Visitors from the Past - Jen M.

Her cell phone rang just as Alex pulled up in front of the restaurant. Irritated, she thought, that had better not be Walker! Sighing, she answered the phone knowing it would be Walker on the other end.

"Hi, Honey!"

"Walker, you'd better not be calling me to cancel our lunch date!" she said to her husband of six months. She really needed to see him and be with him today. She'd had a long morning in court and a bout with morning sickness and she just plain needed him to hold her.

"Sorry, Hon, but Trivette and I just got called out to pick up a prisoner. I'm only calling to let you know that I'm going to be about 30 minutes late. Can you wait for me?"

Alex flipped through her day planner quickly to see what her afternoon appointments looked like.

Dejectedly, she said, "Yeah, Cowboy, I'll wait for you. Seems I've spent half my life waiting for you, why should today be any different?!"

Sensing something was bothering his wife, Walker asks if she's alright.

"I've just had a horrible morning and I need to see you, that's all. I didn't mean to snap at you." Alex had tears in her voice but was trying hard to conceal it.

Smiling, Walker said, "That's OK, Honey…I need to see you too." He was speaking softly so Alex knew Trivette was probably listening. Walker still wasn't comfortable with letting his partner overhear his words of endearment to his wife. He could sense that she was on the verge of crying, too. Alex had been "snapping" and crying a lot lately. She was even crying at those silly Hallmark card commercials on TV. He knew her newly discovered pregnancy was probably the cause. It was sure costing her enough with morning sickness that was lasting all day long. He hoped that wouldn't last much longer. He hated the thoughts of her having to go through a difficult pregnancy but the doctor had told them what Alex was experiencing was normal. Just thinking about Alex being pregnant brought a smile to his face. He couldn't believe how lucky he was that this beautiful blonde had agreed to marry him and is now pregnant with his baby. He secretly hopes they'll have a girl, who looks just like Alex.

"Walker, Dan gave us tickets to the Oil Baron's Ball next weekend and we need to go. Please don't be mad but I agreed that we'd represent the DA's office."

Feeling agitated himself now, Walker said, "Alex, you know I hate those things but yeah, I'll go." At this point, Walker would do anything to appease his wife, but he really hated those things. He'd much rather just relax in comfortable clothes at the ranch with Alex. But Alex's job demanded more "hobnobbing" with the rich and famous than his did.

"I'll see you in about an hour. Why don't you go ahead and order lunch and relax until I get there. OK?"

Hanging up the phone, Alex picks up her purse and starts to the restaurant. She is surprised when someone calls her name. Turning she looks to see a striking brunette heading her way. There is something familiar about the woman, but Alex can't place her.

The woman reaches Alex and says, "It really is you…Alex Cahill! It's me, Sara Donelson."

Alex's mind flashes back to law school. Oh does she ever remember Sara Donelson and her crowd! They used to call Alex The Ice Princess. Alex never cared for that crowd of rich students who never had to struggle through school the way she and her friends had. They had always been so critical of anyone who wasn't a part of their crowd. They were snobs for sure. She remembered so many times when she and her friend, Kate, had been the brunt of their jokes and chidings. Alex was always a good student and spent a lot of time at the law library doing extra work, while Sara's crowd played and paid others to do their work. Between studying and working part-time, Alex didn't have time to date much, and there was one guy in that group who kept after her. When she'd refused to go out with him several times, they'd nicknamed her The Ice Princess. She'd hated it then and even more now! No, she was not pleased to see Sara at all!

Smiling gracefully, though, Alex offers her hand and asks what Sara is doing in Dallas.

Sara says she's in town on business and asks if Alex has plans for lunch. Not really wanting to lunch with this woman but seeing no way out of it, Alex is gracious and says, "I had plans but they just got delayed."

By mutual consent, they enter the restaurant and are seated. Alex is thinking that this day can't get any worse. Then she remembers her morning sickness and hopes that she won't get sick during lunch. She hasn't started to show yet although her suit skirts and pants are a little uncomfortable in the waist. She would be just as happy to get this lunch out of the way before Walker arrives as she would prefer to have him all to herself! She knows that Sara's reaction to Walker will be to flirt with him. In the mood she's in now, Alex would dare anyone to flirt with her husband!

Alex knows she is being unreasonable. This feeling is new to her. She's not really jealous of Walker because she knows that she has his complete attention. They trust each other in a way that is rare and precious. In a way, she is pleased when other women admire her husband, but Sara would be different. Alex shivers at the thought. Actually, she hasn't seen Sara in years. Maybe she's changed. The waitress brings the menus and offers to take drink orders. Alex orders a frozen lemonade and while Sara raises an eyebrow but doesn't say anything. She remembers that Alex's father had a problem with alcohol and wonders if Alex does too. This makes Sara smile covertly as she orders a white wine. The waitress disappears momentarily while Alex and Sara study the menu.

Secretly, Sara is studying Alex. She can't believe how beautiful she is. Even feeling as catty as she does, she has to admit that Alex is positively glowing! Her natural blonde hair, which Sara has secretly always envied, is perfectly styled and pulled back from her face in a French twist. The blue suit Alex is wearing is the perfect compliment for her eyes. Sara couldn't help but notice how svelte Alex still is, too. Not wanting to admit it, Sara has put on a few pounds since law school, but most have told her it's becoming. Still having to increase one size is something that Sara never intended to do. Sara had always been jealous of Alex because all the men in the group wanted to date her including the man Sara had always wanted and still wants - Kip Randall. In fact, Kip is the reason Sara is in Dallas. She's hoping for a job interview with his law firm. She wonders if he has been secretly seeing Alex although he would probably deny it. She found it strange that Kip had not mentioned that Alex was in Dallas. Surely he knows this. Sara wonders if Alex has married and decides to check her left hand for a ring when the opportunity arises.

The waitress returns to take their orders. After losing her breakfast this morning, Alex is a little afraid to eat but orders the turkey croissant and Sara orders a Caesar Salad. With that out of the way, both know they can't put off conversation any longer.

Sara asks, "Alex, I'm so glad I ran into you. I was dreading lunching alone. What law firm are you with now?" Sara is trying to be friendly but is sounding more patronizing.

"I'm not with a firm…I'm the Assistant District Attorney for Tarrant County."

"A prosecutor? Well, well! I guess I'm not really surprised, though. You were always out for the underdog in law school."

Alex decides to let that remark pass. "Are you with a firm here in Dallas?"

"I'm interviewing with Carter, Strauss, Woods, and McGhee, but I'm actually here on business for my firm in Galveston - Williams, Ames, Turner, and Nelson. Did you know that Kip Randall is with Carter, Strauss?"

Shaking her head, Alex said, "No, I haven't kept up with many from law school except for Kate Brooks and we mostly manage to send Christmas cards."

"You look well, Alex. I guess Dallas life agrees with you."

"Thanks, Sara, you look well, too. Are you looking to move to Dallas? I thought Carter, Strauss was in Fort Worth."

"It is. I just came to Dallas to meet with a client at Williams, Ames, then I'll be spending some time with Kip. Actually, he's taking me to the Oil Baron's ball next weekend." Sara delights in giving Alex this information knowing that an Assistant District Attorney would not be going to this exclusive ball for oilmen and cattlemen.

The waitress arrives with lunch before Alex can respond. She lets the moment pass. Sara can't believe what a small salad she has. She eyes Alex's sandwich and wishes she could have ordered that, too. She is watching her weight and knows that even this will be too much for her to eat. She's amazed that Alex doesn't seem to be watching her weight. She is getting more and more curious about this former classmate. Glancing at Alex's left hand, Sara sees a diamond and wedding band. Ugh…Sara thought. She is married. I wonder who she managed to snare.

"Are you married, Alex? I see wedding rings."

"Yes, how about you?"

"I got married, divorced, married, and divorced," laughs Sara. "I guess I'm still waiting for Mr. Right if he really exists! Tell me about your husband. Is he a lawyer, too? Any children?"

"Hey, may I join you?" Alex looks up into the dearest face in the world and breathes a sigh of relief. Sara watches as Alex breaks into a big smile and says, "You better believe it, Cowboy! You finished early!"

Walker slides into the booth next to his wife and puts his arm across the back of the booth barely touching his wife's arm. He leans in and kisses her on the lips. Alex's hand finds it's way to his leg where she lets it rest.

"Yeah, we got a call on the road that said the prisoner was too ill to travel so Trivette dropped me off here. I'll need a ride back to headquarters, though" he said with a wink as he sneaks a potato chip off her plate and tries for the pickle before she slaps his hand with a twinkle in her eyes. Pickles have recently become her passion!

Momentarily losing themselves in each other's eyes, Alex is the first to remember that Sara is still there. Looking up at her and seeing Sara's open admiration of her husband, Alex calls for introductions. Talk about drool!

"Sara Donelson, meet my husband, Ranger Cordell Walker."

"A Texas Ranger! Not what I would have expected from you, Alex."

Looking quizzically at his wife, Walker shakes Sara's proffered hand, "Nice to meet you."

"Sara and I were in law school together. She's here on business. We bumped into each other outside the restaurant after you called to say you would be delayed."

"In law school, huh?!" Looking adoringly at his wife and winking, "Was she as beautiful and smart then as she is now?"

Sara feels a pang of jealously. Not only has The Ice Princess turned out to be the most beautiful woman she would admit to ever having seen, but she's hooked the best looking man, Sara has ever seen, including Kip Randall! Sara openly admires this man in black and envies Alex the way he is looking at her. She feels like she has interrupted a private moment and this is not a feeling that Sara likes. She should be the center of attention and she is feeling really catty! She has always been able to get men to pay attention to her, but this man seems more interested in Alex!

"Yeah, Alex has always been the tall, cool blonde. She was always smart but then she spent most of her time in the library studying! How long have you guys been married?"

Before Alex can answer, Walker says with a wide smile and a glance at Alex that melts her bones, "Six wonderful months and three days."

"Wow, Alex, you'd better keep this one if he's even counting the days! Newlyweds, huh?"

Alex thinks to herself…yeah, I'm keeping this one. Not only is he counting the days we've been married, I'm counting the minutes. But aloud, she says, "Walker is special, that's for sure!" For this comment, she realizes that Walker's arm is now touching her right shoulder and she leans into him further. She, all of a sudden, feels like he's dropped a protective net around her. He's read her mind and knows she is uncomfortable. If it's possible to see jealous rage in someone, she is definitely seeing it in Sara now. She is confused as she and Sara were never good friends and yet, Sara really seems steamed at her.

The waitress appears and takes Walker's order of turkey croissant and a twice-baked potato. Sara notes that Walker also orders frozen lemonade but figures he's on duty and can't drink.

"Walker, you're not going to eat all of that, are you? You ate a huge breakfast!"

"Alex, you know I've had a busy morning. I'm hungry. Besides, I figured you'd help me eat the potato." He smiles wickedly at her.

Walker continues with the questions. "Are you married, Sara?" "Which law firm are you with?"

"As I was telling Alex earlier, I'm not married presently but have been twice and divorced. I'm still looking for Mr. Right. I'm interviewing with Carter, Strauss, Woods and McGhee. I'm with a corporate firm in Galveston that handles most of the oil cases there. Looks like I'll be going to the Oil Baron's Ball next weekend so I'm just staying over in Dallas for a few extra days."

Walker grimaces and looks at Alex. "We're still going to that or did you manage to get us out of it?" Alex elbows him in the ribs and says, "Not this time, Cowboy!"

Sara is shocked! How can it be that Alex will be going to that ball! Not fair at all! She's just a dumb county prosecutor. Probably couldn't get a real job with a real law firm and took what she could get!

The waitress appears with Walker's lunch. Alex reaches for his pickle and he lets her have it with a smile. He offers her a bite of his potato, which she accepts also.

"Mmmmmm, that is good! I'll have to remember that the next time we're here."

"Trivette told me about it. You know he doesn't like to eat a lot of meat."

"Hey isn't Carter, Strauss the firm where Joey Morelli works, Alex. Joey really likes the corporate work. He was one of the kids in the Kick Drugs Out of America program. You remember little Joey, don't you, Hon?"

Alex nods. Joey was a nice guy. She was so proud that he chose to go on to law school and graduate with top honors. He'd had such a difficult life until Walker took him under his wing and she got him doing some volunteer work with the H.O.P.E. Center.

"Joey's only been there a few weeks, too, but told me Mr. Strauss is really nice to work for. He's still doing some volunteer work at the H.O.P.E. Center, too."

"What's the Kick Drugs program and what's the Hope Center?" Sara has never heard of this and didn't remember exactly the title that Walker had said. She also noticed that Alex called her husband, "Walker" instead of using his first name. Wonder what that is all about. The longer she sat, the more questions she had. And, of course, her curiosity is killing her.

"Kick Drugs Out of America is a program that Walker started several years ago to encourage students to stay away from drugs and to become involved in the community and hopefully keep them out of the gangs. It uses a Teamwork approach and it's effectively used in several schools here in the Metroplex, especially among the middle schools. They use martial arts training. Walker is a 6th degree black belt."

"The H.O.P.E. Center is Alex's project. It stands for Help Our People Excel. Alex started it about a year ago and the results have been amazing. She is the director but has someone on staff, who runs it for her. It's been a big asset to the community in offering legal advice, a haven for abused women, and a day care center. The courts can order community service time served there instead of jail sentences in a lot of cases and it helps both the offender and the Center. It's a haven for children who have a parent in prison, too. Alex has won several awards for the Center already and the donations continue to pour in. I'm very proud of her accomplishments in doing this as well as being the toughest prosecutor in Dallas."

Alex is astounded that Walker has talked for so long. Normally, he doesn't have a lot to say around strangers. It warms her heart, though, because she could hear the pride in his voice when he was talking about all that she had accomplished. She is so proud to be married to this wonderful man. With her hand under the table, she gives his leg a squeeze of thanks.

To say that Sara is shocked is an understatement. To say she is jealous is even more of an understatement. How dare some little insignificant person like Alex Cahill end up with this hunk of a man. She definitely needed to talk to Kip about all this. She needs to get away as soon as possible but finds she is fascinated about this couple. She definitely wants to know more and has to figure out a way to get closer to Alex, in other words, closer to this Ranger! That makes her smile.

Sara doesn't want to go but she's long finished her lunch and notices that the Ranger has just about finished his, too. She was openly shocked when he'd fed Alex that little bit of his potato. In fact, she'd been shocked the entire luncheon to see the bond between these two people. She has to know more!

"Alex, Ranger, this has been nice, but I guess I'd better get going. Perhaps, since I'm going to be here a while longer, we could all get together with Kip and have dinner. I'll call you and make arrangements, Alex."

"Sure, Sara. Good to see you again." Alex immediately decides they'll have plans for whatever night Sara chooses! As Sara leaves, Alex breathes a sigh of relief.

"What was that all about, Alex?"

"Walker, she and her crowd were the most obnoxious people in law school that I ever met. Did you know they used to call me The Ice Princess? When she calls, I think we'll have plans for that evening!"

"The Ice Princess? I can understand the Princess part because you certainly fit that description but ice? I've never noticed anything icy about you! In fact, I'd say ice is the exact opposite of you."

Alex smiled. This man never failed her and she loved him more than ever. She'd spend the rest of her life waiting for him if she had to! Smiling, Alex leans in to kiss her husband soundly. This certainly proves his point that his wife is far from icy. She melts his bones with even the slightest touch. They definitely need a private moment together!

The waitress appears with the bill, which Walker pays. They leave the restaurant arm in arm not realizing they are being watched by a brooding brunette with jealousy in her heart.

Walker and Alex head for her car. Walker decides to drive and puts Alex safely in the passenger seat. Once inside the car, he reaches for her and gives her the passionate kiss he's been wanting to give her all morning. She responds immediately as she tries to get her body closer to his. Darn this car…she wants to feel his body next to hers. Before the kiss can go any further, they break off, both of them breathless.

"Wow, you take my breath away, Alex. I wish we didn't have to go back to work."

Smiling Alex pulls out her cell phone and dials her office. "Tracy, what's on my calendar today that can't be rescheduled?"

"Actually, Mrs. Walker, nothing is. The judge called shortly after you left for lunch and said that the other attorney had rescheduled the meeting with you and him for this afternoon. And Ranger Trivette called and wants Ranger Walker to call him. He said I'd probably see him before he does."

"OK, Tracy, will you just shut down my laptop and lock it up? I'll give Walker the message to call Trivette. I'm not coming back in today."

Smiling she handed the phone to Walker and said, "Your turn. Trivette needs you to call him."

Walker calls Trivette and is told that things are really slow and the Captain has suggested they take advantage of it.

"Alex, it seems we have the afternoon free. Want to go home?"

"Well, Cowboy, what do you think?" She smiles at him provocatively and he drives off towards the ranch. He'll just leave his RAM in the car park and ride in with Alex tomorrow.

Neither of them is aware that they are being followed until Walker turns off towards the ranch. A car with a familiar looking woman speeds on by. Walker turns to look but the car is practically out of sight. A hand on his leg reminds him that he has better things to do this afternoon.

Jumping from the car, he crosses to the other side to help Alex out. He keeps his arm around her as they head towards the house. He feels her hand drop from his waist and pat his butt. She grins up at him wickedly. Oh, the afternoon has promise after all! Alex remembers her earlier thoughts about the day and decides this day has good possibilities and all she needed was her Cowboy to make it perfect. Sighing contentedly, she lays her head against his shoulder as they enter the house together. Neither sees the car that followed them home pass back by the house and drive away.


Chapter 2

Visitors from the Past - Part 2

Walker was having a difficult time concentrating on the papers on his desk. Rangers Cook and Gage had gone to pick up the prisoner that he and Trivette had started after yesterday. Everything else was quiet at Ranger Headquarters. Trivette was doing some research on the computer and Walker was supposed to be finishing up some reports from two days ago. But…the small picture of his wife on his desk kept drawing his attention. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He'd never seen eyes that blue before that darkened to navy with passion so quickly when he touched her. And those lips…he just couldn't find enough words to describe her lips. He couldn't get enough of her.

He'd had to disappoint her yesterday for lunch and then ended up arriving only a few minutes late because the prisoner they were picking up had become ill. He was so excited when he found out they could still meet for lunch and had Trivette drop him off at the restaurant only to find Alex sitting with another woman. The woman was striking but couldn't hold a candle to his Alex. There was something about the woman that he had disliked instantly. On the surface she appeared fine, but there was something about the way she looked at Alex that bothered him. And, he'd had to keep moving his feet because the woman was determined to keep touching his. He had finally moved them completely under his chair until he thought his knees would break. He never mentioned that to Alex because with her recent outbursts due to the pregnancy, he didn't want her upset. Neither of them was jealous of the other and trusted each other implicitly, but he didn't believe in tempting fate with Alex right now! Besides, he wondered if he was wrong about this woman and maybe she didn't have enough stretching room for her legs. No way, he was right!

Alex didn't care for her either. She'd told him later that this woman, Sara, and her friends in law school had referred to Alex as The Ice Princess. Chuckling to himself, Walker couldn't imagine anyone calling Alex The Ice Princess. She was the most sensuous, passionate woman he'd ever met. Just thinking about her set his blood to boiling. If this Sara person had seen Alex after they gotten home yesterday, she'd never have thought of Alex as anything but fire! She was truly amazing and he'd reaped the benefit of it. Smiling, he remembered he'd told her to take a nap. The pregnancy was really tiring her, especially with the morning sickness that didn't want to go away even in the afternoon. She'd convinced him she would "rest" better if he'd nap with her. So much for napping, he thought, again chuckling. They'd spent the afternoon making love. He'd found a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream in the refrigerator and they'd soon had strawberry juice everywhere. Walker chuckled again as he remembered how Alex bit the strawberry and the juice shot out into his face. Then, she...

"Hey, Pard, what's so funny? I heard you chuckling over there."

Walker looked at Trivette. He'd have to be more careful and quickly covered by saying, "Oh, I was just remembering the way Alex was fussing with her hair this morning. Women!"

Trivette went back to work. Walker felt relief that he'd gotten off so easily. His eyes wandered back to his wife's photo. It was all he could do to stay in his chair. He wanted to rush to her office and lock the door and make wild, passionate love to her, but he knew she was in court. Maybe if he could just see her, he'd be able to concentrate more.

"Trivette, I think I'll go over to the court and see how that case is going for Alex. She's been a little stressed over it and maybe I can lend her some moral support by being there. I won't be long."

"Sure, man." Trivette didn't believe a word of it. Ever since their marriage six months ago, Walker and Alex had a lot of trouble keeping away from each other. He'd seen how their hands would "accidentally" brush when passing a folder, or how they always made it a point to stand next to each other, or how their eyes would meet from across the room. They were always holding hands, especially when they thought no one was looking. He still hadn't figured out why every time someone mentioned strawberries, Alex turned this delightful shade of red. He'd never heard so many excuses from Walker as to why he needed to run to Alex's office or the lame excuses she'd used for coming to Ranger Headquarters. Secretly, though, Trivette was envious of this beautiful relationship. It was a joy to watch…almost like you'd intruded upon a private moment. They were truly perfect for each other from their good looks to their personalities to their values and ethics. In fact, he'd never seen a couple more suited to each other. He remembered how C.D. had told him they acted the first time they'd met. Both were complaining to C.D. about how stubborn, arrogant, and mule-headed the other was. Then, just a few days later on New Year's Eve, Walker had kissed Alex at midnight right in the middle of an argument. She'd kissed him back but had walked off immediately and C. D. thought she'd looked flustered. Gee, he wished he'd been there for that one! He didn't think either had ever discussed that kiss, at least not so he'd heard, but the attraction had become so fierce that even friendship couldn't hide it. Then when Alex was kidnapped by that religious cult leader, Walker had known exactly where she hid the spare key to her apartment and when they rescued her, Trivette had walked in on them kissing. Being discreet, of course, he had eased from the room without them knowing he was there. He knew there was a special bond between them. He'd seen them go through so much, nearly losing each other to death, and it only drew them closer. Now that they were married, there was a oneness about them that nothing seemed to shatter. He hoped, someday, he would find a woman who suited him as well.

Trivette knew that Walker was upset yesterday when he was going to have to miss lunch with Alex. He was glad that it turned out the way it did and he could meet her after all. Even though Trivette missed having the lunches and talks with Walker and Alex like they used to, he understood their need to be alone now. He respected that. He couldn't say that he was surprised when Walker called in to ask about the workload and they both ended up taking the afternoon off. That, alone, was rare for Walker to do but he seemed to be doing more of it. That's why he and Alex were so well suited for each other. Both were workaholics but since the marriage, both seemed more relaxed and enjoyed slipping away more. He'd seen them this morning when they'd driven up in Alex's car. They didn't know anyone was around. He'd seen them kiss before, many times, in fact, but that one this morning even took his breath away. Of course, they didn't know anyone, especially him, was watching or they would have been embarrassed. He should have turned but he couldn't tear himself away. They were such private people, especially about their relationship. C.D. said he always knew Walker and Alex spent more time together than either he or Trivette realized. There had been times when he or C.D. had tried to reach them by phone and they never answered even though he knew they were at the ranch or at Alex's apartment. He wished C.D. were around now to see this love blossoming. How pleased he would be to know there was a little Walker on the way. But knowing C.D., he probably had a hand in it anyway. He missed C.D. Sighing, he returned to his computer research.

Walker eased into the courtroom quietly. Alex was speaking to the jury and had her back to him. He looked at her in the black suit with the short red skirt and thought again of how long her legs were, especially when they were wrapped around his waist during lovemaking. She had the most exquisite legs! She had most of her blonde hair down but the front and sides were pulled up away from her facing, giving him a view of her shapely ears. He knew exactly where that special spot was behind her right ear that would always melt her when he kissed her there. Almost as though she sensed his presence, she glanced his way and let him know that she'd seen him with a hand gesture that only he would recognize - just a little wiggle of her little finger. He gave her a slight wink that most people would not even notice but she did. He could tell by her quick intake of breath. She finished her summation and sat down.

Now Walker had a full view of her back. He was always amazed at how straight she sat. She could have been a model with her tall beauty and grace. She was so intelligent, too! He liked the way that one little stray curl kept moving every time she moved her head. He really wanted to wrap it around his finger. He could see her legs from his vantage point and saw her casually swing the leg that was crossed over the other one. If she only knew how sexy she looked sitting there. Her law clerk was sitting beside her and leaned over to whisper something. She shook her head 'no' and started writing on the legal pad in front of her. The judge called for the case to go to the jury and dismissed the jury with instructions before anyone else. Alex rose with such grace and looked his way. He smiled and started towards her.

"Hey, there, Cowboy. What are you doing here?"

"Just came to see if you were earning your keep?" This brought a surprised look from her young law clerk, Mark, who'd only been with her a couple of months. He was a nice young man from Virginia, who Walker knew had a definite crush on his wife. He found this amusing because Alex didn't have a clue. Alex talked about how competent Mark was, but he always seemed flustered whenever Walker was around. Walker found this funny. He couldn't blame the boy, though. He'd had a crush on Alex for years before he did anything about it. That is, if you could call falling head over heels in love with a woman, a crush!

"Very funny, Cowboy! You must not be earning yours if you've got nothing better to do than come check up on me!" Alex loved teasing her husband like this. She was so glad he'd come. His just being here in court gave her such confidence in herself. She felt so protected when he was around.

Walker reached out to touch her cheek then remembered they were still in the courtroom and pulled his hand away. Alex smiled, guessing his intention and knowing that public displays were still difficult for her husband. She had forgotten Mark was there until he spoke.

"Mrs. Walker, I'm going to get some coffee…can I bring you something? And you, too, Ranger Walker?"

"Thanks, Mark, I would love a Sprite or 7-up, if you don't mind. We'll meet you in the hall." Walker shook his head and murmured no thanks.

Walker reached in his pocket to hand Mark some change, but he refused it, saying, "I've got it." Walker smiled at the boy. He seemed like a nice young man and Walker liked the way he respected Alex.

Walking out into the hall, Walker finally felt free to touch his wife. He could tell she was tired. He gently touched her cheek with his hand. "Have you been very nauseous today? You looked tired. What have you got left to do today if the verdict comes in?"

"Nothing really. This is my last court case but I have some briefs to prepare on other cases. That is…if you and the other Rangers don't go busting up some huge drug ring, again, or another bank doesn't get robbed. I haven't been throwing up but the feeling is still there. I'm hungry but afraid to eat when I have court. I don't think the judge would take too kindly to my getting up and running out of the courtroom during the middle of a trial!" Alex smiled at her husband and gently touched his beard. She always marveled at how soft his beard was. She loved running her fingers through his hair, too. She just loved this man, period! He looked tired, too, she thought.

"You do look tired, Cowboy. Didn't you get any rest last night?" Alex said this with an impish smile.

"As a matter of fact, I didn't get a lot. There was this blonde in my bed that wouldn't let me alone."

"That's strange because I heard the blonde didn't get any complaints at all." Alex said with a giggle. "Did you talk to Trivette, Gage, and Syd about coming out to the ranch Saturday night for a barbeque?"

"I sure did and they said they'd love to come. They all want to know if they can bring something. I told them we had it all under control. Do you think you can make that special sauce like C.D. used to make? Oh, and Trivette is bringing Josie."

"Sure, I can make the sauce though it will never equal C.D.'s. Josie? That's great! I think I'll ask Mark and Tracey from my office. Is that OK with you?"

"OK, Alex, stop that matchmaking!" Walker grinned knowing that was like giving cream to a cat and telling it not to drink. "Of course, that's OK with me. Mark's a nice guy, but Tracey is a little star struck on you. Of course, I think Mark is, too!"

"Oh, Walker, I wasn't matchmaking. I'd just like to see Jimmy happy and I think Josie would make him happy. What do you mean star struck on me?"

Walker grinned at that last comment but refrained for saying anything further. "Don't you think that's Jimmy's decision? What is it about women that once they get married, they think every man should be paired up with their best friends?"

"Here's your Sprite, Mrs. Walker. Any word from the jury yet?"

"Thanks, Mark. No, nothing yet. I hope it won't be a long wait. Hey, Mark, do you have any plans for Saturday night?"

"No, as a matter of fact, I don't."

"Great! Walker and I are having some friends out to the ranch for a barbeque. Would you like to come? I'm asking Tracey from our office so there will be someone else there you know besides Walker and me. It'll give you a chance to see a little more of the Texas countryside. It'll be very casual and give you a chance to relax."

"Yeah, that would be great. Thanks, Mrs. Walker, Ranger Walker."

"Well, I'd better get back to Headquarters. Good luck with your verdict, Alex. Call me when it comes in." In spite of the fact, they were outside the courtroom door and there were lots of people around including the star struck law clerk, Walker leaned in and kissed his wife right on the lips. He needn't have worried because she responded. He heard Mark clear his throat and move away from them as though he might be uncomfortable with the ADA being kissed in public. Walker grinned to himself. Yep, a visit and kiss with his wife was exactly what he needed to get him through those boring reports. He returned to Ranger Headquarters with an extra spring in his step!

The jury brought in a guilty verdict in record time and once again, everyone was congratulating Alex Cahill Walker and calling her the best Assistant District Attorney in the State of Texas.

Alex returned to her office and had several messages but her first call was to Walker to let him know that the jury had rendered a guilty verdict. Another criminal had been put away for life. To say that Walker was proud of his wife would be an understatement, but he told her that just the same! Just then, he and Trivette got a call to check out a robbery at a bank in downtown Dallas.

Alex flipped through her messages and saw that she had three messages to call Sara Donelson. That woman just would not give up. She'd ignored the message she'd gotten from her yesterday, hoping that Sara would take a hint. Apparently, she didn't know the meaning of the word! Well, at least she and Walker had plans for Saturday night and that would be an excuse.

Before she could start returning the calls, Alex felt dizzy. She sat down quickly and just as she started to rise, everything went black. Luckily for her, Mark was coming into her office and caught her before she hit the floor. He called for Tracey, who rushed in. Mark eased Alex into her chair, while Tracey brought a cool cloth. Both were concerned but Alex came around within seconds. Neither of them was aware of her pregnancy, although both had thought she'd looked really pale and tired recently. They had chalked it up to working too hard.

"I'm sorry, Mark, Tracey. I'm OK now, really."

"Should we call the paramedics? Get Ranger Walker?"

Alex knew it was time to tell them. "No, neither. I'm fine really. I've been doing this for several weeks. I'm going to have a baby and this fainting and the nausea are normal - or so I'm told!" Alex smiled.

Both Mark and Tracey offered their congratulations. As Alex now appeared to be fine, they left her to do her work with further assurances that she was fine. A few minutes later, Tracey came in with some crackers and ginger ale.

"My mom always told me this would help with nausea anytime."

"Thanks, Tracey. I am hungry but have been afraid to eat much today because of needing to be in court. Tracey, would you mind holding my calls this afternoon, except for Walker, of course, or the DA. I have several briefs I need to get outlined for Mark to research."

"Sure, Mrs. Walker. Oh, Mrs. Walker…would you like me to bring something Saturday? I'm really looking forward to coming to your ranch. Or, I can come early and help you? I really don't mind."

Alex understood now why Walker thought Tracey was star struck. Alex thought it was very sweet, actually. "That's OK, Walker and I have everything under control. Believe it or not, my husband is very competent in the kitchen! I'll let you know if I think of anything, though. Your offer is very sweet."

"I'll let you get to your work, then."

About two hours later, Tracey buzzed Alex. "Mrs. Walker, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but there is a woman here named Sara Donelson who says she's a friend of yours and would like to see you. I told her you'd asked not to be disturbed but she's insistent."

"That's OK, Tracey. I really don't have time to see her but guess I'd better. Send her in."

Sara Donelson was irritated. She has spent the morning doing some research on Alex Cahill and Ranger Cordell Walker. The Dallas Public Library had all sorts of information on microfiche. She'd been surprised to see how popular the Assistant District Attorney and her Ranger husband were in Dallas. She was not pleased, either. It didn't seem fair that Alex should get as far as she had while Sara was now in the position to struggle. Sara was mainly looking for another job right now because she knew the choice would not be hers for long. Williams, Ames had not been pleased with her work of late. Her visit to Dallas was actually a test. If she could not land this contract, she knew that her days at Williams Ames were numbered. She'd learned this morning that Kip was having a similar problem with his firm and even though he had managed to get her an interview, it didn't look promising.

Kip had really been surprised when she presented him with the folder of information she'd obtained from the library. There were newspaper clippings from the Cahill/Walker wedding, which took place at the estate of Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. That, alone, was high society! How would a Texas Ranger and an ADA know someone like that? Then, there was a story about Alex getting shot in the back at another wedding at a huge estate and how Ranger Walker had turned everything upside down to find the person responsible. She'd found a story about Alex starting that HOPE Center that she and the Ranger had mentioned yesterday. Apparently, the people in Dallas were really supportive of that and she got lots of publicity from that. She'd also won several awards and they'd had some pretty famous people perform at charity events for that HOPE Center.

She also found some information about that Kick Drugs program that the Ranger had mentioned and learned more about the Ranger's background. She was surprised to learn that he was half-Cherokee. He certainly didn't look it. Ordinarily, he would have lost points in her favor with that information, but she'd seen the Ranger. He was a stunning piece of humanity!

The most interesting article she'd found was about Alex being charged with the murder of her college boyfriend, Tony. Kip vaguely remembered Tony and thought he was no good. Alex had been charged with murder…now THAT was juicy! Of course, she'd been acquitted when her father defended her and Ranger Walker found the real murderer. At least that cleared up some things about her father, who Sara remembered was an alcoholic when they were in law school. Alex never mentioned him and she learned later that Alex had been through college and law school on scholarships and work-study programs. Apparently, Gordon Cahill was reformed now, though, and quite successful. There were lots of clippings about how Ranger Walker had been commended for his work, including being named head of a Crime Task Force recently by Senator Rhodes. He'd also won numerous awards and commendations for his work as a Texas Ranger.

Sara was not happy. She wanted to read and learn that Alex Cahill had turned out to be nothing and now she was finding that her old rival was quite successful. She was touted as being the best Assistant District Attorney in the state and would probably be District Attorney or better some day. How could this be? Well, she and Kip would see what they could do about how successful this marriage was going to be! On top of all that, she'd left several messages for Alex and planned to insist that they all get together for dinner Saturday night but Alex had yet to return any of the calls. So, Sara just decided she would show up at her office! That little twerpy secretary wasn't going to let her in but she'd pulled some punches and she'd buzzed Alex. She knew Alex wouldn't refuse to see her. Now all she had to do was set up this dinner date for Saturday night. Smiling, Sara walked into Alex's office like she owned the place! She might be down on her luck but she would never let the world know it!

"Hi, Alex. You haven't returned my calls!"

"Hi, Sara, sorry about that. I've been busy and was in court all morning. I've been working furiously this afternoon trying to catch up on some briefs. My workload is tremendous. What can I do for you?"

"Well, as I told you yesterday, I thought it would be nice for us all to get together for dinner while I'm here. You know, get caught up on each other's lives. If I move here, it'll be nice to have a friend already here."

"I appreciate the thought, but Walker and I keep such busy schedules that it's hard to plan ahead."

"Kip and I were talking and decided we'd like to take you both out to dinner on Saturday night."

"I'm sorry, but Walker and I have plans for that night. We're having friends out to the ranch."

"Oh, Alex, that's perfect! Kip and I can join you there. Just give me directions and let me know if what to wear! I know Kip would love that, too. Give us all more of a chance to chat after your other guests leave."

Alex knew she was stuck now. There was nothing more she could do but tell Sara it was informal dress - jeans - and give her directions to the ranch. Sara smirked and left. Never would she let Alex know that this was even more perfect! She'd driven by the ranch yesterday when she'd followed Alex and the Ranger not knowing they were going home. Too bad that the ranch house sat so far from the road and she couldn't see much more.
Alex returned to the work at hand. What was supposed to be a happy, carefree evening with friends now had taken on a dread. She wished that she could just cancel! She'd tried calling Walker but he was out on a case with Trivette.

About 5:00 p.m., Walker came into the office. Tracey smiled and told him she knew Mrs. Walker would be glad to see him. She'd had a difficult afternoon. She also told him about her fainting and congratulated him on the baby.

Knocking but not waiting for a response, Walker stepped into his wife's office. When she looked up, she felt like a bit of heaven had walked in. She jumped up and ran into his arms. Not expecting that, Walker was surprised when he saw tears on his wife's face.

"Honey, what's wrong? Are you sick? Tracey told me about the fainting spell today. Are you OK?"

"Oh, Walker. I'm fine. I wish Tracey hadn't told you that. I'm upset because of Sara Donelson. Remember her from lunch yesterday? She tricked me and invited herself and Kip Randall to the ranch Saturday night. In other words, she's crashing our barbeque!" Alex was almost hysterical by this point. Walker kept his arms around her waist.

"Well, Alex, I know you didn't want to see them again, but we'll get through this. We'll be surrounded by friends, and I'll be there. They won't know anyone else so they won't stay long. It'll be OK, I promise!"

"It's just that this is our home. I shouldn't have to worry about someone coming in uninvited or inviting themselves. Why are you taking this so lightly! I told you I don't like those people! I don't want them to be a part of my life in any way."

Walker knew Alex was being unreasonable and knew that her pregnancy was making her this way. She had never been unreasonable before. Or, maybe there was more to this Sara story than Alex had told him. Walker just held his wife closer and rubbed her back until she calmed down.

Sighing, Alex knew that Walker was right and that she was being unreasonable. They would get through this together. Gathering up her things, they left the office arm in arm - two more days and then the weekend. With Walker by her side, she didn't have anything to worry about!


 

Visitors from the Past - Part 3

Friday evening came quickly for Alex. She was exhausted from the week's work and it seemed the more stressed she got, the more tired she got. Walker had been wonderful at home during the past couple of days. He had done all the cooking and did a great deal of the heavy cleaning for the barbeque on Saturday.

Walker and Alex had driven in to work together on Friday so they could stop at the market on the way home. They still had a few items to pick up for Saturday's event. Even though it was pretty much ruined for Alex with Sara inviting herself, Walker was doing his best to keep her spirits up. He even told her he'd go with her to the market. Alex was still trying to figure that one out when he came to her office to pick her up. Walker hated shopping of any kind. For him, to do this, meant he was really concerned about her. She smiled at that thought. How she loved her Cowboy and knew that he loved her even though he seldom spoke the words.

"Hi, Honey, ready to go?" Walker moved towards his wife's desk and practically lifted her from the chair. He gave her a very long, slow kiss before releasing her with a smile.

"Oh, Cowboy, you really know how to take my breath away! I'm ready to go home! Can we stop and get something to eat before we stop at the market? I'm starving."

"Has anything stayed down today? I've been out most of the day and haven't had a chance to check up on you," Walker said smiling at his lovely wife.

"No, today has been awful!" Luckily I didn't have court or the judge would probably have held me in contempt! Poor Mark and Tracey have been falling all over themselves to bring me ginger ale and crackers. It's almost comical!"

"Well, I'm glad someone is looking out for you when I can't."

Walking out to the truck arm in arm, Walker got the feeling they were being watched. He turned to look in every direction but saw nothing. He'd been lucky and found a parking space on the street so they didn't have far to go. He was really concerned about Alex. He helped her in the car and she leaned back in the seat with a sigh of relief. He reached over and buckled her seatbelt and moved into the traffic.

Mark was just coming out of the building as Walker and Alex got into the RAM. He noticed another car nearby and the driver seemed fixated on them. He started to flag Walker down, then, thought it might be his imagination. He saw Walker lean over and kiss his wife and then appeared to buckle her seatbelt. Mark sighed. Mrs. Walker was a very beautiful woman. He had to admit that he had a schoolboy crush on her. He would never do anything to jeopardize his job, though, and he really liked Ranger Walker, too. Both had been very kind to him. He admitted he was glad they invited him to the ranch tomorrow. He was really lonely. He knew he should call Jennifer in Virginia, but wasn't sure if she would speak to him or not. He really needed to do something about that. Jen was really special and he knew that she had special feelings for him but he just couldn't bring himself to do anything about it. Jen was already doing well in life and here he was at 33 still struggling with a huge law school bill hanging over his head and not sure if he wanted to be a prosecutor or go with corporate law. That's why he was so glad that Mrs. Walker had agreed to let him clerk for her. Of course, he thought she was a Mr. Walker, until he met her. He'd never been so stunned in all his life. Everyone he'd ever known named "Alex" had been a male so he was surprised with the DA introduced "Mrs." Walker! She had proven to be a tough prosecutor, too. He was really learning a lot from her and had to admit that if he could be that good, prosecution was the way he'd go. She'd been very complimentary of his efforts so far. He knew he was an excellent researcher but he still learned a great deal from her. She was amazing in her ability to assess a case and walk through the logical steps to prosecution. Her summation in court the other day had been ingenious. That was the day, Ranger Walker had come to court to check up on her. He smiled at that thought. Even he saw through the lame excuse that the Ranger had used to see his wife. He hoped to find that kind of relationship someday. That brought his thoughts back to Jennifer again. He just couldn't ask her to commit to that kind of debt. He had to do something, though, or risk losing her forever. That is, if, he hadn't already. Sighing, he moved on to his truck but noticed that as the Walkers pulled out into traffic, so did the other car. Maybe he'd just mention that to Ranger Walker tomorrow.

"Alex, do you want to cancel tomorrow? I'm sure Trivette, Syd, and Gage would understand. Mark and Tracey know how you've been today so they would understand. It would also get you out of having those other people there, too."

"Darling, I would love to cancel, but I'm not going to let Sara and Kip ruin our plans. We are having our friends over and if they insist on crashing, they'll just have to do that!"

Walker didn't let Alex know but for the last few miles, there was a car following them. Since it was getting darker, he couldn't see who was inside and the person appeared to be wearing a hat. He checked for the license number and would call it in as soon as he could do so without Alex knowing. He did not want to upset her.

They stopped at their favorite Italian restaurant for dinner. They were greeted warmly by the owner, Vito Roselli. Alex had helped Vito and his wife, Rose, when they were being harassed by some gangs in an old neighborhood. Afterwards, the Roselli’s had found this place and the business had thrived. No one paid any attention to the figure in dark clothes and glasses, who came in and sat in a corner booth near the door just as Walker and Alex were seated across the room.

"Ranger and Mrs. Walker! Is a good to see you tonight! What can Vito get for you. The wine is on the house for you tonight!"

"Hi, Vito. I think we're going to have to bypass the wine but thanks anyway. Maybe you could bring Alex a Sprite and me a cup of coffee?"

"Si, Ranger!" Vito noticed that Signora Walker was looking very pale and tired. He wondered if she were ill. He'd make them a special meal tonight and leave them to relax.

Vito brought the drinks and the menus. Alex and Walker decided to have a salad and split a calzone. While waiting for their dinner to arrive, they nibbled on breadsticks. The figure near the door was watching them intently and cringed when Walker offered Alex a bite of his breadstick, then finished the remainder himself. Walker never once took his eyes off his wife or let go of her hand until their dinner arrived. Vito remembered that Alex preferred marinara sauce and Walker liked the meat sauce. Everything was perfect.

After dinner, Walker waited expectedly to see if Alex's dinner was going to stay down. She appeared to be in better spirits. She had shared several anecdotes about various cases and he told her about his day's experiences. It was nice just to be together and relax. He thought Alex was looking a little stronger, too. He really hoped that tomorrow would be a good day for her. He determined that he would make sure she slept in tomorrow morning and that she rested in the afternoon. Of course, he knew he'd have a fight on his hands at the mention of the word, "nap."

The person who had been watching them intently through out dinner realized they were about to leave and headed out first.

After paying the bill, Walker took his wife's hand and they headed for the RAM. He helped her in and got her buckled up again, then headed for the market down the street. Alex had made out a list and Walker was about to tell her to wait in the RAM when he again noticed that same car that had followed them from the Courthouse. Now he was getting concerned. Seeming to realize that they'd been spotted, the car pulled off and went back in the direction toward Dallas.

Alex noticed the concerned look on Walker's face. "Walker, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, Hon, I just thought I'd seen that car before. I guess I was mistaken." Smiling he took her hand and they entered the market together. Walker pushed the cart while Alex gathered the items they needed. He was relieved when they could finally head home noticing that it was already 9:00 p.m.

Once they arrived at the ranch, Walker told Alex he'd put the groceries away while she changed. He wanted to suggest bed for her but knew she wouldn't consider that one. After Alex changed, they sat on the porch swing and enjoyed the beautiful autumn evening. Alex shivered a little and Walker put his arm around her to keep her warm. With her head on his shoulder, Alex started playing with the buttons on his shirt. She soon had several undone. Walker smiled, as he knew where this was leading. Walker lifted Alex's chin and kissed her deeply. She opened her mouth immediately and found his tongue. In an effort to get closer, Alex moved and swung her legs across Walker's lap.

"Walker, I love you so much." Walker looked deeply into his wife's eyes and saw desire burning there. He kissed her again and as her fingers dropped to loosen his belt, he knew he was lost. Almost with a will of their own, his hands had found the buttons on her shirt and they were soon opened too. He cupped a breast and soon freed it from its confinements.

"Well, Mrs. Walker, what do you say, we finish this upstairs." From the position, she was in, Walker lifted her easily as he rose from the swing and carried her upstairs with her reaching out to turn out lights as they went.

The figure in the car across the street noticed as all the lights started going out in the house and could only imagine what was going on. With a sigh, Sara Donelson, removed the dark hat and glasses making up her disguise. She was determined to find out more about Alex Cahill's life right now. She had seen through the binoculars the kiss on the porch and had seen the Ranger lift his wife in his arms and go into the house. Sara was tempted to sneak up to the door to see if they locked it but thought better of it. When the last light went out, she drove away knowing that tomorrow she'd get a chance to do some snooping for real and without sneaking around.

Saturday dawned bright and clear. After a long night of lovemaking, Walker let Alex sleep in. As long as she was sleeping, he knew she wasn't nauseous. He went to take care of the horses and worked out in the gym. He called Trivette and asked him to run a check on the license number of the car that seemed to be following them last night. A short time later, Trivette had called back and said the car was a rental, registered to one Sara Donelson. Now Walker was concerned.

"Trivette. That car belongs to that woman who went to law school with Alex. I don't like the fact that she's following us. She invited herself and another classmate here to the barbeque tonight. I want you to fill Gage and Syd in and would like for you all to be on the look-out tonight. Alex is very upset about this but I don't want to alarm her any more. Also, run a check on Sara Donelson and see what you can find out for me. I don't want Alex to know any of this so if you call, be careful."

"Sure, Pard. This worries me, too. Alex is usually more trusting but if she's feeling uncomfortable, I think we have something to worry about. I'll call you back with details later."

Walker decided to check on Alex. She was still sleeping so he decided to fix her breakfast in bed. After preparing the meal, he went back upstairs to find Alex already up and in the bathroom - throwing up. He knew she would not be eating the breakfast he'd fixed!

A few minutes later, a pale Alex returned to the bedroom with a washcloth in her hand.

"Morning, Cowboy. If you've got food with you, I don't want anything!"

"Hi, Sweetheart. Yes, I brought food and know you don't want it now. Do you want to try some dry toast? I have some here already. I'll get you some ginger ale. I'm sorry you're sick this morning."

Alex started gathering her clothes for a shower. "Walker, I don't think I could even handle dry toast and ginger ale right now. OK?"

"Sure, Honey. Anything I can do for you?"

Alex looked at her husband with love in her eyes. Standing before him, she kissed him and shook her head. "I'm going to shower and dress. We have a lot to do today before our guests arrive."

"Alex, I think maybe you should try to rest a little first. Why don't you take a short nap. I promise to wake you in an hour."

"Not a chance, Cowboy!" Alex headed back to the bathroom, where Walker heard her throw up again before she turned the water on. Shaking his head, he made his way back down to the kitchen to clean up the breakfast dishes.

While Alex was in the shower, Trivette called back.

"Walker, I've done some checking on Sara Donelson. Without contacting her law firm, I can't find anything about her present employment. Apparently, she has been married twice, no children and no siblings. She lives in a fairly nice section of Galveston but doesn't have a large bank account. She's in hock up to her neck in credit card debts and she's been seeing a therapist for a couple of years. I can't find out a diagnosis other than what's listed, which is depression following a divorce. Her first husband was an oil man who went belly up after the wells went dry. She divorced him soon after and had to struggle for a while, until she hooked husband number two - an attorney for Brooks, Wilson, and Todd. That marriage lasted about two years and he divorced her citing irreconcilable differences. She's in Dallas working to secure a couple of oil contracts for her present firm. Oh, and she failed the bar twice before she passed it. She's had a couple of run-ins with the local law enforcement for…get this…drunk driving and shoplifting! Her firm attempted to hush them up, but the GPD refused to drop the charges. She had to agree to community service so she's been doing some work with Legal Aid. I called Legal Aid and they're closed with no weekend number available. That's about all I've been able to find out."

"Well, at least that's a start. I still want you to keep your eyes and ears open tonight. Remember, though, not a word of this to Alex."

"Not a word of what to Alex?"

Shoot, thought Walker! Here I was trying to be careful and she sneaks in on me!

"Nothing, Darling. I was telling Trivette not to mention that I'm worried about all this morning sickness you're having."

"Yeah, right! Honey, I told you this is normal. I asked Dad and he told me that my mother was sick like this with me. The doctor said it was normal. So, don't worry." With this comment, Alex runs for the bathroom again. Walker shakes his head and runs after her.

Walker was relieved he'd been able to get by with that one. Alex finally agreed to try some dry toast and by lunchtime was feeling well enough to eat a real meal. She and Walker finished getting everything ready for the barbeque. Since the weather was nice, Walker strung lights in the trees outside so they could keep the entire picnic outside. He also set up the CD player so they could do some dancing, much to the delight of his wife!

Alex reluctantly agreed to take a short nap on the sofa about 3:00. She had not been sick since early morning so Walker was feeling better about tonight.

The guests were expected by 6:00 p.m. Alex decided to go ahead and get dressed early. She pulled out her favorite pair of jeans and shirt. When she put the jeans on, they refused to fit in the middle. Panicked she started pulling out other pairs of her nicer jeans. That's how Walker found her, surrounded by denim and in tears.

"Alex, what in the world?"

"Oh, Walker, I don't have anything to wear!"

Laughing, Walker stood and watched his wife as she sobbed. She'd been having difficulty fastening her skirts all week but had managed by leaving the button open. That wouldn't work with her jeans since they wouldn't even meet.

"Walker, I don't see anything funny about this!" Alex was standing in the middle of their bedroom in her bra and panties. It was all Walker could do to keep his hands off of her. She looked so cute. Then, for the first time he noticed the small bulge that was now her stomach. She'd always been so flat. Strange, he had not noticed it before. All of a sudden, he felt such tenderness for her. He started towards her.

"Oh, no, you don't Cowboy! I've got to find something that will fit me in the middle!"

"Alex, look!" He pointed to her stomach and took her to the full-length mirror on the pedestal that he'd bought her for Christmas last year. He turned her sideways so she could see. Standing behind her, he placed his hands on her stomach with his growing baby.

Sighing, Alex looked. She had not realized how much her body had changed shape in the last few days even. "Oh, Walker…our baby!" She leaned back against him and felt a familiar bulge on her backside! Breaking away, she said, "Cowboy, we don't have time for that now! Our guests will be here soon and I still have nothing to wear!"

Alex started running from the room.

"Alexandra Walker, where do you think you're going dressed like that?!"

"I'm going to find that pair of jeans that I bought by accident in Utah. The ones with the elastic in the sides and the pleats in front! At least, I'll be able to wear something."

"Alex, you can't go dressed like that. Where are the jeans and I'll go look for them. Or, at least, put your robe on. I don't want our guests seeing you in your bra and panties! You know Trivette always shows up early."

"Hmmmm, you don't want me going to the party like this?" giggled Alex.

"No, I don't! Well, unless it's a private party for just you and me."

Alex told Walker where to find the jeans that she'd packed away. Luckily, she had not given them away as she had planned. She pulled out one of her tank tops and a long sleeve shirt. Not the outfit she'd planned on wearing but it would have to do. Walker returned with the jeans and although they were still a little snug, they would fasten. The pleated front hid her little tummy bulge. Walker felt like he'd weathered a crisis and decided that chasing criminals was much easier than dealing with his pregnant wife.

Walker was right about Trivette. Both he and Josie showed up early. Walker had already set up the grill and everything was ready to go. Josie helped Alex get the last minute food out of the refrigerator while Walker and Trivette manned the grill. Alex noticed Walker and Trivette in a huddle and when Mark arrived, he joined them.

"Ranger Walker, Ranger Trivette. This might not be the right time, but I think I saw something yesterday that I should mention."

Alex saw the expression on Walker's face change and wondered what Mark had said. Needless to say, she intended to find out. Walker was furious. He was very glad that Mark had told him about the car yesterday. He decided that he and Trivette should take this young man into their confidence, especially, since he was with Alex more than either of them could be.

Mark expressed concern also. He remembered how demanding the woman had been when she'd stopped by the office the other day. Alex decided she could take it no longer. Walker had been evasive with her earlier when Jimmy called and now this. She intended to find out what was going on and soon. Josie touched her arm and indicated that Syd, Gage, and Tracey had arrived. Since Alex was expecting Sara and Kip to be the first arrivals, she was surprised that they had not arrived and they would be ready to eat soon. Just as she was beginning to hope that they would not come, she saw an unfamiliar car coming up the drive.

Getting out of the car were Sara and Kip. Since she was really the only one to know them, it was her duty to meet them. She headed that way when Walker caught her by the hand, smiled, and walked with her to greet the newest guests.

"Hello, Sara, Kip." Kip reached for Alex to give her a hug but noted the Ranger standing guard over her. All eyes it seemed were upon them. Kip decided upon a handshake and a pat on the shoulder. Alex introduced her husband to Kip. Sara, he noticed was looking right at the Ranger. Alex invited the newest guests to join the others and introduced the newest arrivals. Since the burgers were ready, everyone seated themselves. Alex noticed that Walker, and Trivette grabbed seats on either side of her with Syd, Gage, and Mark directly in front. Kip and Sara both seemed out of place. Josie tried to start a conversation with Sara but Sara seemed in a sulking mood. Her plan had been to sit next to Ranger Walker. She intended to do more than just talk to him before the night was over.

Sara tried several times to engage Walker in conversation when he finally left Alex's side to get food. Alex noticed that he was watching everything intently. Something was definitely going on and it involved Sara. Finally, Sara got close enough to Alex to ask for a tour of her home. Sara desperately wanted to see the inside of this plain looking house. She was burning with jealously as Kip had not been able to take his eyes off of Alex all evening. Alex had on a plain pair of jeans - definitely not designer - and a shirt that did nothing to emphasize her assets. Sara couldn't understand what all the fascination was with this woman. All these people around her seemed so protective. When she moved at one point, Sara noticed that she wasn't as thin as they had thought originally. And those other three men kept hanging around Alex like dogs in heat! Sara was beautiful and knew it. She had always been the center of attention everywhere she went. Now Alex Cahill was. Sara was not happy!

"I'm going to show Sara and Kip the house."

"Alex, let me come too. I want to see what changes you've made that Walker was telling us about." OK, now for sure, Alex was suspicious. She had not made any recent changes and thought the comment from Syd totally out of place. She shrugged and they all went inside.

The first thing that Kip did was pick up and examine the photo of Alex and Walker from the wedding. "You were a beautiful bride, Alex."

"Thanks, Kip. That's Walker's favorite picture from the wedding."

"Where are your other pictures, Alex. I'd love to see them." Sara was being sarcastic but no one seemed to notice.

Alex had no choice but the get the album from the cupboard and hand it to Sara. She made herself at home with the album asking Alex who several of the people were and how they knew Mark Cuban. Syd didn't like the look on Sara's face when she was looking through the album.

"I thought Mark would be here tonight," said Syd.

"He's out of town with the Mavericks. Walker met Mark several years ago and they've become good friends. Mark was kind enough to offer us the use of his home for the wedding and reception. He has a beautiful home."

Walker came in under the pretense of bringing some empty dishes and joined them. He didn't like the fact that Sara was seeing the layout of the house and their wedding photos. It seemed too personal to him.

Sara asked to go to the bathroom and Alex directed her to the one downstairs. Alex and the others went back outside to be with the other guests. Walker noticed that Syd was sticking to Alex like glue. He was glad. He decided to wait on Sara so he busied himself in the kitchen. When she came out, she found him there. Walker didn't like the way she kept trying to press herself up against him in the small kitchen. Feeling uncomfortable, he decided they should join the others and quickly.

Alex was sitting on one of the picnic benches talking to Kip and Josie. Syd and Gage were arguing as usual and Trivette, Mark, and Tracey were talking shop. Walker felt Sara loop her arm through his. He discreetly disengaged himself and slipped onto the bench straddling it just beside his wife. She turned to smile at him and he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.

Trivette chose that time to start up the CD player. Walker groaned because he knew Alex would want to dance. When the first song that Trivette played was the one they first danced to at their wedding, he knew he was lost. He looked at Trivette, who grinned innocently.

"Oh, Walker…listen. Come on, let's dance."

"Alex…"

"Please, Walker."

"I'd better while I can still reach my arms around you!" This brought laughter from everyone except Kip and Sara.

He knew he was lost when he got that pouty look from Alex and got up then. Smiling he pulled his wife to her feet and they went out under the trees. He pulled her close and tucked her hand in his. Soon Josie and Trivette joined them. Walker intended to keep an eye on Sara, but soon his thoughts and eyes were lost in the woman with whom he was dancing - his beautiful wife.

Sara didn't like the way they were dancing and the way he was holding her.

"What did Walker mean by that comment?" Gage answered Kip's question by announcing that Alex is pregnant.

Only Mark saw the ugly look that crossed Sara's face. He decided to ask her to dance to see what she'd say. He was sure that the Walkers had not planned to announce the pregnancy like that but they were so used to teasing each other that it slipped out.

"Sara, would you care to dance?" Sara looked up into the eyes of a young man. Who did he think he was, asking her to dance? Then it occurred to her, maybe they could change partners.

"Sure. I'm sorry, I don't remember your name."

"It's Mark. I work as a law clerk for Mrs. Walker. We met the other day when you stopped by the office."

When the dance ended, Sara saw her opportunity and grabbed Walker. Kip was ready to reach for Alex. He had wanted to hold her in his arms all evening. Sara had been right. Alex had gotten only more beautiful even if she was pregnant. Walker didn't like the fact that Kip was dancing with Alex. He especially didn't care for the way he was trying to hold her so close.

"Alex, you seem very happy with the Ranger. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm finally glad to meet someone who captured your heart." Alex only smiled. She didn't like the way that Kip was holding her and tried to step back. She saw Walker excuse himself from Sara and enter the house. When the dance ended, Alex picked up a couple of dishes and went inside. She had not seen Sara follow Walker inside. She was surprised to find Sara in the kitchen with Walker and push him up against the counter. Alex saw red. How dare she and in their home!

"Come on Ranger. Let me show how it is like with a real woman, a woman filled with passion and not ice. I've seen you with The Ice Princess. She'll never be woman enough for you. I'm the woman who can take you to heaven, who can meet you passion for passion, stroke for stroke. I can't imagine how she ever got pregnant."

"Wrong man, Sara. I love my wife. You'll never be half the woman she is. Her beauty is as much on the inside as it is on the outside. She's tender, compassionate, and caring…things I have not observed in you. I think it's time for you to leave." Walker had never seen a woman with so many hands. She kept trying to touch his private parts but he held her hands away.

"YOU TAKE YOUR GRIMY HANDS OFF OF MY HUSBAND!" Startled, Sara broke away from Walker. She quickly regained her composure and sneered at Alex.

"What's a little dalliance among friends?"

Alex was livid now. Walker decided his wife could hold her own in this one but wasn't about to leave her.

"I'll tell you, Sara. You and I are not friends. We've never been friends. We will NEVER be friends. I didn't invite you here tonight and you are certainly no longer welcome in my home. I suggest that you get out while you can still walk out. Oh, and don't bother calling me again. I want no part of you now or ever. And, when you leave, take that leech, Kip, with you. You can share the message with him, too."

Sara's face turned a bright red. "I'll get you Alex Cahill. You have no right to talk to me this way. You've always thought you were too good for me and my friends. Well, I've got news for you, you're nothing, NOTHING! Look at yourself, you're beginning to look like a pig!"

Walker didn't like this threat. He was sure Alex wouldn't think it meant anything but he wasn't happy. He decided to put an end to it.

In his deadliest voice, Walker said, "First of all, Sara, her name is Alex WALKER, and my wife has asked you to leave politely. I won't be so polite! Second, I don't like any threats to my wife. I suggest that you leave now while you still can. Believe me, you wouldn't like it down at the county jail! I also suggest that you stay your distance from my wife and our home. I know it was you who followed us last night. Do that again and you'll answer to me!"

 

Alex looked shocked. Never had she seen so much hatred directed at herself or her husband. Sara was definitely in a rage. Alex was frightened. Now she knew why Walker and the other Rangers and even Mark had been hovering around her all evening. They must have known about Sara. Sara had turned even redder. She whirled around and took off out the door. She demanded that Kip take her home immediately, leaving the rest of the guests shocked and stunned at the look on her face.

Alex ran to her husband's waiting arms. "OK, Walker. What's going on. Why didn't you mention this to me last night? Is that why Syd, Gage, or Mark have followed my every move tonight?"

"Alex, I didn't want to upset you. I've had Trivette run a check on Sara. I think she's unbalanced and I want you stay away from her. And yeah, Trivette, Syd, Gage, and even Mark know about this. Mark talked to me this evening. He saw the car that followed us last night. The rental car is registered to Sara Donelson. Trivette has uncovered some things that we don't like. I want you to stay away from her. Until we can find out more, you won't be alone. Is that clear?" Alex nodded and collapsed in her husband's strong arms. She was scared now.

Taking his now docile wife by the hand, he lead her back to their guests where they were able to pull the evening back together and enjoy each other's company. Alex was still visibly shaken by what had happened and the hatred she had seen in Sara's face. Kip had told her while they were dancing that Sara had a breakdown about three years ago. She knew she should tell Walker but hated to worry him further. Maybe she'd wait until Monday and discuss it with Syd over lunch.

After everyone left, Walker made sure all the doors were locked. He decided to leave the outside lights on all night. Syd and Gage offered to stay all night and keep watch, but Walker thought they'd be OK. He was determined not to let Alex out of his sight for the rest of the weekend. Trivette told him that he would ask Dallas PD to do a full background check on Sara and Kip first thing on Monday. Both of them thought they would find Kip harmless. He was too much of a playboy.

Turning on the CD player, Walker decided that his wife needed some distracting before they went to bed. He knew that asking her to dance was a sure way to do that. He put on the CD, "Keeper of the Stars" and pulled Alex close.

"Cowboy, do you know how much I love you?"

"Yeah, but you can tell me again," Walker said with a smile. He kissed his wife tenderly and as the song ended, he turned out the rest of the lights and they headed upstairs to bed. Pulling her close, he started making love to her as if he would never let her go. They fell asleep in each other's arms not knowing that someone was lurking outside, someone who was very angry and determined to get even.


 

Visitors from the Past - Part 4

Sunday dawned bright and clear. Walker awoke to the sound of his wife throwing up in the bathroom. Poor Alex. Seems she's not going to have a good day today. Before he could rise, she was back.

"Morning, Cowboy. If you don't mind, I think I'll just come back to bed for a while. Care to snuggle?"

She joined him and snuggled against him, with her head on his chest. He ran his fingers through her blonde hair, caressing her tenderly. Last night had been difficult for her. They needed to talk about it, but just not right now. He knew she was probably upset with him for not sharing information sooner than he did. He just loved her so much and didn't want to worry her.

Before long, he heard Alex's soft breathing and knew she was sleeping again. Then, the telephone rang.

"Hello."

There was no answer. Walker hung up the phone as Alex stirred. Glancing at the clock, he saw it was only 8:30.

"Who was that?" Alex asked sleepily.

"No one. There was no one on the other end. Guess it was a wrong number. Go back to sleep." He kissed the top of her head as she settled in more comfortably.

In a pitiful voice, Alex said, "Walker, I don't have any clothes to wear. I think I need to go shopping today. Wanna come?" Her fingers were making circles on his chest and he was finding it difficult to answer, especially while her foot was caressing his leg.

Alex expected a negative response to her question and was surprised when Walker said, "Sure." Knowing he had surprised his wife, Walker chuckled. He knew that was not the response Alex was expecting. Actually, he'd decided after seeing her surrounded with all those clothes yesterday that shopping with her might be fun. Well, OK, not fun, but definitely interesting!

After last night Alex knew that Walker didn't intend to let her out of his sight today. Sighing, she decided to get up. About the time her feet hit the floor, she was running to the bathroom again. This morning sickness would be one thing that she wouldn't mind seeing end.

Walker went to tend the horses and returned to shower. Alex had already showered and was getting dressed when the phone rang again. She picked it up and only heard heavy breathing. Then the connection was broken.

"Who was that?"

"I don't know. There was heavy breathing, then, the person hung up. Probably another wrong number."

"Alex, how much do you remember about Sara from law school?

"I've told you all I remember. I never hung around with her or her crowd. I had classes with them. They were rude and crude. They drank and partied a lot. They made fun of those of us who did study and participate. Why? Do you think that was Sara calling this morning?"

"I don't know. I just want you to be careful. And I mean it! Especially, when you go back to work tomorrow and I'm not with you all day."

"Is that why you're so willing to go shopping with me?" Alex smiled at Walker.

Taking his wife in his arms, Walker assured her in the only way he knew how that going shopping with her was the last thing he really wanted to do but he also knew that he couldn't take another outburst like yesterday because she didn't have anything to wear.

"So where do we start? Want some breakfast first?"

Alex looked at her husband like he'd lost his mind before she bolted for the bathroom again! Shaking his head, Walker went to get a damp cloth for her. Poor Alex, when was this going to end? He decided to fix himself some breakfast and would fix her some toast just in case.

Alex finally agreed to try the toast. They sat out on the porch in the swing waiting to see if the toast was going to stay down.

"Walker, you think there is more to Sara than meets the eye don't you?"

"Yes, I do. There was so much hatred on her face last night and no one had done anything to cause it. She'd been welcomed into our home but she somehow seemed vindictive. It was almost like she had a grudge against you. That's why I wanted you to try and remember everything you could about law school."

"But, Walker, I never knew her that well. Why would she act that way?"

"I don't know, Honey, but she was like a walking time-bomb last night."

"She was coming on to you in the kitchen."

Walker chuckled remembering Alex's reaction to that! He never remembered her being that angry with anyone. Well, maybe once or twice, at him.

"I didn't think it was very funny, Walker."

"I didn't either, Alex, but you got to admit your reaction was most unexpected."

"Why was that? Another woman was pawing my husband in my house. How should I have reacted?"

"Oh, Alex, look at your face. You are so adorable when you're jealous."

"I'm not jealous!" Alex was indignant, then she giggled. OK, maybe she was. Walker had no intention of telling her about Sara and the restaurant. He knew now that his suspicions had been right. This woman was not to be trusted.

"Walker, I always thought Sara was after Kip. I thought maybe since they were here together things were working out for her. I was just so surprised that she was coming on to you. It really bothers me. I trust you and know you would never do anything to break our vows but I don't understand why Sara was coming on to you when Kip was here."

"Well, she had more hands than anyone I'd ever seen and she's strong as a bull. I thought I was going to have to use a few kicks and punches to get away from her."

"You said Jimmy was going to check her out tomorrow?"

"Yes, but I still want you to be careful. OK?"

"OK! Are you ready to go shopping, Cowboy?"

Walker was now wondering why he had agreed to this and thought maybe he could distract Alex. Then he remembered the clothes problem and knew she had to have comfortable clothes to wear. He smiled as he remembered the little bulge that was now her stomach. Rising, he pulled her to her feet and kissed her tenderly. She was wearing the same jeans she had on last night and he could feel that the side elastic was stretched as far as it would go. "Let's go! Oh, Alex, do we still have to go to the Cattleman's Ball next weekend?"

"Oh, no, Walker! I'll bet my formal dresses won't fit either!" With this Alex takes off into the house in a run. Walker sighs and follows her. Upstairs in their bedroom, Alex is pulling out dresses. She tries on the black one he bought her in Paris. It looks lovely on her but then he realizes that it won't zip. She turns to face him, removes the dress and reaches for another one. No luck.

"Alex, we'll just buy you another dress. Come on and let's go." He helped her hang the dresses back in the closet and they left the house arm in arm. Since it was a beautiful day, they decided to take her car and put the top down. Walker drove and did not notice the car that pulled out soon after they did and pulled into their driveway.

Walker parked at the mall and really dreaded this trip, especially when he saw that Alex was heading to a maternity shop. There would be nothing but women in here.

"Alex, this is a women's shop! I can't go in there."

Alex laughed. "Honey, you can wait outside if you want to but I really could use your opinion on some clothes. I want to be sure that you like what I buy."

Sighing, the Texas Ranger meekly followed his wife into a maternity shop. His first time ever and he hoped it would be his last. All the women turned to look at him. He had never been so uncomfortable in all his life! What had he gotten himself in to? His own cheeks felt hot and he bet he was blushing. How awful! Alex took his hand and smiled. That was all the confidence he needed. Strange, he could take out seven men alone but please don't put him a room full of women's things like this!

Alex found a seat for Walker. She knew he was uncomfortable but loved him so much for coming with her. She picked out several outfits to try on and asked him if he liked them. She could see his discomfort and smiled. The sales clerk was very helpful in finding things to "grow" with her. She tried to stick to basics so she wouldn't have to spend so much money.

While waiting for Alex to try on some clothes, Walker spied a formal dress that he thought would look great on Alex. It was the same blue as her eyes. He got up and picked it off the rack and found the sales clerk that was helping Alex. He asked her to take it in to Alex to try on. Alex came out to show him the dress. It came to just above her knees and it flared at the hemline. The neckline was cut low but not overly revealing. It had three-quarter sleeves and the back was open with crisscrossing straps. She was breath-taking in it just as he knew she would be. She twirled for him and he nodded his approval. The sales clerk watched the interaction with the two and sighed. How wonderful it would be to find a love that like. This man seemed to have eyes for no one but his wife. The dress was perfect for the tall blonde. It was pleated in front but with tiny buttons that could be opened or closed depending on the size of the pregnancy. It glittered as she moved and was the perfect compliment for her eyes. The sales clerk had never seen eyes so blue before. They made a lovely couple. Several other women in the shop had stopped shopping and were watching the handsome man and beautiful woman. Sighing, they wondered what her secret was. They were shopping without their husbands!

Alex decided to change into a new pair of jeans and maternity top. She couldn't believe the difference. It was nice to be able to breathe! She couldn't wait for Walker to see her and she was not disappointed with his reaction. When he saw her looking so pregnant, his heart skipped a beat. This was really happening. They were going to be parents!

Afterwards, Alex wanted to head to the baby shop but Walker insisted upon eating. It was already 2 p.m. and his breakfast was wearing thin. They found a small restaurant in the mall and were seated. Alex had packages all around her so Walker had no choice but to sit across from her. He thought she looked absolutely adorable in her maternity outfit. He was going to enjoy watching this pregnancy.

"I like your new outfit, Honey."

"Do I look pregnant now," Alex said with a grin.

"Oh yeah!"

After lunch, Walker insisted that they head home. He could see that Alex was tired. She dozed on the ride back to the ranch. Walker slowed as he turned into the driveway. He sensed something was wrong right away. He pulled to the side of the house. As the car came to a stop, Alex awoke.

Walker jumped from the car and ran towards the house telling Alex to stay where she was. There was red paint on the house, dripping like blood. Alex had followed Walker and gasped when she saw it. Walker pushed her behind him as they entered the house cautiously. The sight inside caused Alex to scream. On the coffee table was a dead cat with blood dripping from its mouth. It's throat had been cut. Walker put his arms around his wife as she hid her face in his shoulder. He looked around to see what other damage was done. There was more red paint dripping on the wall. Then he noticed that their wedding picture was lying on the floor torn in half. He spotted a vase with dead roses.

"Alex, I need to check the rest of the house. Stay behind me, OK?" The other rooms downstairs were OK except for everything being messed up. Upstairs in their bedroom, the sheets had been ripped and there were dead roses all over the bed and floor. In the middle of the bed was another mutilated animal. Both of the animals were yellow cats. There was no sign of anyone being inside the house. Walker called Trivette and asked him to get a crime scene team and come as soon as possible. Walker knew he had to check the horses.

"Alex, Trivette is on his way. I want you to stay inside while I go check on the horses."

"Not a chance. I'm not letting you out of my sight." Together, they made their way to the barn and both were relieved to find the horses safe and sound. Walker checked all around the house and found a broken window near the back porch, which is how entry was gained to the house.

Trivette and the Dallas PD arrived in record time with Syd and Gage right on their heels. Walker asked Syd to take Alex outside and stay with her while the team checked the crime sight. Alex was crying and refused to let go of Walker's hand. He had no choice but to take her outside himself. Syd followed but allowed them some time alone.

"Alex, you need to pull yourself together. We're going to catch whoever did this. Right now, I need to be inside so I can check to see if there is anything further that has been disturbed. Syd will stay with you. You'll be safe. OK?"

Holding tightly to Walker, Alex sobbed, "I know. I'm just so frightened. Walker, who did this to us? Why?"

Walker pulled her close and held her tightly for a few minutes. She stopped crying and he wiped the tears from her face with his thumbs. "You'll be OK?" She nodded and he left her with Syd while he returned to the house.

Syd put her arm around Alex's waist and suggested they sit in the chairs under the tree. She knew that Alex was visibly shaken and was concerned about her boss' wife. Syd had always admired this Assistant District Attorney. She was smart and beautiful but very committed to her work and now to her husband. She didn't want anything to spoil their happiness.

"Syd, I need to tell you something that I didn't tell Walker." Syd was all ears.

"Last night when I was dancing with Kip Randall, he told me that Sara Donelson had a nervous breakdown about three years ago. This was right after she and her husband divorced. He said that Sara wanted to move to this area to escape the gossip that still surrounded her. Do you think that has anything to do with all this?"

"I don't know, Alex, but you need to share this with Walker, especially now."

After the crime team finished, they left. Trivette and Gage helped Walker put things back together in both rooms before they allowed Alex back in the house. The red paint on the walls turned out to be washable and they were able to get it off without a trace. Walker walked outside and wiped the paint off outside, too. Everything was back to normal except for the photograph. The crime scene investigators had taken it. They had found one other piece of evidence that luckily Alex had not seen. It was a bloody, beheaded doll that was stuck in the toilet in the upstairs bathroom. The doll had blonde hair.

Walker, Trivette, and Gage joined Alex and Syd outside. Walker sat on the edge of Alex's chair and put his arm around her. She buried her head against his leg and cried. The other Rangers walked a short distance to give them some privacy. Walker stood and pulled Alex into his arms. He knew she just needed to cry it out. After Alex got quieter, Walker sat her back down and knelt in front of her.

"Alex, I think you and I both suspect that Sara is responsible for this. I told the detectives that we'd be in tomorrow morning to go over this. I'm going to assign a Ranger to be with you all times while you're at work. I don't even want you going to the bathroom alone. Is that clear?"

Alex nodded. She was frightened and this time she had the baby to consider. She hoped this would be over soon. She knew she didn't need any more stress right now. She would talk to the DA tomorrow and see about getting her caseload lightened for the next few weeks. She knew the DA would agree. He wasn't happy about what her pregnancy would do to the caseload but he was a kind, caring man. She chose this time to tell Walker about her conversation with Kip last night. She could tell from the look on Walker's face that he was not happy.

"I'm also going to fill Mark in on this. At least he'll be with you at court and in the office so he can watch too. He has good observation skills and he thinks a lot of you."

"I just hate all this, Walker."

"I know but we'll get to the bottom of it and put a stop to it. OK? Syd and Gage are going to stay the night and keep watch. Would you prefer to go to a motel tonight?"

"NO, I'm not going to let her run me out of my home!"

"That's my girl! I'm glad to see some of that spirit back." Walker smiled at Alex.

"What say we whip up some dinner and feed these Rangers who took their Sunday to come out here?"

Alex smiled. Walker always knew how to bring normalcy back to their lives. She would rest easy tonight in his arms.

The night was uneventful. Syd and Gage took turns sleeping and patrolling the house. Walker and Alex slept well secure in knowing they were being protected.

Monday and Tuesday passed without incident. Walker and Trivette did background work looking for more information on Sara Donelson. They had been unable to tie her to the break-in at the Walker house. She was either very good at covering her tracks or she was innocent. She insisted that she had an alibi when Dallas PD interviewed her and so far everything checked out. She had stayed totally away from Walker and Alex.

On Wednesday, a box arrived at the office for Alex. Mark signed for the box and decided to call Ranger Walker before he gave it to Mrs. Walker. There was no return address on the box.

Walker came into the office. Alex did not know about the box as Walker had asked Mark not to tell her. Of course, Alex had to come out of her office just as Walker arrived to pick it up.

"Hi, Honey! What are you doing here? What's in the box?"

"Uh, Alex, it's just a box."

Knowing he was caught again, Walker decided to be honest. He saw that look on Alex's face that indicated she would not stop there.

"The box came for you. Mark called me and now I'm going to open it. The box is suspicious."

Opening the box, Walker realized he was right. He did not want Alex to see it. It was another doll identical to the one found at the ranch. He tried to hide the box from Alex but she insisted on looking. She screamed and fainted. Walker caught her before she hit the floor. Tracey ran to get a cold cloth, while Mark called Trivette to come and get the box.

Walker decided it would be best not to tell Alex about the other doll. As she came to, he decided she needed to see the doctor. He didn't want her stressed and he wanted to be sure this wasn't affecting the baby.

"Alex, I'm taking you to the doctor and then home." Alex did not know it but Walker had Dallas PD keep watch at the ranch all week.

"Walker, I don't need to go to the doctor. I'm OK, really."

"Too bad, Alex. I'm not taking no as an answer this time. Come on, let's go."

Alex got her things and they left. At the doctor's office, Dr. Bates checked Alex and the baby and determined that both were OK although Alex's blood pressure was up a little. She assured them that it was nothing to worry about and scheduled a sonogram for the following week. With both feeling better, they stopped and had dinner and returned to the ranch for a quiet evening at home.

On Thursday, Walker decided it was time for him to pay a visit to Kip Randall. He dropped Alex off at her office and made sure that a Ranger was in place to keep an eye on her. He knew she had court and he didn't want any surprises. Arriving at the law firm, Walker was told that Mr. Randall was in conference and could not be disturbed. Walker assured the secretary that he could wait. About 30 minutes later, one of the partners of the firm saw the Ranger in the waiting room. When he learned that he was waiting for Kip Randall, he decided to insist that the Ranger be seen immediately. He did not want a Texas Ranger in his waiting room. It might upset clients.

Kip rushed out to greet Ranger Walker and apologized for his having to wait. He ushered Walker into his office and Walker was surprised to see an almost empty desk. Kip told Walker he was extremely busy. Walker said, "Yeah, I can see from the looks of your desk. Don't forget my wife is a lawyer, too!" At least Kip had the grace to turn red.

"What can I do for you, Ranger?"

Walker explained a little that had occurred over the course of the last few days and told Kip that he wanted more information about Sara Donelson. Kip was adamant that Sara would never do anything to hurt Alex or anyone. Walker asked Kip if Sara told him why he wanted to leave in such a hurry on Saturday night. When Kip indicated that she told him she had a headache, Walker told him the real reason.

Kip was concerned now. He knew that Sara hated Alex and had never understood that. He wanted to talk to Sara, though, before he told Ranger Walker anything. He wondered why Sara did not mention the visit from the Dallas PD to him when they'd had dinner the night before. She'd seemed fine and was looking forward to the Cattleman's Ball on Saturday night. In fact, she had been nothing but charming and beautiful.

"Ranger Walker, I've known Sara for years. We were in college together as well as law school. I can't imagine that she would do anything to harm anyone. What could she possibly have against Alex. They were never even good friends. I was a little surprised when she asked me to come with her to your barbeque on Saturday night. I think you've got the wrong number here."

"You told Alex that Sara had a nervous breakdown several years ago."

"Yes, she did but she was going through a difficult time. Her husband had just divorced her for no reason. That's why she's looking to move here. She wants to start over."

Walker had a feeling that he was not getting the true story from Kip. He decided he'd let Trivette check this out further. He wanted a full investigation in to this.

Stopping back by Alex's office, he was relieved to find her in good spirits. Things had gone well for her in court. She seemed in a really good mood.

"Wanna get some lunch, Cowboy?"

"Sure…let's go!"

Alex asked Walker if he'd found out anything and told her he had not. In the elevator, they ran into the DA. "Hi Walker, Alex. I'm really sorry to learn about all that's been going on. If the office can help any, let me know."

"Thanks, Dan. I appreciate the support and I know Alex does. Thanks for taking some of her caseload, too. This has been a stressful time for her."

"Well, maybe you two can relax Saturday night at the ball."

Walker was hoping they could cancel that but seeing the look in Alex's eyes, he knew he'd better not mention it. The rest of day and the next passed without incident. Trivette was busy trying to find out more information on Sara Donelson. Gage and Syd were working on other cases.

Saturday was a beautiful day. Alex seemed more relaxed than she had in a long while. Walker felt better about the ball that night because Trivette had been asked to escort the daughter of an old friend. At least he'd have someone to be miserable with and keep an eye on Alex!

After a nap, Alex decided to take a long relaxing bubble bath. Walker was out exercising the horses. Poor Angel and Amigo had not been ridden much lately. Just before she stepped into the tub, the phone rang. She reached for it but the caller hung up.

Walker came in and showered while Alex was drying her hair. He dressed quickly and told her he'd wait downstairs. Knowing Alex, it would be a long wait! They had decided to take her car to the ball. Finally, Alex was ready. As she descended the steps, Walker stood. He looked wonderful in his tux and she loved watching the look in his eyes as she came down the steps.

"Wow, you look gorgeous!"

"I was hoping you'd notice. You look good yourself, Cowboy."

Walker knew she was the most exquisite woman he'd ever seen. Her eyes were shining and her dress was stunning. She certainly filled this one out nicely. Her hair was up in a French Twist and she had a hair clip that glittered when she moved her head. A few wisps of hair fell down around her face giving her a fragile look. He found it difficult to take his eyes off of her.

Arriving at the ball, Walker felt uncomfortable. He knew that Sara was going to be there and hated to think there might be an encounter. He and Alex found seats at the same table with Trivette and were introduced to his date, a pretty young woman named Ashley. The food was delicious. Walker and Trivette were scanning the room looking for Sara and Kip. They were seated on the far side of the room with some people that Walker recognized as oil men. Everything seemed normal.

As the music began, Walker took Alex to the dance floor. It was then that Kip and Sara got close enough to speak. Sara acted as though nothing had happened and was friendly to both he and Alex. Walker could feel Alex move closer to him as Sara and Kip passed by them. Finally, he was able to move her to the other side of the dance floor.

A short time later, Kip came over and asked Alex to dance. She told him she would prefer to sit this one out, but he just took her hand and pulled her to her feet.

"You're looking beautiful, Alex. I hope you won't let all this business with Sara affect our friendship. Your husband is wrong about Sara. She would never do anything to hurt you."

"Kip, we've never been friends. Remember? As far as the investigation, you'll have to discuss that with my husband."

She walked off and left Kip standing in the middle of the dance floor. Deciding to go to the restroom first, she headed that way. There were a few women coming out of the restroom as Alex entered. She foolishly thought that she should have told Walker where she was going. She felt nauseous and didn't take the time, though. With all these people around, she should be fine.

Alex dampened a cloth and held it against her face and neck. An older woman was sitting in one of the chairs and asked Alex if she was OK. Alex told her she was just a little nauseous. The older woman grinned and said she remembered the feeling. She told Alex that it would get better. Then she left and Alex was alone in the restroom. She was about to leave when she felt she needed to throw up again.

Sara had seen Kip ask Alex to dance and Alex leave for the restroom. This would be her chance to get her old law school chum alone. She had a lot to say to this yellow-haired witch.

Alex came out of the bathroom stall and reached for another paper towel to dampen it. She didn't notice Sara as she was still feeling so sick to her stomach. With the cloth dampened, she held it to her face then rinsed her mouth with the mouthwash that was left there as a courtesy. Turning, it was then that she noticed Sara. Her breath caught in her throat. Sara was looking at her with pure hatred in her face and eyes. Alex was frightened and hoped that Walker had come looking for her. Then she noticed the small gun in Sara's hand.

"So I finally get you alone, Alex. Did you think you would get by with telling everyone that I had trashed your house? Did you think I would let you get by with trying to steal Kip and having your husband order me out of your house like I was common trash?"

"Sara, I don't know what you mean. Yes, someone did vandalize our house but I heard you had an alibi for the time in question. As for Kip, I have no interest in him."

"What, he's not good enough for the high and mighty Assistant District Attorney?"

"Sara, I don't understand, why are you so angry with me?"

 


Visitors from the Past - Part 5

Pointing the gun at Alex's stomach, Sara says, "Well, I guess since you're going to die, there is not reason not to tell you. I'm tired of hearing about how great Alex Cahill is. I'm tired of seeing you succeed. Why should you have a great looking husband like him and now a baby on the way. Do you know that I would have gladly given up everything to have what you have? No, you don't understand, do you? I had to abort my baby. My ex-husband didn't want children and when he found out that my mother was half African American, he made me have an abortion. How are you going to feel if your baby comes out looking like an Indian?"

"Sara, my baby was created in love. I don't care which of us it looks like as long as it's healthy. I love my husband and I'm as proud of his heritage as I am my own. I'm sorry for all you've been through but that still doesn't explain why you hate me so much."

"When we were in law school, all I heard was Alex this and Alex that. You were every professor's little darling and Kip wanted to get his hands on you so badly. Did you know that you were all he ever talked about? I listened day in and day out to how he was going to win you. I love him. I should be the one getting all of his attention. In fact, I'm far more beautiful than you are. But you bat those blue eyes and every male comes running. How do you think I felt at your house that night? All those people, especially the men catering to your every whim. Then, when you started dancing with the Ranger, he had eyes for no one else but you. Kip couldn't take his eyes off of you either. I was just there and no one was paying any attention to me. So, yes, I trashed your house and I pretended that doll I left in the commode was your baby. I'm going to kill it first, then you. You don't deserve to live. With you out of the way, I'll be free and Kip will love me. I might even win that Ranger's heart before it's done. I'll shoot you, then run out and announce that someone else did it. Maybe that little old woman that was in here while ago. No one will believe that I did it!" Sara was laughing hysterically now.

Alex had never been so frightened in her life. This woman was mentally ill and she had no way of letting Walker know where she was. She was afraid to move for fear Sara would shoot her. With the gun aimed as it was, Alex knew that Sara would kill the baby even if she didn't kill her.

"Sara, you're right. You are more beautiful that I. I don't think Kip thinks I'm beautiful. I think he just wants to win over another man and break up the marriage. Then he would discard me and come straight to you. He loves you Sara. I can see it in his eyes." Alex is talking frantically now, trying to distract Sara. In the mirror, Alex sees Walker and Trivette easing into the restroom. She needs to keep Sara's attention away from the door and the mirror until they can enter. All of a sudden, she feels nauseous and knows she's going to throw up.

"Sara, I'm sick. Please let me go into one of the stalls."

Sara laughs hysterically and refuses. She hits Alex in the head with the gun. "You think you're so smart, don't you?" Alex grabs her head and realizes that she's bleeding. She's nauseated and knows she needs to get into the stall quickly. Sara grabs her and throws her into the stall just as she's about to throw-up in her face. Unable to resist, Sara, tries to push Alex's face down into the commode, but Alex manages to grab Sara's hair and gives it a strong pull. Sara yelps and aims the gun right at Alex's head.

About that time, Walker jumps her and grabs her hand before the gun goes off. He wrestles her to the floor and Trivette grabs the gun from her hand. A security guard appears with a set of handcuffs and Walker cuffs Sara. Trivette helps her up from the floor and he and the security guard leave with her. Sara is ranting the entire time that she'll get them…she'll get them all. None of them deserve to live now.

"Alex, you OK?" Walker pulls his trembling wife into his arms, but she bolts for one of the stalls and throws up. He dampens a cloth and enters the stall with her. He gently holds her head while she throws up the remainder of her dinner.

Helping her up, Walker takes Alex back to the ball. Most of the guests are aware by this time what has transpired. They are all shaken to know that someone tried to murder the beautiful ADA and her unborn child. They see how pale she is. Trivette returns and together he and Walker find a quiet place for Alex to rest for a moment. Kip comes over and tries to speak to Walker and Alex but Trivette tells him now is not a good time. The host of the ball is Max Kendall, one of the richest oil barons in Texas. He and his wife come to see if there is anything they can do. Walker tells them that he and Alex will be leaving as soon as she is able. She is still trembling. Mrs. Kendall kneels before Alex and speaks softly to her. Alex seems to relax.

Finally, Mrs. Kendall rises and Alex looks at her husband. "Walker, I need to go home now, OK?"

"Sure, Honey." Walker and Alex excuse themselves and Mr. Kendall arranges to have their car brought around so they don't have to wait. Trivette offers to follow them to the ranch but Walker tells him that he needs to get Alex to bed. "I'll call you tomorrow, Trivette."

Alex is visibly shaken. Instead of taking her home, Walker calls the doctor on the cell phone and fills her in on what has happened. She agrees to meet them at her office even though it's nearly midnight. Walker is very worried as Alex hasn't spoken since she asked to go home.

When they arrive at the doctor's office, Dr. Bates is waiting for them. She sees how pale Alex is and is very concerned. She checks her blood pressure and sees that it is a little high. She listens to the baby's heartbeat and thinks it's a little too fast. She starts talking to Alex and telling her that she must calm down for the baby's sake. She tells Walker that she wants Alex to have complete bed rest all day Sunday and to be in her office at 9 a.m. Monday morning for a sonogram. She checks Alex's blood pressure again and it's come down. So has the baby's heart rate. She also tells them both - no sex! She allows Walker to take Alex home with instructions to go to the emergency room if Alex gets more upset or feels dizzy.

Alex falls asleep on the ride home. Walker lifts her from the car and takes her inside the house. Just as he is laying her on the bed, she awakens and screams. Walker knows that she has been dreaming. He takes her in his arms and comforts her. She begins to respond to him and reaches for his zipper. He catches her fingers and reminds her that the doctor said no sex.

"But Walker, I need you tonight. I need to feel that I'm alive."

"Honey, you are very much alive, but you have to take it easy now. It's important for the sake of the baby. I promise I'll hold you all night long and chase away any demons that threaten your sleep. OK?"

Smiling Alex agrees. Walker helps her undress and then he undresses. They get into bed and fall into a deep sleep. Alex clings to Walker in sleep as if her life depends on it. She doesn't know that a DPD patrol car is parked at the entrance to the ranch keeping watch over them.

Unfortunately, her sleep is interrupted by several nightmares but Walker is there to comfort her. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, she falls into a contented sleep knowing that she is safe in her husband's arms.

Because of the late night and the unrestful sleep, the Walkers sleep until nearly noon on Sunday. The phone awakens them even then.

"Walker, it's Trivette. How's Alex?"

"She's OK. I stopped by the doctor's office with her last night before we came home. She is to have complete bed rest today and tomorrow goes for the sonogram. Trivette, I'll be in late tomorrow if at all. I need to see how things are going. Is Sara in custody?"

"Yeah, someone from Kip's firm is going to represent her. The arraignment is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday but she'll be in custody until then. She's in the psychiatric unit at the hospital, though, under complete guard. They have her sedated. I'm going by there and try to talk to the doctor in a little while. Dallas PD is going to watch your house around the clock just to be sure, though."

"OK, call me after you talk to the doctor."

"Who was that?" Alex is still groggy but is clinging to Walker's arm.

"It was Trivette. Sara is in lockdown at the psychiatric unit at the hospital. She is under heavy guard. Dallas PD is parked outside our house. Trivette's going to talk to the doctor and will call us back."

Sighing, Alex snuggled closer to her husband.

"Do you want some breakfast or lunch?"

"Walker, do you realize that I haven't thrown up once today?"

"Well, you threw up enough yesterday and I don't see how there could possibly be anything left on your stomach. Maybe it's because you haven't been up today? Don't forget you're to have total bed rest today."

"Yeah, well that's awfully hard to do considering what the doctor told us and the fact that a handsome cowboy is sharing my bed."

"I'm glad to see you've got your sense of humor back, Honey. I'm going to fix us something to eat. Do you want to try to come to the couch and lie down or shall I serve you in bed?"

Alex opted for the couch. She took a quick shower while Walker fixed them brunch. Walker brought their plates to the living room. After eating, they decided to sit outside in the swing. It was the first time that Alex had seen the DPD car parked down the driveway. It brought back all the memories of the night before and she started to cry.

Walker held her close. She had a bruise on her cheek and still a nasty looking bump on her forehead. Luckily, she did not require stitches.

"Walker, I was so scared. She had that gun pointing right at my stomach and was threatening to kill our baby. She is so evil. I never realized that. You know what she told me? She said that she hoped we got lucky and that the baby didn't have any Native American physical characteristics."

"Alex, you know with my heritage, that could happen. How would you feel about that?"

"Oh, Honey, how can you even ask me that question?"

"It's something we've never discussed."

"I am proud to bear your child regardless of its looks. I adored Uncle Ray and it wouldn't bother me in the least if our child picks up that part of your heritage."

Walker sighed. He knew this was the answer he would get but he felt like it had to be put into words. Alex softly told him about Sara's heritage and that she had aborted her child because she feared it would have the African American heritage from her. They both agreed this was sad and probably what might have driven Sara over the edge.

The day passed quickly. Alex and Walker both read and talked and planned for their baby's future.

On Monday, Walker and Alex went to the hospital for the sonogram. What fun it was to see their baby. Alex told Walker that she didn't want to know the baby's sex. Dr. Bates assured them that everything was fine but still she would like for Alex to take a full week off from work. Until this mess was finally resolved, Walker decided to take the week off too. Since there were no more restrictions on the Walkers, they spent the entire week enjoying each other's company and bodies. Neither of them seemed to care that they were missing a whole week from work. It was like a second honeymoon for them. They took long rides and picnics and never had either of them felt more loved and relaxed. Trivette checked in with them several times to bring them up to date on what was happening with Sara. She was being held over for attempted murder and assault. Because of her fragile mental state, a complete psychiatric work-up had been ordered by the judge.

Kip had tried several times to reach the Walkers through their respective offices but none of his calls had been returned. He was getting frantic because he didn't know if charges would be brought against him as an accessory. He was called to give a deposition to the District Attorney who was handling this case personally. To say that he was quite nervous was an understatement. He knew that his career was in jeopardy regardless.

After a week of relaxing, Walker and Alex returned to work on Monday. The District Attorney and Trivette called them both for a conference to bring them up to date on what had transpired in the case. Apparently, the records for Sara had been subpoenaed. She wanted to deal rather than to go to trial. District Attorney, Dan Clark, told Sara's attorney that he would refuse to deal until he could gather more evidence and talk with the Walkers.

The earlier psychiatric records for Sara had been received and concurred with the current early diagnosis that the court appointed psychiatrist had given. Sara Donelson was suffering from a personality disorder known as Borderline Personality Disorder. These records were shared with the Walkers. 'The criteria for this diagnosis is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts such as frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation, identity disturbance markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.' These were only a few of the criteria but Sara met most of the ones mentioned in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition). Her intense anger toward Alex was felt to have arisen from her poor self-image due to her heredity and lifestyle. Sara had always been afraid that someone would discover that her mother was one-half African American. Alex's own blonde, Nordic looks contributed to Sara's image of what she could never be. To Sara, Alex appeared to have it all - beauty, intelligence, a terrific marriage, and a new baby coming. Therefore, Alex became the essence of everything that Sara wasn't and never could be. Alex would never have had to say or do anything to Sara…she only had to exist in Sara's world. While the psychiatrist did indicate there was hope for Sara to learn to deal with all of her problems, he felt she should be kept under a close suicide watch as suicide is prevalent among these types, especially in early adulthood and through the mid-30's.

Alex and Walker asked for time alone to digest all of the information they were given. While they were concerned about Sara's well-being, they could not jeopardize Alex and the baby she was carrying. They met with Dan again and agreed that if the court would commit Sara to the mental hospital in Galveston for a period of not less than five years and if they were notified of her escape, suicide attempts, or release that they would not pursue further charges. This was agreed upon by all parties.

Two weeks later, Alex was in her office. The morning sickness appeared to be getting much better and she was enjoying her pregnancy, especially the attention she was receiving from her husband! She was in fact thinking of the night before and how attentive he had been. He was such a romantic all of a sudden. If Trivette knew, he'd tease Walker unmercifully. She was still dreaming when her intercom buzzed.

"Mrs. Walker, there's a Kip Randall here to see you and Ranger Walker has just come in."

"Send them both in."

Walker was not pleased when he'd entered Alex's reception area and found Kip Randall there. He greeted him coolly while Tracey notified Alex that they were both there. Both entered her office together with Walker going straight to his wife's desk and sitting on the edge of it.

"Alex, Ranger Walker, please don't be frightened of me. I'm not here to cause any harm. I truly did not know about Sara and her mental problems, or else I would have warned you. I haven't seen her since her commitment and I don't intend to. I just wanted you to know that and that I'm sincerely sorry for any part I may have inadvertently had in her violence toward you."

"Thank you for your honesty, Randall. I hope you'll understand that neither my wife nor I want any further contact with you on a personal level."

"I do understand, Ranger, and I assure you that I won't bother either of you again. Thank you both for seeing me." With that statement, Kip arose and offered his hand to Walker, then left.

Alex stood and went into her husband's waiting arms. This chapter of their life was over and they had more important things to do now, like planning for the new life they had created. Walker kissed his wife and they both returned to their jobs with more pleasant thoughts of what the evening at home would hold.

THE END

All the usual Walker, Texas Ranger disclaimers.