hotel room where she threw herself on the bed and cried her heart out.

After Dalton Reed had been protected by Walker and Trivette he had one last dance with Alex during which he asked Alex to give him a year then he would come back for her. Alex thinking that Reed was her only chance at getting married and having children someday agreed to the year.

A week later Alex and Trivette were talking in C.D.'s when Trivette asked her “so what happened between you and Reed?" Alex not sure what Trivette really wanted to know asked him back “why do you want to know?" Trivette then said “well from what I understand you spent the night in Reed's camper then you agreed to wait a year for him to come back and claim you. So what's up with that?"

“I did not spend the night in Dalton's camper. Where on earth did you get that idea? And from who?" Trivette answered “Walker told me that you spent the night in Reed's camper. Reed told me that you were going to wait a year for him to finish the circuit. Alex how could you have hurt Walker like that so soon after Ray's death? I thought you were interested in him as more than a friend?"

Alex got up as she said “I didn't sleep with Dalton. God I have to go and talk this out with Walker." Trivette stood up also as he told her "I think that he's at the ranch taking care of the horses because C.D. just told me that Merilee is currently being protected at her hotel by a female police officer. Alex go and let my partner know that you're not waiting a year for Reed to come back for you. I think even though he won't admit it Walker is interested in a future with you."

Alex entered Walker's house without knocking and went into the living room where Walker and Merilee were both naked and stretched out in front of the fireplace sound asleep looking for all the world like they had fallen asleep after making love. Alex spun around and left Walker's house as fast as she could. After she got into her car Alex slammed her car door shut then just sat there for a few minutes composing herself. Walker hearing a noise removed himself from Merilee's arms and went to the downstairs bedroom window where he looked out the window to see Alex's car flying away from his house.

Walker returned to the living where he sat down on the couch as he realized that he had made a mistake by sleeping with Merilee again.  Walker then decided that in spite of his seeing Alex's coming out of Reed's camper that morning she was the one he wanted, not Merilee. Merilee woke up and seeing Walker sitting on the couch went and sat beside him as she suggested “how about we continue this upstairs lover boy? After that how about I just stay on here with you until my tour goes on to Austin? I mean we've spent the last several nights here anyhow." Walker replied “get dressed then I'll take you back to your hotel." Merilee tried again by rubbing her body against Walker's but he pointed to her clothes on the floor as he gathered his own clothes up. Having no choice Marilee got dressed.

On the way to the hotel Merilee asked "so Cordell when we will we be together again?" Walker replied “I’m sorry Merilee but I shouldn't have done that with you. Not when I'm supposing to be protecting you." Knowing that Walker was rejecting her Merilee didn't respond while thinking to herself that when they got to the hotel she would just seduce her Cordell. One way or the other her and Cordell would remain lovers.

When they arrived back at Merilee's hotel she tried her best to get Walker to go to her room with her but Walker coldly escorted Merilee to the female officer who had been assigned to watch over her. A furious Merilee thought to herself 'if that witch Cahill is trying to steal my man again, she's dead. No matter what I have to do. I lost my Cordell to that bitch once, it won't happen again.'

The next morning Merilee was taken to C.D.'s by the female police officer so that they could wait for Walker there. Alex came in a short time later and headed to the ladies' room followed by Summers who blasted Alex for trying to take her Cordell away from her, yet again. Alex with her heart all but frozen snapped “if you want that jerk, go get him. You can have him. I do not want him."

Merilee retorted “don’t try that line with me Cahill. We both know that just as soon as my back is turned you'll think up some sort of scheme to get my Cordell running to your rescue. You know just like you did that time you claimed your ex-husband beat you up. But be warned this time I won't allow you to get away with it. Cordell belongs to me now. Understand?" Alex stated "I do not give a damn what you and Walker are to each other. It is none of my concern now that Dalton and I have an understanding."

Alex left the ladies' room where she ran into Trivette but before he could say a word Alex informed him “I will give Dalton the year that he asked for. As for Walker, if you any questions about his private life I suggest you go and ask his girlfriend Merilee Summers what's going on. I'm just just somebody who works with Walker, nothing more."

Trivette went over to the bar where C.D. who had overheard what Alex had just said suggested that they respect both Walker's and Alex's decisions when it came to their private lives. That no amount of trying to talk sense into either one of them was going to work because both Walker and Alex were at times as hardheaded as they come. Trivette agreed while wishing that both Walker and Alex would come to their senses before Dalton came back for Alex in a year's time.

Chapter Three

It was now several weeks later and Merilee was sitting at the bar in C.D.'s while telling him all about how her Cordell had saved yet again "oh C.D. you should have been there when my Cordell saved me from that deranged fan by the name of Percival Humphreys who was the one stalking me. It reminded me so much of the time Cordell protected me from my ex-husband Waylon. And you know C.D. the same thing happened the last time just like it did this time. My Cordell and I were together more than once if you know what I mean. That's the only reason that I'm going to ask you for a favor. And that favor is, C.D. can you make sure Cahill doesn't try to steal my Cordell from me when I'm on tour then in Houston recording my new album? I'm going there right after my tour finishes up in Austin." C.D. answered “Alex isn't interested in Cordell, she's his friend. Merilee you need to know one thing right now, if you try to tell Cordell to stop being friends with Alex you will lose him. Cordell and Jimmy have to work together with Alex on the cases that Alex prosecutes that the Texas Rangers Company B have gotten the evidence in. Alex has lasted longer working with Cordell than any A.D.A. ever has and has gotten a lot of convictions in his cases too. Those three are a very good team. None of them would appreciate you trying to put a stop to such a successful working relationship and an even better friendship." Merilee told C.D. “I guess you're right about that C.D. but I just don't want Cahill coming between us like the last time Cordell and I were involved. You know when she claimed that her ex-husband beat her up just to get my Cordell to go running to her side." C.D. decided that talking to Merilee anymore was a waste of time and went down the bar as far away from her as he could get.

A short time later Walker, Trivette and Alex came into C.D.'s together. Merilee quickly hurried to Walker and laid a huge kiss on him before he could stop her. Alex turned away from the pair and headed to a booth followed by Trivette who after they were seated questioned her “Alex if you care for my partner as much as you obviously do why are you settling for Reed?" Why don't you tell Walker that you're in love with him? You aren't going to deny that you love him, are you?"

“Yes I love Walker. But I'm settling for Dalton because I have no other choice. Walker doesn't love me, that quite obvious. If Walker had had any feelings for me at all he wouldn't have taken up with Summers again, not after what she did the last time she was in town. If he cared for me at all Walker would have demanded to know that morning why I was coming out of Reed's camper. But no Walker had to go and tell me that he could see how much Dalton loved me. At no time has Cordell Walker ever told me that he cares for me the way that a man cares for a woman. As for Dalton at least he cares about me enough to ask me to wait for him until he gets done riding the circuit. Jimmy before you say anything else please understand that there is a part of me that cares very deeply for Dalton." Alex explained to Trivette who asked her “But?"

“But I love Cordell Walker with everything inside of me. I will always love him. I want to get married and have children someday so it has to be Dalton because Walker doesn't want me that way. Jimmy please don't tell Walker that I love him because that might just cause him to ask for another A.D.A. to work with and worse than that end our friendship. I want Walker in my life however he chooses to be in it. You can understand that. Can't you?" Alex ended with a question so Trivette agreed to go along with what Alex wanted.

Walker came over to the booth and sat down besides Alex. Merilee seeing this came over and sat down besides Trivette and glared at Alex while saying “Cordell you're still driving me to Austin in an hour and spending the night. Right?" Before Walker could answer Alex questioned him “what about the Mallory case? I was expecting to take your statement in it in my office at four. Do you want me to reschedule your statement?"

Walker replied as he stood up “Alex, I have something else to do then. I'll call you later and let you know about my statement in the Mallory case." Merilee quickly stood up and tried to hug Walker while smirking at Alex. Walker stepped back as he said to her “Miss Summers I need to get you on your way." The pair left the bar causing Trivette to mutter “I really need to have a long talk with that partner of mine." Alex reminded Trivette “you just promised me that you wouldn't say anything Jimmy. I really need you to keep your word to me." Trivette even though he thought it should be Alex and Walker who were together agreed again to not say anything about Walker being with Merilee and Alex waiting a year for Dalton.

Later on that evening Alex was going over a transcript in her condo when the doorbell rang so she answered it to find Walker standing there. After they were seated in the living room Alex asked him “what brings you by here Ranger Walker?" Walker answered “I want to give you my statement in the Mallory case. Do you have what you need here to take my statement?"

Alex said that she did so Walker gave his statement in the Mallory case. After that was done Alex said to him “Walker as someone who loved Ray Firewalker I would like to know if I could go to the reservation someday to say goodbye to him. Would that be okay with you?" Walker replied “of course it's okay with me. Why would you think you even had to ask me?"

“Given everything that just happened I thought you wanted to forget that we were ever friends." Alex honestly told Walker who assured her “Alex you will always be my friend. There is nothing or no one who could ever change that."

Alex nodded okay then asked “so tell me friend have you mourned for your uncle yet?" Walker shook his head no so Alex suggested “please let me be here for you. Walker will you tell me about your uncle? I think you need to tell someone what a wonderful man he was." Walker did as Alex wanted him to do and by the time he was done they were both in tears. Alex wiped away her tears as she said to Walker “I always felt like he considered me a relative of his. And I always thought of Ray as my true uncle."

Walker pulled Alex to him as he told her “Ray loved you so much Alex. Just like I..." Walker instead of saying anything else kissed Alex who pulled away from him then stated “okay, given what you believe you know about Dalton and me and given what I know about you and Summers we will not be having sex again. I know you miss your uncle and while I miss him too we can't use sex to forget about our pain. It wouldn’t be right. You and I are friends and we will stay friends forever because there's no way that I'm living a life without you in it Cordell Walker. If you don't feel the same way tell me now and I'll go along with your wishes. Although it may take me a few weeks to find another place for Cookie."

“Cookie can stay at the ranch and you’re welcomed there any time you want to ride her, friend." Walker responded causing Alex to breathe a sigh of relief inside of herself. As he left Alex's condo Walker thought to himself that he hadn't had sex with Alex during the white water rafting trip, that he thought they had been making love. Now all they could be to each other were friends and he had to settle for that because he wanted Alex Cahill in his life but he also didn't want anyone coming after her because of him. So maybe it was for the best that he and Alex didn't get any closer.

One evening Alex, Trivette and Walker were sitting at a table talking over the latest case that Alex had gotten a conviction in when Trivette spotted a pretty lady and announced “I have a pretty lady to charm." Alex objected “I thought you were going to drop me off at my condo? Remember you said that you would because my car is still in the shop?" Walker offered "I'll drive you home Alex."

Before Alex could say anything else Trivette got up from the table to hit on the pretty lady. As they were walking to Walker's truck Alex said “I wish Jimmy would stop thinking that all you do with a pretty lady is hit on her. What's wrong with him trying to be her friend for a change?" Walker teased “Alex you are the most beautiful woman that I know and Trivette is a friend of yours. Mine too."

Alex admitted that Walker was right “yes you're right this time Cowboy but don't get used to it." Walker kept up the teasing as he placed his arm around Alex's shoulder and told her “I won a verbal battle with Alex Cahill. By the way I get a kiss for that." Walker then kissed Alex on her cheek before she could object.

In the shadows a very angry Merilee Summers watched as the laughing pair then got into Walker's truck. As they drove off Merilee vowed to herself that she was going to see to it that her Cordell would come to his senses and stay with her. And if need be Cahill could meet with a fatal end if Cahill didn't get the idea that Cordell belonged to her. Cordell Walker was her's and that's all there was to it, if she had to eliminate Cahill in order to keep her Cordell so be it. It was time to stop playing nice with that witch.  

Chapter Four

Alex came into Ranger headquarters and headed straight to Walker's desk where both he and Trivette were seated looking at a report so she informed him "Ranger Walker if you and Ranger Trivette have the spare time I'd like you two to look into some threatening phone calls that I've gotten recently. There have been five of them so far and they've come in to my office after I've left work for the day. I contacted Deputy Darren who as you know is charge of security for the A.D.A.'s and he set up a call trace but none of the messages lasted long enough for him to trace the calls. All Darren was able to do was to pin down the general area where they were coming from. I was hoping that between the two of you, you would be able to think of a way to trace that caller. I'm starting to think that this isn't someone threatening me just to get some sort of kick out of it. That they might follow through on their threats." An alarmed Trivette answered before Walker could “of course we'll check into it for you Alex. Do you know if Darren has a written copy of all five of the phone messages?"

Alex handed Trivette a folder as she told him “yes he does. Deputy Darren included a copy of everything he has collected so far in his investigation. I really didn't want bother you this what with you two being so busy with that drug turf war but Deputy Darren insisted that I contact this office because he said that his investigation was at a dead end and that the two of you might be able to help me out in case the caller decided to act on his latest threat. And the last phone message did give me some cause for concern."

“What gave you some cause for concern, exactly?" Trivette asked Alex who replied “I believe that he said he would string me up under that bridge over dead man's drop then cut me loose right as help was arriving. That way whoever tried to come to my rescue could watch as I either fell into the creek and drowned or fell to my death on those boulders that line both sides of dead man's drop."

Walker stated “that will not happen Alex. As long as I'm alive I will protect you." Trivette added “Same goes for me." Alex nodded okay relieved that the two of them would be looking into the matter for her then changed the subject by saying "on another matter Ranger Walker, I hate to be the one to tell you this but Humphreys was just released from the county jail on bail. He of course was warned to stay away from Miss Summers but if you know where she's at you should warn her to get herself some security just to be on the safe side."

“I don't know where Miss Summers is at but I'll contact her tour guide manager and let him know what's going on." Walker answered Alex who then changed the subject to the O'Patrick appeal hearing who's date had been moved up a week and did either one of them want to go over their testimony again. Walker told Alex that they would get back to her on it so she left Ranger headquarters.

A few days later not having gotten anywhere with the phone caller who had been threatening Alex the pair of Texas Rangers decided that they would take turns trailing Alex home from work to see if anyone tried to get to her then. Walker had already arranged for Alex to be guarded by members of the Sheriff's auxiliary while she was at work and on her way to work Alex was now going to be escorted by a plain clothes unit from the Dallas Police department.

One afternoon Alex called up Walker and suggested to him “hey cowboy since it's your turn to follow me home from work how about we do this instead? You drive me home then back to work in the morning and in return I'll cook you a nice dinner to thank you. How does that sound? I'll do the same for Jimmy tomorrow evening." Walker answered “I’ll pick you up at your office at five."

That evening Trivette knowing that Walker was seeing Alex safety home headed to C.D.'s where he sat awhile at the bar waiting for a pretty lady to come in. Around 5:30 Walker went to Alex's office where he found the door ajar and no auxiliary member guard on duty. Quickly drawing his gun he entered the office to find that Alex wasn't there but the message button on her phone was flashing. Walker played the message, on it the caller's voice stated “two are ready to swing but only one will drop. Who do you choose to live? Your girlfriend or Cahill?"

Walker raced to his truck and once he was in it called Darren to tell him about the latest message then called Trivette at C.D.'s and told him what was going on. Trivette said that he and C.D. would get to dead man's drop as soon as they could and that he would be letting Captain Harland know what was going on. When Walker got near dead man's drop he saw both Alex and Merilee blindfolded and dangling from under the bridge a good twenty feet apart. Walker quickly floored his truck up onto the bridge and got out of it about halfway between the two women but a little closer to where Merilee Summers was at under the bridge. As soon as Walker got out of his truck a masked man wearing a hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head standing on the other side of the four lane bridge called out “I’m not here by myself. I have someone with each one of the ladies. The one you go to will live, the other will be cut loose as soon as you haul up the one whose life you choose to save. Although knowing you Walker you think that you can rescue them both. So go ahead and try to save them both."

Walker hearing Merilee screaming instinctively ran to her and started hauling her up while another masked man who had been holding a knife to her rope took off. Once Walker had Merilee up on the bridge the first masked man yelled out over the sirens of approaching police cars “just like I thought, you choose your girlfriend. Look over the side and you'll see Cahill drop like a rock in a minute." Walker went to go after Alex but Merilee threw herself at Walker slowing him down. After shoving her aside Walker got to where Alex had been dangling under the bridge at and started going over the railing to get to her but the rope that had been keeping her dangling there parted and Alex fell. Walker yelled “no." Walker then went to jump over the railing after Alex but was grabbed around the waist by Trivette in an effort to stop him.

Walker growled “let me go Trivette." C.D. placed himself between Walker and the railing as he said “Jimmy will not let you go until I tell him that he can. Listen son there's a chance that Alex isn't dead and if we let you fall to your death we'd never hear the end of it from her. Captain Harland is on his way here and he'll get everyone searching for Alex. None of us are going to leave here until we find Alex, alive. Got that? I'll stay up here and help the officers set up the search myself." A reluctant Walker nodded okay so Trivette let go of him.

Merilee took that moment to try and get Walker to notice her by asking him “Cordell can you please take me back to my hotel? I'm so shook up by what just happened to me. Oh God what you must think of me, worrying about being shaken up when poor Miss Cahill just fell to her...well I hate to say it but no one could survive that drop." As Trivette and C.D. both got mad by Merilee's behavior Walker responded “Alex is alive and I will find her. Trivette will you go down about twenty feet that way and start looking over the side for Alex? I'll go down into deadman's drop and look for her there. C.D. you see to it that the cops arrest everyone who was involved in this. And have someone find that Sheriff's auxiliary member who was supposed to have been guarding Alex this afternoon." C.D. nodded his agreement and went off to tell the police what had happened and the man they were to look out for. An alert officer had already cuffed the man who had been taunting Walker then secured him in the back of his police car.

“I’ll come down with you. I'll search one side while you search the other side." Trivette answered Walker so the pair headed to near the end of the bridge where they would be able to start down the very steep gully. Merilee who had followed the pair questioned Walker in an attempt to get him to worry about her instead of worrying about Alex “what about me Cordell? Aren't you going to see me back to my hotel after the ordeal I've been through? Don't you love me anymore?" Walker ignored Merilee and dropped over the railing to the steep hillside below, Trivette did the same on the other side of the bridge. A disgusted C.D. turned away from the officer he had been talking to and called over another officer who had just arrived on scene and told him in no uncertain terms to see to it that Miss Summers was escorted back to her hotel. C.D. then firmly took Summers by an arm and led her over to the officer's squad car while telling her that she wasn't to leave town until the police told her that she could. The officer placed her inside of his squad car then left the scene. C.D. went and looked over the bridge's railing hoping that he could spot Alex while praying harder than he had ever prayed in his life that she still was alive.

About an hour later as Trivette was giving up hope of ever finding Alex when his partner stopped near a big boulder as he said “Trivette over here, Alex is behind this boulder. You go up there and lead the paramedics back down here." Without waiting for an answer Walker scaled the boulder then carefully dropped down on the other side of it as he said “Alex, please be okay."

Trivette not being able to see Alex from where he was at questioned his partner “Walker man how is Alex doing? I mean is she still?" Walker as upset as Trivette had ever heard him replied “Alex is alive but she's been hurt, bad. Get those paramedics down here, now." Trivette went up the ravine as quickly as he could. It took the rescue team another hour until they were able to get Alex up to the bridge surface where a helicopter was landing to take her to the hospital. As Alex was being loaded in the ambulance Walker went to get in with her but Alex whispered in a pain filled voice “Where’s Jimmy? I want him to ride with me." Walker backed away and Trivette got into the helicopter.

As they watched the helicopter take off for the hospital C.D. said "it was the pain talking, not Alex. You know that. Don't you Cordell?" Walker changed the subject by asking if the three men who had been involved had been arrested yet. C.D. said “one of them, the one who was taunting you is already in custody. The other one is being chased by a whole posse of officers in a high speed chase as we speak. He'll be arrested just as soon as they get him stopped. If there was a third one, nobody saw him. Captain Harland said that Captain Delaney from the Dallas P.D. will be taking over the investigation and plans to make sure everything is done by the book. Harland also wants me to point out to you that if you go after them you will be the one facing charges."

“If any of them go anywhere near Alex again they're dead." Walker stated then got in his truck and headed to the hospital. C.D. who had driven Trivette there got into his car and headed to the hospital himself. Once they got to the hospital they were met in the waiting room by Trivette who told them “when Alex fell she must have hit something on the way down that slowed down her descent because otherwise if she had slammed full force into those boulders she would have died on impact. As it is Alex is being treated for a head wound, numerous bruises and a possible broken leg. They're worried the most about the head wound because it's located by her left temple and Alex may very well have a concussion as the result of the trauma to her head. They are doing a cat scan on Alex right now to check for signs of intracranial bleeding. The nurse said that she would let us know if there's any serious head injury." C.D. answered as he lowered himself into a chair “thank god Alex is going to be okay. Isn't that right Cordell?"

Walker said in a low voice “this time." When Trivette looked like he was going to say something to Walker about rescuing Summers first and leaving Alex in danger C.D. shook his head no so he decided it could wait and went and got them some coffee because it was going to be awhile until they heard from the nurse.

Chapter Five

Hours later a nurse came into the waiting room and told the threesome “gentlemen, Miss Cahill has numerous bruises, brush burns, a broken left leg and a severe concussion. Dr. Park is hopeful that with the right kind of treatment Miss Cahill will make a full recovery from her brain trauma. As for the broken left leg, it was a clean fracture which means the leg should heal with no problems. The bruises and brush burns while they are many and some quite large will heal in time but during that time Miss Cahill will be in pain from them. After Miss Cahill is released from the hospital in a couple of days she will need someone who will help her out until she gets used to the crutches and who can apply ointment to the larger brush burns. Dr. Park also told me to tell you three that only one of you will be allowed to see Miss Cahill this evening. Which one of you gentlemen will it be?" Walker answered before the other two could “me."

Walker entered Alex's room where he picked up her hand as he said to her “I’m sorry." Alex removed her hand as she replied “it was only natural that you would choose Summers over me. She's your girlfriend and I'm just somebody that you had sex with."

Walker changed the subject by asking her “Alex, what happened?" Alex snapped “why don't you go ask your girlfriend that? As a matter of fact why don't you just go away and leave me alone? I don't want or need you here." Walker got up without a word and left Alex's room.

In the hallway Walker told the two men who were still waiting there “Alex doesn't want me around right now." Trivette said “and who can blame Alex for that when you choose to protect Summers while letting Alex be dropped to her possible death."

C.D. objected by saying “Jimmy it wasn't like that. Cordell would never have risked Alex's life." Walker however stated “if Alex had died I would have been responsible for her death. Trivette and C.D. when the two of you visit Alex tomorrow will you make sure that she's going to be okay?"

C.D. asked him "what are you going to be doing Cordell that you can't visit Alex?" Walker answered “seeing to it that the threat to Alex is ended." As they watched Walker walk away from them C.D. said to Trivette “Jimmy I know that you're mad as hell at Cordell right now and there's a part of me that is just as mad at Cordell. But right now son you need to remember two things. One, Cordell was in a no win situation, if he had saved Alex first then Merilee would had been most likely dropped to her death. Two and more importantly, nothing you or I could say to Cordell can be as painful to him as the fact that he knows that right now Alex doesn't trust him with her life. Cordell would never admit it but Alex losing her faith in him has got to bother Cordell more than anything else could. Cordell believes more than anything in keeping his word and he wasn't able to that when it came to Alex. As his friend we will look out after Alex for him. Hopefully this doesn't end up costing Cordell his friendship with Alex. Those two need to stay a part of each other's lives for both of their sake." Trivette had no reply for that.

Walker spent the next day hitting the streets and putting heavy pressure on his sources in an effort to see who the other man on the bridge had been and if there had been a third man but he wasn't able to get anywhere because none of the people he talked to knew anything. More than one of them pointed out to Walker that everyone knew better than to go after A.D.A. Cahill because if they did Walker would take care of them in a heartbeat.

A few days later as they were leaving Ranger headquarters Captain Delany came in and asked to talk with them so the three of them went into the conference room. Delany said “we weren't able to capture the second man; somehow he eluded the police pursuit. The first man, the one on the bridge who was taunting you Ranger Walker is a member of the sheriff's auxiliary by the name of Sean Thomas. Apparently his girlfriend Silvia Hertz who was pregnant at the time was convicted of passing bad checks and served a year in Huntsville. The A.D.A. in charge of the case was Miss Cahill. After Hertz got out of Huntsville she told Thomas that she had lost the baby when she had been jumped in the rec yard. She got out two weeks ago. Thomas would only admit to his involvement in kidnapping Miss Cahill and taunting you. When he gave his statement he said that at no time was either Miss Cahill or Miss Summers in danger because neither rope was supposed to have been cut. Thomas had no explanation for how Miss Cahill's rope parted dropping her into the ravine. As for his accomplice, Thomas claims that he doesn't know who he is and that Miss Summers was quite friendly with the other man the entire time. According to Thomas once he had A.D.A. Cahill secured Summers went with him willingly and that they met up with the other man at dead man's drop bridge. Thomas says this other man was the one who bound the two women. That if we wanted to know who the other man we should go ask Summers. I did exactly that and Summers insists that she didn't know the other man. When I asked Thomas how he could have set up a kidnapping of an A.D.A. with another man he had never met beforehand Thomas started screaming for his lawyer. We're not going to get anything else out of him. Walker since Summers is your girlfriend I'll ask you this. Do you think she knew the other man? Or do you think that Thomas is lying in order to save his hide?"

Walker replied “I don't think Merilee knew the other man." Delany responded “that’s what I thought but I did have to ask you. If I find anything else out I'll let you know but in the meantime please make sure that you double check your statements before you turn them in. Nobody wants a defense lawyer using mistakes in your statements to get Thomas off."

Trivette said “believe me, Walker and I have already double and triple checked our statements. Alex has pounded the fact that she wanted it done into our skulls so often that we now do it as a matter of course." Delany then questioned the Texas Ranger “how is A.D.A. Cahill doing? When do you think she'll be able to answer questions?"

“Alex is doing okay considering what happened to her. As for answering questions, she wants someone to take her to the D.A.'s office in a couple of days so that she can give her statement. This evening after I see how Alex is doing I'll call you and let you know what day she'll be in to give her statement and answer questions." Trivette said.

When they were in the parking lot Walker offered “I can go see how Alex is doing if you want to go to C.D.'s." Trivette objected by saying “Walker you know that I told Alex I would drop by and see her today. Besides don't you have a hot date with your girlfriend Summers?"

Walker snapped “no I don't have a hot date and Merilee is not my girlfriend." Softening his tone Walker then added that he would see his partner at work tomorrow.

When Trivette was visiting with Alex she asked him how the case was going and he told her what Delany had told them. Alex then asked was Walker out on a date with Merilee so Trivette told her that Walker had told him that Summers wasn't his girlfriend. Alex then changed the subject. After being assured by Alex yet again that she would be okay on her own Trivette left her condo. A few minutes after Trivette had gone the doorbell rang so Alex called out "what did you forget Jimmy?" The door opened and Walker came in. He asked her “Alex will you ever be able to forgive me?"

“Forgiving you is not the problem. The problem is that I've always been able to trust in you. And yes I do know that this time you were in a no win situation but you did choose Summers over me. When you decided to save her instead of me that told me everything that I needed to know about what your true feelings for me were." Alex replied causing Walker to ask her “and what do you think they are?"

Alex bluntly answered him "your feelings for me as those of someone who's a friend, someone who's handy to have sex with but also someone who will always came in second to a woman like her. And that is what is hurting me the most Cordell. You know what Summers did the last time she was in town but still you took up with her again. Since I can't be your friend right at this moment I do think that it's for the best we go back to a professional relationship, at least for a while. I'm sure that in time we can resume our friendship. Does that sound okay to you?" Walker answered “if that's what you really want." Alex nodded that was what she wanted so Walker asked if she needed him to do anything for her before he left. Alex said that if Walker didn't mind he could heat up the food C.D. had Jimmy bring over for her dinner. Walker assisted Alex to her table then heated up the food. As Walker was placing the food on the table Alex suggested that if Walker hadn't eaten he could eat with her because C.D. had sent way too much food over with Jimmy. Walker ate with dinner with Alex. After that he insisted on doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.

After he had cleaned up the kitchen Walker joined Alex on the living room couch. Before Walker could ask her Alex said “I was in my office going over a trial transcript when Summers barged in yelling about why I let her stalker Humphreys out of jail. Needless to say she wouldn't listen to a thing that I had to say. Anyhow I turned my back towards the door, shortly after that I heard her say to someone something about it being time. The next thing I remember is having a rope wrapped around me by a masked man while Summers who already had a rope around her was saying that her rope was too tight and could he loosen it. The masked man told her that it had to look good then he told her that she didn't have anything to worry about as you had already gotten the message and was on your way to save her. After that I was placed over the side of the bridge by the masked man Summers had been talking with. You know Walker there were all these cars flying by and nobody stopped to see why two gagged and bound women were being put over the side of the bridge and then just left to dangle there. Not that it matters now. Anyhow a few minutes after I was over the side I think Summers was put over too because I saw her dangling about twenty feet from me. As I started praying that you would somehow be able to save me after rescuing Summers one of the masked men leaned over the side and yelled to me that he was going to give the rope a little assist in parting. That's when I knew all my hope was for nothing. You know what happened next." Seeing that Alex was in tears Walker tried to pull her into a hug but she rebuffed him so Walker changed the subject to Cookie and how he would make sure that Alex's horse got the exercise she needed until Alex could ride her again. Alex even though she was still upset with Walker didn't demand that he leave her condo after that instead she brought up another case and they talked it about for a while then they moved on to Trivette and his always hitting on the pretty ladies in C.D.'s. Later on when Walker saw that Alex was getting tired he suggested that he help her get ready for bed but Alex firmly vetoed that suggested by telling him "no way in hell am I'm letting you see me naked again."

Walker not exactly thinking with his brain said “Alex I didn't see you naked. All I really saw were your breasts and they were...are.. quite... uhm I mean..." When Walker trailed off and started blushing Alex pointed to the door. Walker took the hint and left Alex's condo. Alex stared at the door while thinking to herself that even now if Walker would give her so much as a hint that he wanted her the way she wanted him she would write to Dalton in a heartbeat and tell him that Cordell Walker owned her heart. But the last few days had more than proved to her that Walker wasn't interested in her romantically. Outside in the hallway Walker decided that if it took everything inside of him he would get Alex to trust in him again. After that the future would take care of itself. Alex Cahill was staying in his life and that was all there was to it.

Chapter Six

Several days later Walker and Trivette were at their desks in Ranger headquarters when Alex came in with C.D. doing his best to help her because of the crutches that she had to use due to her broken left leg. Both Walker and Trivette quickly got up and offered Alex their chairs. Alex took Walker up on his offer because his desk was near a wall and that way nobody would be bumping into her leg. After Alex was seated C.D. asked the younger Ranger “can you take Alex home when she's ready Jimmy?" Trivette answered “I can but it might be awhile before I can do that. I told Holland that I'd meet him in his office to go over my testimony in the Esteban case. He said that it was going to take several hours to go over everything."

C.D. then said “I guess that I can stay here until after Alex meets with Delany." Walker told him “you go ahead back to your place C.D.; I'll take Alex home when she's ready to go." Wanting to get back to bar and tinker with his chili C.D. responded “are you sure Cordell?" After Walker replied that he was sure about taking Alex home C.D. left for his bar.

A short time later Trivette also left Ranger headquarters leaving Alex and Walker in an awkward silence which Alex broke by asking “so have you found out who the other man was yet?" Walker answered “no, I haven't. None of my sources knows anything. I'll keep looking into it." Alex nodded okay then reached into her briefcase and took out some papers from it. After reading over the papers Alex said to Walker “you know there is something off about what one of the other witnesses says happened in the Mallory case. The man who claims he saw Mallory pull out a gun, T.L. Jenkins."

“What do you mean Alex?" Walker asked her so Alex told him as she pointed out a paragraph in the other witness's testimony “see here where Knutsen says that Mallory pulled his gun out from under a hooded sweatshirt he was wearing?" Walker quickly got the point and said to her “Mallory didn't pull out his gun from underneath a hooded sweatshirt when he tried to rob that store. I know because I saw him come into that store with his gun already in his hand and he wasn't wearing a hooded sweatshirt but the witness Jenkins was. So were the other two customers in there."

“I’d better tell Clark about this then see is he can get a delay in the trial. If this is taken to court with this witness Jenkins either mistaken or lying about such an obvious thing the case will be tossed out." Alex replied as she picked up Walker's phone and called her boss D.A. Clark who after listening to her insisted on speaking to Walker. Since Alex couldn't easily get up from his desk Walker perched on the edge of it close to Alex and took the phone from her. As Walker was talking to Clark, Merilee came into Ranger headquarters and spotted Alex sitting at Walker's desk. She lit into Alex "how dare you use what happened to get my Cordell from me? Whatever happened to the rule that you don't go after a man who's taken?"

Walker hung up the phone then and told Merilee “you don't talk to Alex like that." Merilee protested “how do you expect me to talk to a tramp like her when she's doing everything that she can to steal you from me? Please Cordell tell her to leave you alone. You and I are together now and Cahill needs to understand that."

“Merilee we are not together. Alex and I are friends and that is never going to change." Walker answered Merilee who demanded “choose now Cordell. Me or her." Walker stated “Alex." A furious Merilee Summers left Ranger headquarters determined yet again to get Cahill. Shortly after that Delany came in and instead of going to a conference room like they normally would have Delany decided to ask Alex the questions he needed to ask her at while she was still seated at Walker's desk. After answering Delany's questions Alex gave him a copy of her signed statement. Delany thanked her and placed Alex's statement into his folder containing everything that he had collected so far in kidnapping of Summers and A.D. A. Cahill. Delany then told her “I think that we may never know what the second man on the bridge was because Thomas won't say another word to us. A.D.A Cahill I will let you know if that changes. Ranger Walker if you get anywhere with your unofficial investigation please contact me."

After Delany left Alex asked “unofficial investigation?" Walker answered her “I’m not allowed to officially investigate your kidnapping because of your ties to the Texas Rangers." Alex replied “so that's why it's unofficial. Walker even if you never find that second man it does make me feel better knowing that you're looking for him."

Merilee went into C.D.'s with tears sliding down her face causing C.D. to ask her what was wrong. Merilee answered “Cahill is using the fact that she almost died to get my Cordell away from me." C.D. said “honey I don't think that Alex would do something like that."

“Then why was she sitting at Cordell's desk at Ranger headquarters flirting with him? You should have seen how blatant Cahill was about trying to seduce Cordell and at Ranger headquarters no less. Cahill is pulling the same stunt she did the last time Cordell and I were together and that's to milk her injuries for all they are worth." Summers snapped at C.D. who told her “that’s quite enough Miss Summers. Alex didn't then nor is she now using her injuries to get Cordell away from you. Alex is a friend of mine and I won't stand by and let you talk about her like that."

Still mad Summers questioned him “if Cahill isn't trying to steal him then why did my Cordell tell me that we weren't together? And can you also tell me why when I demanded that Cordell choose between me and that tramp he choose her?" Without waiting for answer Merilee headed to the door while muttering to herself “that bitch should have dropped to her death when Knutsen only partially cut her rope."

C.D. stood there staring at the door for a long while as he went over the conversation he had just had with Summers in his mind. After going over everything that she said C.D. decided that instead of going to Cordell with what Summers had told him he would investigate the matter himself. That way if Merilee had just been running off at the mouth because she was upset she wouldn't be hurt needlessly if he found nothing wrong. But if it wasn't just a case of Merilee being upset and she had been muttering the truth he would deal with it himself.

C.D. called up Ranger headquarters and asked his former partner “Cordell have you ever heard of a fellow by the name of Knutsen?" Walker answered “Merilee has a roadie by that name; Knutsen has a minor criminal record. He was busted for being drunk and disorderly. He had the book thrown at him according to Merilee. Why?"

“How much time did he serve Cordell? Who was the prosecutor?" C.D. questioned Walker who answered “two months in the county jail. I don't know who the prosecutor was." Alex reached for the phone then and Walker gave it to her. She placed it on speaker then she told Walker's old partner “I prosecuted a Knute Knutsen for being drunk and disorderly. Clark had me offer a plea bargain to him but Knutsen rejected it. Clark then told me that since Knutsen had rejected the plea deal that I was to see to it that he served time. I did my job and while he served two months in the county jail Knutsen had been sentenced to six months to a year. I saw to it that he was placed in a first time offender's program run at the county jail. Because of that Knutsen got out in two months instead of six. At the time he was sentenced Knutsen swore to me that he would pay me back for his having served jail time but according to his probation officer's report Knutsen has toed the line since getting out of jail. Knutsen also wrote a letter addressed to the D.A.'s office that he was sorry that he had threatened me and hadn't really meant it. Knutsen's attorney used that letter to get Knutsen parole commuted. He's now a free man who doesn't have to report to a probation officer anymore. I ran into Knutsen about three months ago and he apologized to me for his actions at the time of his sentencing. As far as I know he hasn't gotten into trouble since them. C.D. do you know if Knutsen has done anything else?"

C.D. answered Alex “Not as far as I know. His name came up in a conversation and I wanted to see if Cordell had heard about him is all. Now you tell Cordell that I said he's to escort you home and make sure that you're settled in okay before he leaves." Alex laughed “I’ll tell him that but you know how Walker is about listening to me."

C.D. stated “Cordell will listen to me about seeing you home. You know how he is when it comes to your safety." Alex sadly said “I used to know how he was about my safety but now C.D. I just don't know." Alex hung up before C.D. could say another word. Walker picked up Alex's briefcase as he told her “come on lady I have to make sure that you get home okay."

Alex got up on her feet as she “Walker more than anything I want to believe that you'll always look out for me. I'm not trying to hurt you but right now I just can't do that." Walker responded “I know Alex." As Walker was assisting her into his truck Alex thought to herself 'someday in the future I hope to be able to believe in you again cowboy.'

Chapter Seven

C.D. who had quietly investigated the matter as best as he could without seeing the police reports decided in call in a favor and arranged to be shown the evidence that had been gathered so far in the A.D.A. Cahill kidnapping case. C.D. was at his bar waiting for the person he had contacted to come in with a copy of the evidence when Delany walked in with a folder. Delany then told C.D. that they needed to talk so C.D. suggested the back room. Once in it Delany closed the door as he asked “why are you investigating Miss Cahill's kidnapping too?" C.D. replied “I overheard something and I wasn't sure if what I overheard was what had happened or this person was just running off at the mouth."

Delany suggested “just tell me what you heard and I'll tell you if it could be the truth." C.D. replied “someone who at the time was very upset muttered something about how Alex should have dropped to her death when Knutsen only partially cut her rope."

Delany opened the folder checked the forensic report then asked “who was this person and exactly what did they mutter?" C.D. answered “Miss Summers. She came into here the other night upset because she thought Miss Cahill was trying to steal Cordell away from her. When I pointed out that Alex and Cordell are just friends Merilee didn't want to hear it. She accused Alex of milking her injuries to get Cordell away from her so I told her that Alex would never do such a thing. Merilee got mad and left my place while muttering and I quote 'that bitch should have dropped to her death when Knutsen only partially cut her rope.' endquote. What are you going to do now Delany? If you let Cordell know what I've told you he won't be worried about evidence leading to a conviction, he'll go after Knutsen without regard for his career."

Delany replied “the forensic report showed that the rope was only partially cut. The weight of A.D.A. Cahill caused it to part the rest of the way. You know C.D. if Summers hadn't slowed Ranger Walker down that day he might have gotten to A.D.A. Cahill in time to prevent her from falling from that bridge. So what I am going to do for now C.D. is to try and find out if I can place Knutsen at that bridge. If I can I'll arrest him then see if he has anything to say about how deeply Miss Summers was involved in her and A.D.A. Cahill's kidnapping. Thomas is still not saying who the other man was that day. Without him saying anything I doubt if I will ever be able to prove that Summers had a hand in her own kidnapping. In the meantime please stay out of it because if you don't Ranger Walker will know something is up." C.D. responded “I’ll let it go just as long as you let me know if you ever get evidence against either one of them." Delany agreed to that.

Delany was never able to tie Knutsen to Dead Man's Drop bridge and the kidnapping of A.D.A. Cahill and Miss Summers. C.D. who had begun to realize that there might never be proof against Summers thought about what he should do with what he knew. One evening Alex was sitting in the booth that she used to sit in with Cordell and Jimmy when a drunk started bothering her for a dance and wouldn't take no for an answer. Seeing Walker come into the door Alex loudly told the drunk “I told you that I was waiting to dance with Ranger Walker. Now please just leave me alone. I'm not interested in dancing with anyone but him."

Walker quickly moved to Alex's side as the drunk tried grabbing her around the waist to force her to dance with him anyhow. Walker knocked the drunk on his backside then drew Alex near him as he stated “the lady said that she wasn't interested in dancing with you. Get lost before I lose my temper." The drunk backed away while muttering that he would just wait until the cowboy left then he would dance with the lady whether or not she wanted to dance with him.

As Walker went to go after the drunk Alex placed her hand on his arm as she told him “Cowboy they're playing our song." Walker pulled Alex onto the small dance area. After the song had ended Alex thanked Walker “thanks for dancing with me Walker. I couldn't think of any other way to get him to stop bothering without having to call the cops. After the day that I had the last thing that I need is do is to have to fill out a police report." Walker already knew all about the day Alex had had because Madge who worked in the D.A.'s office told him that Alex had been raked over the coals by D.A. Clark when a criminal named Malkan hadn't been convicted on all the charges against him. Then to top that off the same criminal who had threatened Alex's life in front of the presiding judge who then allowed the defendant to remain free on bail. Walker had come to C.D.'s looking for Alex so that he could set up her protection with her. Leading Alex back to the booth she had been sitting in Walker told her “I’m going to make sure that you're protected from Malkan as long as I have to. You have my word."

Alex wanting to believe Walker but still not sure that she could trust him with her life nodded okay and changed the subject to the upcoming trial Walker was a witness in. The one in which a witness named Jenkins had lied about the defendant Mallory having worn a hooded sweatshirt the day he had committed the robbery.[It turned out that Jenkins was a cousin of Mallory's and was hoping to get him off at trial by lying. Jenkins was now up on perjury charges.]

Several days later as Alex was leaving the courthouse she was confronted by Merilee Summers who yet again accused Alex of trying to steal her Cordell from her. Alex tried her best to ignore Summers but it wasn't easy as Summers grabbed Alex's arm forcing her to stop on the courthouse steps. [Walker had been delayed in following Alex from the courthouse because of a woman who had demanded that he take her to Ranger headquarters to file a complaint.] Walker arrived on the scene as Alex again told Summers that she wasn't interested in stealing Walker from anyone. This made Summers mad and she angrily called Alex several nasty names. Walker stepped in then and told her "another word from you about A.D.A. Cahill and I will arrest you for disturbing the peace Miss Summers."

Merilee yelled at him “I’m disturbing the peace? How can you treat me this way Cordell? After everything we've been through. I almost died because someone wanted to teach Cahill a lesson." Walker didn't answer her and turned instead to face Alex. Summers at that point saw a man pull a gun and aim it at Alex. Merilee then said as she grabbed Walker's arm “Oh my God Cordell, he's got a gun. Protect me from him."

Walker quickly freed his arm and shoved Alex to the ground then he whirled around to see where the danger was coming from. In a split second Walker saw that a man was aiming a handgun at Alex so he shot him in the hand holding the gun. Walker went over to the man kicked his gun away as he told him “stay down unless you want the next one between your eyes." The man who turned out to be Malkan stayed down and was taken away by the police. Trivette who heard what had happened quickly went to the courthouse steps and offered to see Alex to her condo but Walker stated “Alex is riding Cookie at the ranch tonight while I ride Amigo."

Merilee objected “why do you keep letting Cahill use what happens to her to get you running to her side? Don't you know by now what she's up to?" Walker replied “Alex is up to nothing. I've told you before we're friends and it's going to stay that way. Let's go Alex."

“You leave here with Cahill and we're through Cordell. Got that?" A very irate Summers told Walker who told her as he placed an arm around Alex's shoulder “I will be riding with Alex. Come on lady." Walker then led Alex to his truck leaving a speechless Merilee Summers just standing there. Trivette went back to Ranger headquarters thinking to himself that maybe his partner was finally coming to his senses. Now all he had to do was to get Alex to think twice about waiting for Reed to return for her. After the pair were seated in Walker's truck Alex said to him “thank you friend." Walker replied “you’re welcomed friend." As they were riding their horses Alex thought to herself that she was glad that she could trust Cordell Walker to protect her again.

Merilee ran straight to C.D.'s where she bitterly told him about that tramp Cahill trying to steal Walker away from her, yet again. Seeing how upset Merilee was C.D. encouraged her to talk some more during which she let something slip that that made C.D. well aware of the fact that Summers would also try to cause Alex problems as long as she was a part of Cordell's life. C.D. then led Merilee into his back room where he informed her that he knew she had been involved in her and Alex's kidnapping and that Knutsen had also been a part of it too. At first Merilee tried to bluff it out but when it became apparent that C.D. wasn't buying it Merilee told him “you’ll never be able to prove it."

C.D. replied “I don't have to prove it all I have to do is to tell Cordell what I know and he'll never rest until he gets you and Knutsen for it." Knowing that she was caught Merilee asked C.D.  “What do you want?"

“What I want Miss Summers is for you to leave Alex and Cordell alone. You give me your word that you won't try to hurt Alex again and I'll keep my mouth shut about what I suspect. If you ever go after Alex again I will tell Cordell everything I think happened. You know that he will believe me and he will not rest until he sees you in jail." C.D. answered Summers who snapped “fine, have it your way. Besides I was getting a little tired of Cordell anyhow." Merilee left C.D.'s as she thought to herself ‘once you die old man nothing will stop me from paying Cahill back, over and over again.'

After Walker had saved Alex's life and they rode their horses at Walker's ranch that evening Alex and Walker resumed their friendship getting back to where they had been before the white water rafting trip had come up. With Alex's birthday coming up Walker decided that he, Trivette and C.D. were going to give Alex a surprise birthday party even though she had made it very clear that she didn't want one. When they knocked on her door Alex opened it wearing a robe with a facial masque on her face. After wiping off the masque and getting dressed Alex went into the living room where C.D. and Trivette gave her her birthday presents. Since Alex had decided that Walker was in charge of doing the dishes the other two men left her condo. Alex asked Walker what was on his mind and he told her that he was wondering if she would let him kiss her again. Walker then kissed Alex without waiting for an answer and they ended up making love on the living room floor. Walker thinking he had taken advantage of Alex apologized and she told him to get dressed and get out because she didn't want a man in her place who was ashamed of having been with her.  After getting dressed Walker paused outside of Alex's bedroom door where he heard her crying so he went into her bedroom where they talked things over and they made love again. The next morning Alex woke up and thinking that Walker was still asleep said “I love you Walker." Alex then left her bedroom and Walker got up from the bed and got dressed knowing that he could have a future with Alex. Right then Walker vowed to himself that he was going see to it that he and Alex never parted ways again. After they ate breakfast Walker borrowed Alex's car so that he could go take care of a few things. After Walker left Alex wrote Dalton a letter in which she told him that Walker owned her heart and that Walker was the man for her. Walker got everything done that he needed done except for one thing so he went into a drug store and was surprised by the variety of an item that he had been looking to buy. Not sure what kind Alex would prefer Walker bought several different kinds of them.

At Walker's ranch he and Alex both agreed to date only each other then Walker asked her "Uhm Alex...What kind do you like?" Alex having no idea what he was talking about replied “what kind of what do I like?" When Walker mumbled something about condoms Alex was shocked but then she told him that she was on birth control. Walker was glad about that because he had never liked wearing condoms anyhow. As they lay in each other arm's after making love both Alex and Walker knew that Uncle Ray had been right about their true destiny. They also both knew that no matter what happened in the future that they would spend the rest of their lives as a couple. That they would in time marry and have children giving Walker a family at long last.