Ok, here you go. I hope your over 18 or 21, which ever is legal age. This

is an adult story! Let me know if you like it.-Sheila                                                                                                                                                                         

The Vacation      

 

The Sun poured it's golden glow across the ranch as Walker and Trivette loaded the last of the suitcases into C.D.'s jeep.

"My Lord Alex, I think half of these are yours? How did you even fit them all in your car?" Walker said as Alex came out of the house with the sack lunches she had been preparing for the long drive ahead of them.

"Oh please Walker, only 2 of those bags are mine. Jimmy's the one that brought everything but the kitchen sink."

"Hey now, I only packed what I thought I would need." Replied Jimmy in his own defense.

"And just what do you need all this computer junk for?" Walker asked.

"Alright you three, lets just get a move on or we'll never get to Jose's ranch" C.D. quipped from behind the wheel of the jeep.

"You said be here at 4:00 a.m. and we'd leave at 5:00. Well here it is 6:30 and we're still sitting here" said C.D.

"Ok... Ok" Walker said as everyone climbed in and got situated.

 

As they headed out the drive Trivette tried to put the blame on Alex. "Well you know it took Alex an hour to get our lunches ready." "Hey"... Alex said, "Just for that maybe I won't give you yours". The teasing and nit-picking went on for awhile until everyone blamed everyone else, including poor Amigo for requiring some of Walkers extra attention before leaving.

 

Alex closed her eyes, resting her head on Walkers shoulder and decided to get some much-needed rest. Although she was looking forward to spending a couple of days with her best friends at an old friends' of Walkers ranch, she hated having to get out of bed before the sun was up. And since they were all supposed to be there at 4:00 she had gotten up at 3:00.

 

Trivette, growing tired of the silence asked Walker about the ranch they were headed to. "Well Jose and I first met on the reservation when we were boys. His father was a good friend of Sam Coyote. Sam and I used to go down to the ranch for a few weeks out of the summer every year. We haven't seen each other in about 2 years but we've always stayed in touch. Believe it or not I was the best man at his wedding 15 years ago."

"Ya know Cordell... I had forgotten all about that. You should've seen him Jimmy, The first time Walker ever wore a monkey suit. He was as grouchy as an old bear just after hibernating." C.D. went on and on while Jimmy started laughing.

At least Alex wasn't awake to hear the story Walker thought as her head bobbed down slightly, he put his arm around her to make her more comfortable.

"Anyway...Walker went on...Jose took over the ranch about 6 years ago when his Dad passed on. He and Anna have been begging me to come down forever.

They're really looking forward to meeting all of you. Walker smiled down at Alex's head and looked back to Trivette, exchanging a knowing little smile.

Anyway they have 3 kids, the oldest is 7 and the youngest is about 6 months I guess."          

 

They were finally approaching the gates that led to Jose's ranch. It had been a long 6-hour drive but Walker knew it would be worth it. He was anxious for his old friends and new to meet each other. C.D. had met Jose a couple of years back. There was nothing better than spending time with true friends.

 

As they neared the main house Walker could see Jose and Anna waiting outside. As they pulled up and everyone stepped out, stretching their legs, Jose and Walker shook hands and then hugged, realizing just how long it had been. Anna pushed her husband out of the way wrapping her arms around Cordell for a hug while juggling her baby girl on her hip.

 

"It has been too long Cordell" she was saying when 2 boys came roaring around the corner.

"Uncle Cordell you're finally here!"

They tackled Walker as Alex, C.D., and Trivette just laughed as he struggled to stand up with the 2 boys in his arms.

 

Walker stood up to make the introductions but Jose stopped him. "Please Walker, C.D. and I already know each other and I'm sure this is Trivette", he said shaking hands.

"And without a doubt this is the wonderful woman Alex I hear about every time Walker and I talk" as he bent to kiss her hand he looked sideways at Walker..."Boy you weren't lying"...Alex blushed wondering what that meant.

 

Anna stepped up and took Alex's hand out of her husbands.

"Ignore him Alex." she said, giving Alex a friendly hug. The baby squealed being squished between the 2 women.

Alex liked Anna right away. Walker was right, just by looking at her you could tell she was a wonderful kind hearted woman.

"Let's go in and get to know each other while the men bring the bags in", Anna said to Alex as she led her up the steps into the house.

 

The older of the two boys ran in behind them...

"Are you going to marry our Uncle Cordell and be our Aunt?" Alex’s jaw dropped to the floor and her face turned red.

"Jose Jr...get your fanny outside and help your father bring the bags in!"

Anna yelled, playfully tapping the boy on the back of the head as he turned and went back outside.

"Sorry about that" Anna said "Would you like some iced tea?"

"That would be great" Alex replied.

"Can I give you a hand?"

"Here, why don't you take the baby and I'll get some for everyone." Alex played with the baby while Anna got the tea ready.

"Anna honey, did you ever decide on the sleeping arrangements." Jose asked as the men came into the kitchen.

"Um.. Well, since the ranch hands are off taking care of their business the 2 guest pads are empty, it's just a matter of who goes where." She said looking first at Cordell then Alex.

Alex pretended not to hear, bussing herself with the baby.

Walker quickly stammered that he, C.D, and Trivette would take one and Alex

could have the other.

"O.k." Anna said enjoying seeing her husband's friend blush.

It wasn't a side that Anna had seen of Walker very often. She secretly hoped that by the time their visit was over the sleeping arrangements would change. Cordell was like a brother to her, and if everything her husband had told her over the years was true, Cordell and Alex were a match made in heaven.

 

Walker anxious to change the subject said "Jose the ranch looks great, I can't wait to ride out and have a good look around."

"Yeah it's really come along way in the last six years. Our ranch hands had to take care of some personal business so I could use your help rounding up some of the heard, I need to move them to the pasture closer to the ranch.

There's been some cattle rustling at some of the other ranches, better to be safe than sorry." Jose said.

 

Trivette ready to jump in to any new adventure said, "Great, count me in.

Let's go round up those herd." Jose smiled at Walker, "He is a might green, ain't he?" Jose said.

"Don't worry Trivette, I'm just giving you a hard time.  Bringing the herd in will be an all day job. Maybe tomorrow or the next day."

"Oh." Was all Trivette could say feeling embarrassed.

"Buck up Jimmy, that means we have time to go hunting for some snipe."

"Don't even pull that on me again Big Dog." Jimmy yelled.

 

"That was a wonderful dinner." Walker told Anna.

"Thanks Cordell, but actually C.D. did most of it. I never knew there was a man out there that knew his way around a kitchen like you do C.D."

"Well thank you very much m'am, now you just sit back and relax and Jimmy and I will take care of the cleaning up." Trivette looked up knowing that he'd get the lion's share of this job.

 

Anna didn't even think twice but took the opportunity to grab her husband and say "how about some help putting these kids of yours to bed?"

"Sure thing." Jose said getting up from his chair and rounding the kids upstairs.

 

Walker took Alex's hand and led her to the porch outside.

He had a feeling Anna and Jose would be pushing them together at every chance they got, and that suited him just fine.

"What's that sly little smile for." Alex said squeezing his hand.

"Do I have to have a reason to smile." He said pulling her close to him.

 

It always amazed him how just the sight or the sound of her voice made his heart skip a beat.

"I'm really glad you could get the time off for this trip." Walker said.

"Are you kidding, I wouldn't miss spending time alone with my favorite cowboy if my life depended on it." She said as Walker cupped her jaw in his hand and tenderly placed a kiss on her lips.

 

Walker had only intended it to be a small kiss, but more and more lately when he got close to her in this way, his mind just quit thinking and his body and heart took over.

Walker deepened the kiss and Alex gave freely, reveling in the feel of his arms wrapped around her and his body pressed tightly against hers. As much as she hated to she knew this wasn't the time or place for this as she broke off the kiss.

 

Alex stood there in his arms while both of them got their breathing under control. Finally Walker pulled away a bit and said

"How does a picnic sound for tomorrow? Unless Jose wants to round up the cattle, we could do it the day after."

"Sounds like heaven to me." Alex said winking at him, knowing that he was feeling embarrassed at being so bold with her where anyone could see.

 

The sounds of laughter wafted out the front door attracting their attention. As they walked back through the house they could see what the laughter was about. There stood Jimmy, shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbow, the front of his shirt soaking wet and C.D. sitting there with a devilish grin on his face. All Walker could say was "I don't even want to know."

 

Alex stifled her laughter, when Anna walked in hands on hips exclaimed, "You two are worse than my own kids." Jose just laughed "are they always like this?" he asked.

 

The five of them finally all sat down in the den with some coffee. Old friends catching up on old times and new friends getting to know each other.

 

When Jose and Anna finally settled into bed after making sure their guests were comfortable Anna said, "We need to make sure those two have some quality time alone."

"I suspect they will...Walker said something about taking her for a picnic."

 

The next morning was a busy one. The men were gone by sun up, going out to round up the herd. C.D. had decided to check out a fishing hole Jose had told him about. Alex was amazed at seeing first hand the efficient way Anna ran her household.

All the children had chores.

Between the chores, breakfast, and cleaning up from breakfast Alex was ready to plop down on the couch.

"My sentiments exactly." Said Anna coming into the room with two cups of hot tea.

"I don't know how you manage without help." Alex said smiling at her new friend.

"Well...after awhile it becomes routine. I couldn't image doing what you do." Said Anna.

 

A comfortable silence fell over the two women as the two boys went out to play, and the baby napped in her playpen. Anna spied Alex starring at her daughter longingly. She knew that look in Alex's eyes.

 

"So Alex are you hoping to have children some day?" Alex smiled...

"Someday, it would be nice, actually I've often thought about adopting. I know there's a special bond of having a child of your own but there are so many kids out there that need love and a good home. I must admit though I think my biological clock is beginning to tick."

 

The rest of the day went by smoothly. Playing with the children, attending to more chores and what not. Anna knew the men would be getting back before long and it was about time to start getting dinner ready. Anna suggested that Alex take a walk, telling her that if she followed the path around back down about a mile there was a beautiful natural hot spring and perhaps Alex would like to take a quick dip.

 

"Oh, I didn't think about bringing a swimsuit." Said Alex.

"That's the beauty of it." Anna replied.

Alexs' jaw dropped as Anna handed her a towel and walked her out the door.

Alex thought..."what the heck...it would be very relaxing."

 

Jose was not a happy man, and who could blame him. It appeared he was too late in moving his herd closer to the ranch...25 head of his cattle were gone.

 

After riding out for nearly an hour Walker found the tracks he was sure he'd find that showed a truck trailer and three horses left by the rustlers.

 

Walker and Trivette's Ranger instincts automatically kicked in, promising to help Jose in any way they could to find out who was behind this.

 

As they finally rode back in sight of the ranch Jose's temper settled down..."I guess it could've been a lot worse" he figured. They unsaddled the horses just as C.D. drove up in his jeep...he stepped out with a huge grin on his face and exclaimed  "my goodness Jose, that little ole lake you sent to was a gold mine." As he opened the back and pulled his catches from the cooler.

 

The men wondered in the house and couldn't help but groan at the wonderful smell coming from the kitchen. He knew his wife would be upset at the loss of cattle and decided not to tell her just yet. "Dinner smells wonderful my dear." Jose said placing a kiss on her cheek.

"Well you guys are just in time. You can all get cleaned up while I finish.

Oh...Walker...Alex took a little walk down the path behind the house, think you could round her up for me?"

"Sure thing." Cordell said smiling and walking out the back door.

 

Jose saw the devilish grin on Anna's face. "What in the world are you up to woman?" Jose asked.

 

Walker couldn't wait for the picnic tomorrow...there was something very important he wanted to discuss with Alex.

"Maybe we'll make it a little camping trip" he thought to himself as he walked down the path.

 

After about 10 minutes, Walker was wondering where the heck she could've gotten to when suddenly to the right of him he saw a flash of movement and started to walk over.

 

Walker stopped in his tracks at what he saw.  He tried to make himself turn away but his body was frozen.  He wasn't exactly proud of himself...he had never spied on anyone except for criminals, but he just couldn't help himself.

 

There was Alex just stepping out of the hot spring toweling herself off. She turned around with the towel wrapped around her aware that someone was watching her.

 

She had heard the footsteps and figured it was Anna. She had stayed in there longer than she had intended to. 

 

Her jaw dropped and she gave a little yell when she turned and saw Walker starring at her.

"Cordell Walker!" she yelled "you're a peeping tom...I can not believe you...you dirty rotten"...she let the words trail off not being able to come up with the right ones.

 

Walker held his hands up "Guilty as charged." He was so embarrassed he didn't know what else to say.

Alex could see the look of appreciation in his eyes...there was something else there too and she really wasn't all that mad...Mostly just embarrassed.

 

"Well could you at least turn around so I can get dressed?" Alex said with exasperation.

"Oh...Uh...yeah...I'm sorry Alex. I don't know what to say. Anna sent to come and look for you...she said you were just taking a walk.

 

Alex couldn't help but smile...she knew a set up when she saw one. With her clothes and shoes back on she walked around the bushes beside Walker.

"Ok, we can go now." She said.

 

"Alex really, I don't know why I...I just...I....Oh hell...I don't know what I'm trying to say." Walker stammered.

 

Alex finally let him off the hook.

"It's o.k. Walker." She looked him in the eye and winked.

"Maybe next time you can join me." She said in a low voice.

 

Walker was reaching out to pull her to him but she spun on her heel saying something about keeping Anna and the others waiting.

 

Alex saw the look of surprise on Anna's face as they walked through the door.

"Oh...you're back." Anna really hadn't expected them back so soon. "Well good, dinner is on the table." She said to them.

 

Dinner was as chaotic as ever, and Anna was upset when Jose told her about the loss of part of their herd. She felt somewhat better though when Jimmy told her that he and C.D. would go into town and see what they could find out from the local authorities and the other ranchers.

 

Walker said he would join them also, momentarily forgetting about the picnic. Jimmy laughed, "Yeah right Pard, Alex would tear me apart if I let you go."

 

The rest of the evening passed at a leisurely pace. Walker took the two boys outside to show them some basic self-defense moves until Anna finally called out that it was the boy's bedtime. They grumbled and groaned until Walker promised to give them another lesson. Jose came out then to talk with Walker, and Jimmy and C.D. joined them. The four men sat around discussing the cattle rustling.

"If I get my hands on the guys doing this…" Jose said letting the sentence trail off.

"Well at least so far they seem to be a small operation." Walker said to comfort his friend.

 

With the aid of his computer and the tire tracks that they had found Trivette could at least narrow down the tires on the truck and trailer.  There had only been three sets of footprints so hopefully Walker was right about it being a small operation.

 

Alex came out saying her goodnights as she started off toward her cabin.

"I'll walk you down." Walker said leaving his three friends smiling after him.

 

Once they were out of ear shot Jose asked "So how long have those two been

in love and not known it."

"That my friend is a long story." Said C.D.

"Let's get some coffee and we'll tell you all about it.

 

As Walker and Alex walked away Walker sensed the men were talking about

him. "Oh well," he smiled, "let them eat their hearts out."

 

Ever since that afternoon he hadn't been able to get the image of Alex stepping out of the hot spring out of his mind.   They walked in silence to her cabin.

Walker not really knowing what to say and Alex getting a kick out of him beating himself up over it.

 

Alex decided to talk about something safe and asked  "So where are we going on this picnic tomorrow?"

Walker glad to have something to talk about said. "There's a beautiful grassy valley with a shallow little lake about 20 mile to the east of the ranch. Jose and I used to camp there when we were kids.

 

"Well Anna insisted on packing the lunch." Said Alex.

"I told her I could handle it but I think she has something up her sleeve."

 

"Yeah that sounds like Anna." Walker said smiling.

"Your mind seems a million miles away Walker, what are you thinking about?"

Walker looked at her with desire in his eyes.

"About this afternoon." Walker replied pulling Alex close to him. It was Alex's turn to be feeling awkward as Walker told her how beautiful he thought she was.

Finally Walker leaned in for a goodnight kiss.

Much too soon for Alex, he pulled away leaving her standing at her door.  She didn't realize it until Walker turned away but she had been holding her breath.

 

Alex hadn't meant to sleep in but by the time she walked into the main house it was after 10:00 am.

C.D.'s jeep was already gone and she had seen Walker saddling up the horses.

She went into the kitchen hearing Anna in there humming to herself.

"Good morning Anna." Alex said.

Anna turned around a smile on her face.

"Good morning to you, now you just turn around and let me finish packing up

the food."

Anna said ushering Alex back out of the kitchen.

 

Alex tried to convince her to let her help but to no avail.

"You just go and pack up a change of clothes for the picnic." Anna said,

"Walker is packing some of the camping gear so you may want to bring your

night gown too."

Anna smiled and stifled a giggle. "Or maybe just a change of clothes."

Alex was shocked at her boldness and didn't know quite what to say, so she

just followed orders and went back to the cabin.

By the time Alex had thrown something's into a bag Walker was knocking at

her door.

"Ready to go." He said.

"What no good morning." Alex asked smiling.

"Are you kidding, it's almost midday!" he bantered back taking her bag and strapping it to the packhorse.

"Shouldn't we go in and say goodbye." Alex asked.

"Already did, and we should have enough food to last a week. Walker said referring to what Anna had packed.

They mounted their horses and rode out.

They didn't talk much on the ride out; just being together out in the beautiful countryside seemed to be enough.

As they rode up over a grassy hill Alex couldn't believe what she saw. The little lake was beautiful, surrounded by beautiful wild flowers. There was a tent pitched just off to the left.

"Oh Walker it's beautiful. When did you set the tent up?"

"Earlier this morning, while you were playing sleeping beauty." He said.

"It is beautiful, isn't it, the perfect place." Walker said.

"The perfect place for what?" Alex said.

 

Walker realized the slip and chose to ignore her question. It was obvious to Alex that this was more than just a picnic, and she wondered what exactly Walker had planned.

 

By the time everything was unpacked, Alex was famished. She sat down on the

blanket Walker had spread on the grass inspecting the picnic basket. She pulled out the sandwiches, crackers and drinks, spying the strawberries and champagne. Walker sat down with her closing the picnic basket.

 

After eating and cleaning up Walker stretched out on the blanket pulling Alex down with him.

"That was a great lunch." He said, and Alex agreed. She still couldn't figure him out. Not that she minded his attentiveness, it just wasn't like Walker.

 

Feeling very content wrapped in his arms Alex closed her eyes intending to take a little nap, thinking Walker was doing the same. Feeling as though she was being watched though she opened her eyes to find Walker starring at her.

"Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?" He said brushing a strand of hair away from her face. Alex was speechless; he definitely has something on his mind she thought.

 

"I've gone over the words in my head a thousand times Alex, I want you to know how much you mean to me. For a long time I've fought this thing between us, but it's just too big to fight anymore. When you're with me I'm the happiest man in the world. And when you go home, all I can think about is how much I wish you had stayed."

 

He sat up then pulling Alex up with him, so they sat face to face and knee to knee.

 

He fumbled around in his pocket and then went on.  "I guess what I'm trying to say is...Alexandra Cahill...will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

 

Alex's eyes were wide with astonishment as Walker held a ring out in his hands...it was a beautiful gold band with small sapphires and diamonds inlayed around it.

Alex starred at the ring in his hand, shocked beyond words.

"I know it's not a big diamond or anything, it was my mothers. My father

gave it to her on their 10th anniversary, just before they were killed. I can get you something with bigger diamonds if you want...or anything else you want Alex...If you'll accept my proposal.

 

Walker was getting nervous...she hadn't said a word. She was just sitting there starring at the ring.

"Damn...Walker thought...I should've listened to Trivette and gotten her a big solitaire.

 

Alex finally looked up at him with tears rolling down her cheeks. She had dreamed of this day for so long. Walker sighed with relief when he saw that they were tears of happiness.

"Yes, I will marry you Cordell Walker. And I love you too, so much." He slipped the ring on her finger and pulled her to his lap, bringing his mouth to hers in a rush of emotion.

 

The kiss deepened as they both caught fire realizing that this time they didn't have to hold back. There was no reason why they couldn't give their bodies to each other as they had just given their hearts.

 

Alex whispered..."Show me Cordell...make love to me."

Needing no further encouragement Walker lifted Alex up in his arms and carried her to the tent.

 

"C.D...this isn't going anywhere." Jimmy said climbing back into the jeep.

"What d'ya mean Jimmy? Surely the sheriff had some information."

"No more than what we already know Big Dog. He did give me some names and

addresses of some of the other ranchers in the area...we'll head out and talk to them."

"Sounds good to me...hey...how do ya think it's going for Walker?" C.D. asked with a big grin on his face.

Jimmy laughed, "Are you kidding, lets just hope he's gotten the guts up to ask her. You know she's going to kill us when she finds out we knew the whole time."

 

When Jimmy and C.D. returned to the ranch it was nearly dark. Jose greeted them outside, anxious to hear what they had found out.  "Well, as best as we can figure Jose it's two men heading the operation." Jimmy said.

"They've hit just about every ranch in the county, your neighbor to the left actually was able to give us a description of the truck and trailer.  He was a lot of help, even got 2 letters off of the license; he saw them just as they were heading out with his cattle. The sheriff is going to give me a call with the exact dates and all the other stats a little later."

Jimmy said.

"Don't you worry Jose, you've got us Rangers working on it now. We'll get

it figured out." C.D. said.

"Well, I appreciate all you guys can do." Jose said.

Jimmy smiled, "So have you seen anything out of Walker or Alex since they left?" He asked.

The three men smiled and laughed.

"Hell no, and we'd better not see them until tomorrow sometime. And remember Anna was kept as in the dark as Alex about all this." Jose said.

 

Walker carried Alex through the flap of the tent and put her on her feet, pulling her closer. Every muscle in his body strained to get closer to her.  There was no hesitation for either one of them. Walker's hands gently caressed Alex's back as his lips memorized the feel of her skin. He ran his lips down her neck to her shoulder, he couldn't get enough of her.   Alex trembled realizing that her every dream was coming true. She drew her hands slowly up his chest pulling his shirt out of his pants and began

unbuttoning the front. Walker quickly discarded it and began to fumble with the buttons of Alex's shirt...it fell open when the last button was released, exposing her lacy bra and bare mid drift. Walker quickly undid the snap on her jeans and knelt down to slide them off her hips, slowly and sensuously kissing each inch of exposed flesh.  As he rose Alex reached for the buckle on Walker's belt. The feel of her fingertips gently brushing below his naval sent shock waves through him. He helped her discard his boots and jeans. Alex was pleasantly surprised to see that Walker wasn't a briefs or boxers man. She looked down and back up smiling seductively at him.  Walker quickly pulled her to him again...finding the clasp on her bra and letting it fall away, exposing her breasts for his discovery. A soft moan escaped Alex's lips as Walker planted soft kisses over and between her breasts. Feeling like she couldn't take much more Alex's hands found his

manhood, gently massaging and gripping him. He discarded her last piece of clothing and pulled her down to lay next to him.  Whispering words of love Walker gathered Alex to him. He wanted to slow things down a bit.  They had both waited so long for this moment; he wanted it to last. Alex let him take the lead, letting him slowly explore her body. There wasn't anywhere his lips and hands hadn't touched. Alex was amazed at how gentle he could be. She had seen the power this man could emit and yet he was

making her feel like a priceless gift that he was slowly and tenderly unwrapping. She was also anxious to explore her lover's body. And what a body it was she thought to herself. She ran her hands down his strong shoulders, down his back and gripped his firm buttocks in her hands. Alex's hands caressed Walker’s body, finding every scar and tenderly kissed each one. It was driving Walker to the brink of ecstasy, FAST! Finally their lips met again and Walker entered her in a moment of sheer pleasure. Walker

and Alex were lost in a world of their own. Time seemed to be suspended and the world outside was shut out. All that mattered was this moment. They were both completely in tune to each others bodies...both trying to delay the inevitable, waiting till the other was ready.  At the same instant the both reached their orgasm, spiraling over the edge

together locked in each other's arm.

 

They lay silent for a long time, just holding each other while they recovered. It was impossible for Walker to put into words what he was feeling but he knew he had to try.

"Alex, I just want you to know that you are the only women I will ever love. I want to hold you every night in my arms and never let you go. I wish I could express everything I'm feeling right now, but I just can't find the right words."

Alex turned and looked up at him, the love shinning in her eyes.  "I know what you mean, Walker, I love you more than I ever thought possible. I mean I never knew that love could be this strong. And I am really looking forward to you holding me every night, I've dreamed of this for so long, I can't believe that I am really laying in your arms."

"Well...you'd better believe it lady." Walker smiled devilishly..." And that was just the beginning." He said pulling her to him again. By the time they came out of the tent again it was close to midnight, and that was only to raid the cooler for the strawberries and champagne.

 

"Well, Jose, Anna, we had a real nice evening." C.D. was saying as he tapped Jimmy on the shoulder motioning for them to give their hosts some time to themselves.

"You really don't have to run off." Jose said.  "Besides, I wanted to talk to Jimmy about what all the sheriff said when he called." Jimmy looked up from his laptop again.

"Give me a few more seconds and I think I'll have everything Jose." Anna rose saying her goodnights to let the men go over everything.

 

As far as she figured, the cattle were gone and hopes of catching anyone were about nil.

 

Jimmy printed all the information and spread it out on the table in front of the two men.

"Well here's what we've got. The first rustling took place April 19, since then four other ranches have been hit at almost exactly a three-week span. It's two guys for sure with a third helping out on occasion; they're driving a late model GMC dually pick-up with the trailer. They were spotted by two of the ranchers as they headed out. Now these are all the exact dates, they should be getting ready to hit again in about two weeks. I suggest we set up a sting with the local law enforcement." 

Jose looked amazed. "I can't believe that you've figured all that out, I would love to catch these guys, but how will we know where there going to hit next?"

"Well that's the tricky part Jose." Jimmy said. "But not too tricky, there are three ranches with a sizable heard that haven't been hit yet, it's just a matter of picking the right one."

Jose looked troubled as he was going over the paper work.

"What's the matter?" C.D. asked.

"It's these dates, something about them seem familiar to me."

The guys talked some more before heading off to bed but Jose still couldn't figure out why the dates seemed so familiar.

 

Sometime during the night something awoke Jose from his sleep. His wife heard it too. "What in the world is going on out there?" Jose got dressed and headed out side finding Trivette and C.D. on their way up to the main house from the cabins.

"What in the world are the cows making all that racket for." C.D. asked approaching Jose.

"I don't know but we'd better go find out."

"Jose, why don't you wait here and Big Dog and I will go check it out.

Something tells me the rustlers have veered off of their schedule."

"Well if you're right Jimmy there's no way your going to keep me away."

Jose grabbed his rifle from the barn, and C.D. and Trivette grabbed their pistols from the jeep.

"Lets go see what's going on." Jose said as they mounted and rode out, stopping just to tell Anna what they suspected. Anna went back in the house hoping that they were wrong.

 

Something just didn't seem right...Walker fought against the urge to wake up. He had never been so comfortable in his life. Alex was wrapped in his arms under the sleeping bag, the cool night air drifting over them since they had moved outside the tent to sleep under the stars. There it was again; it was unmistakable this time. Although it was very faint it was defiantly the sound of gunfire. Walker sat up suddenly to see if he could

tell what direction it was coming from.

 

Alex awoke as the cool night air drifted over her; she looked up to Walker and at the same instant heard the faint noise of gunfire. She sat up startled.

"What was that Walker?"

"Sounds like trouble, we'd better get back to the ranch."

In a few seconds they were both dressed and riding out in the direction of the ranch.

 

Alex couldn't help but be disappointed at the interruption to their night.  As they came closer Walker slowed the horses, telling Alex to go around the West Side and straight to the house. Walker headed out in the direction the gunfire was coming. Alex did just as she was told. As she dismounted and quickly headed up the stairs the front door opened and Anna stepped out.

"Alex, what is going on?"

Alex hugged the women as they stepped back through the door.

"I don't know, Walker and I were asleep and we heard gun fire, so we came right back."

 

Anna explained everything that she knew but Alex could see that she was very worried.

"I know it's hard, but try not to worry."

"I don't know how you do this Alex, it would drive me insane knowing that everyday Jose could possibly get hurt or even killed."

"Well...let's just say in the name of love you learn to put up with the bad so you can have the good."

 

As Alex said that she held up her left hand, showing Anna the ring that Walker had slipped on her finger. Anna screamed, momentarily forgetting her sleeping children and her worries for her husband. The women talked and made coffee hoping that the men would be back soon.

 

Walker rode up and dismounted just before the rise of the pasture where they had moved the heard. He could see a trailer already loaded with some of the livestock. He could also see two men crouched down in front of the truck. On instinct he made a birdcall he had learned as a boy. He was relieved when Jose answered it back.   Jimmy, C.D. and Jose fired again giving Walker the chance to sneak around the side of the truck. With one quick kick the two men went sprawling forward, guns flying. They were quick though and were on their feet in a matter of seconds. Walker put his gun away knowing that he could easily take these two with out much effort. They came after Walker and again in one fail swoop he sent them both flying backwards. Trivette had to duck coming around the front of the truck to keep from getting hit by one of the flying bodies.

"Hey Pard, you're supposed to be camping, we could've handled this." Trivette said.

Walker smiled, "Yeah, until you ran out of ammo, then what."

The two argued until Jose came around the truck. All of a sudden Jose came unglued, charging at the two men lying on the ground he started shouting... "You worthless piece of scum, how the hell could you do this?" Walker and Trivette each grabbed on of Jose's arms.

C.D. walked up to see what he was yelling about. "You know these guys Jose?"

He asked.

"Yeah, I know these two, at least I thought I did. They've been my ranch hands for almost a year. That's what was bugging me about all those dates.  I didn't put it together until now, but they were gone every time someone's ranch got hit. They always said they were going down to visit some family."  Jose was disgusted; he knew Anna would be just as upset.

 

The four men started back to the ranch with their baggage in toe. They could hear the sirens and figured Anna must have called the sheriff. When Anna saw her husband she ran to him, running her hands over him to make sure he was all in one piece.

 

The sheriff took the men in custody and drove away before Anna could get a piece of them. Just as Jose had expected Anna was sick with anger that these two men that she had let be apart of her family had betrayed them.

 

Walker walked up to Alex who was still on the porch and took her in his arms. She knew just by looking at him that he was all right but she still had to ask and check for herself. After a brief kiss Walker and Alex looked down to find everyone starring at them.

"Ok." Walker said.

He held up Alex's hand for everyone to see the ring in its place. There were yells and laughter and hugs between everyone. As the excitement died down and everyone headed off to cleanup and catch a little more rest Anna smiled and turned to her husband to say,  "I knew the sleeping arrangements would change before they left."

As she spied Walker and Alex walking hand in hand into Alex's cabin...closing the door.