This had been going on for about a month now. Walker would come in from his all night stake-outs at five in the morning, he would come into the house for a few minutes and then leave. Most of the times he wouldn't say anything to her, just maybe a quick peck on the cheek and he would be out the door.
They hardly got to see each other at all, since the baby had been born. He took off for the first week and took care of all the little things that had to be done and to help Alex with Angela. He was constantly holding her, even when he would have to go the barn, he would take her with him. He introduced her to "Amigo", Walker's favorite horse. Walker made sure that there was no jealousy between them, "Amigo" nudged the small human, and threw his head back and started shaking it up and down, meaning she had met with his approval.
If Angela as so much hinted that she was ready to start crying, Walker was there to pick her up and start fussing over her. Alex tried to tell him that he was spoiling her. He refused to heed her warning.
The first night that they brought her home from the hospital was the worst, Walker wanted to hold her constantly. It was all Alex could do to get her away from him long enough for the baby to nurse. As soon as Alex was through, he would want to hold her again. He stayed up all night with her, taking her to Alex only long enough to nurse. Alex would get up in the middle of the night to check on them, Walker would be half-asleep in the rocking chair, and Angela would have pillows propped up around her.
The first day was even worse, and it was actually comical the way he would walk around the house, doing minor chores and Angela would be held up against his chest, sound asleep. He refused to let Alex do anything, telling her to get caught up on all the sleep she had missed. He would bring her breakfast in bed, and then he would lay Angela down on the bed between them while she ate. Alex would watch him as he would examine her toes and fingers for the 100th time, saying over and over he had never seen a baby so small. He would fuss over her and the baby, saying "I got two women in my life now."
Then he started insisting on Angela sleeping with them. Alex shook her head, "honey---you know you are starting something by letting her sleep with us?"
"I know, I know----but just for a couple of nights---just until she gets used to her new home--okay?"
A couple of nights turned into a
week. She would have to put the baby on
the other side of her so if Walker rolled over in the middle of the night, he
wouldn't squash her. Then the nursing
would begin and she would have to roll over on her other side preferring the
baby start with her left breast. This
of course would always wake him up, since he slept mostly on his right
side. Alex would be half-asleep, and
Walker would want to talk, asking the same questions over and over. She was
beginning to treasure the day he went back to work.
His first day back at work has Alex answering the phone ten times a day! Finally they get it straight to when he should call, so Alex can catch a few winks during the day. He doesn't want her cooking, so fast food is the answer. The fast food is starting to show up in Walker's waistline, so then he starts using the gym at Ranger headquarters more.
By the time he gets home he wants time with the baby, picking her up and throwing Alex's schedule off kilter. Sometimes she almost wishes that he would come home, and just park himself in front of the TV, leaving her and Angela more time to bond. She would almost look forward to him taking a fishing trip or just go to a ball game with Trivette. But then, Trivette wasn't too available anymore since he and Ericka were making wedding preparations.
Then she would kick herself mentally for thinking such thoughts as she watched him from the kitchen. He was lying in the floor with Angela, talking to her and telling her all of the things that Fathers and daughters will share, and how no boy will be worthy of her. She smiles, thinking how lucky she is and how many women would like to trade places with her, having a husband that pays so much attention to fatherhood. When Angela was first placed in his arms, she worried that he might be disappointed in not having a son first. Those worries were soon gone, just seeing the look on his face as he held her saying "I have two women in my life now!"
When Angela was about a week old, Alex's Father came into town and wanted them to have dinner with him and his new girlfriend. Trivette and Ericka volunteered to baby-sit, Walker wouldn't hear of it. He didn't want to leave Angela with a babysitter. Her Father and his new friend came to the ranch for dinner instead, and Trivette and Ericka's feelings were hurt.
Then the couple announce they are going to be married in Vegas, and of course want Walker and Alex to stand up for them. Walker does not want to go. "Vegas? Why do they want to go all the way to Vegas to get married, why can't they get married here?"
"Honey---it's their choice , besides we need a little vacation ourselves, it would be nice just to get away for the weekend."
"What about the baby, Vegas is no place to take an infant!!"
Alex agrees, "You're right about that, Josie said she would watch Angela for us, and Sydney and Gage will be here."
Walker is sweeping up the barn, "I don't know Alex, ---I just don't feel right about going off and leaving her for the whole weekend, maybe they should get someone else to stand up for them!"
"John Cordell Walker, I cannot believe what you're saying! Jimmy was your best man and he's Angela's Godfather, and Uncle, how can you say you don't want to stand up for him?"
They argue for a good half-hour and Alex walks back into the house in a huff. He comes back in and apologizes, and yes, they will go to Vegas to stand up for Trivette and Ericka, and he reluctantly agrees to leave Angela with a sitter. The argument goes for nothing when Trivette and Ericka decide not to go to Vegas, but have the wedding in Dallas as her Father is not well and he can't leave Texas.
Walker breathes a sigh of relief, knowing they won't have to leave Angela with a sitter. He fails to see that Alex wanted to go out of town for the weekend and to have some time alone with him. So for the next few days he can't understand why Alex is being distant, so he spends even more time with Angela.
Alex has taken Angela in for her monthly checkup, and she has confronted in Dr. Bates about the jealousy she feels because Walker spends so much time with the baby.
"Alex, what you are feeling is perfectly normal, but usually it's the new Fathers that are feeling the neglect".
"So, how do I get over it----I don't want to feel jealousy for my own daughter, but on the other hand I miss time alone with my husband, the times we would just sit and talk and just enjoy being with each other."
"How about a nice romantic dinner after the baby is put down for her nap?"
"I would love that, but when he comes home, he wants to hold Angela and this goes on for sometimes hours----he refuses to leave her with a sitter---so going out to a nice romantic dinner is out of the question!"
"I'm sorry Alex, I could talk to your husband if you like?"
Alex sighs, "He's been so busy lately, he probably wouldn't have the time, and now we have our friend's wedding coming up and Walker is wanting it to be held at the ranch!"
"How do you feel about that?"
"I've got no qualms about having the wedding at our ranch, but this will mean even less time that we will have together."
When Alex and the baby get home, they find Ericka waiting for them in the driveway. Alex sighs, she would rather not see anyone right now because of the way she feels. She knows Ericka is there to discuss the wedding and she will be all bubbly, as brides-to be are suppose to feel. Ericka helps Alex take the baby inside and they sit down for a cup of tea, Ericka is unusually quiet.
"Alex, are you okay with the wedding being held here, are you up to it?"
"I'm fine---of course I'm okay with the wedding here, why wouldn't I be?"
Ericka is a beautiful young lady with short-cropped hair, beautiful dark eyes and angelic face. She wasn't a model like the many girls that Trivette dated, he met her at a criminology class at Irving College. She asked Jimmy to look into her Father's case, he was at Huntsville on a trumped up murder charge. After her Father was released from prison, they dated for about a year and then she went back east. Then out of the blue, she came back to Dallas and picked up where they left off. Right before Angela was born, they announced their engagement.
"Look, Alex I know we don't know each other that well, but I feel like there's something wrong and Jimmy has noticed it too. Are you and Walker having problems?"
Alex tells her everything, then she breaks down and starts crying. Ericka is trying to console her when Walker and Trivette walk in. Walker runs to Alex, "What's wrong, Alex, are you okay, is Angela okay?"
Ericka grabs Jimmy's hand, "Let's go."
After Ericka and Jimmy leave, Walker keeps asking Alex what is wrong. She keeps denying that anything is wrong, he keeps pressuring her till she blurts it all out, the jealousy --everything.
Walker breathes a sigh of relief, "Is that all---I thought it was something serious!"
Alex stares back at him, "You don't think that this is serious---you think I'm just babbling to hear myself, you think I'm so immature that I go off the deep end over nothing, Walker----I have feelings too, I need attention, our lives together as man and wife did not cease when our daughter was born----I have wants too!!" She turns around and stomps upstairs, leaving Walker totally confused.
The rest of the evening is spent with Walker trying to apologize and Alex refusing to listen. The baby starts crying, and for the first time it's not so easy getting her to go back to sleep. Alex nurses her and Walker walks her. She is refusing to give in and the Walker temper is showing up--big time! Walker can't get the baby to be quiet, Alex takes her from him and heads for the rocker, she's still crying.
Walker is walking around in circles, he's never heard Angela cry like this, he keeps asking Alex if she's sure that Angela is okay.
Finally Alex yells back at him. "She's fine---you are never here when she has one of her temper fits, you've only seen the calm side of her, this is reality Walker---this is what I go through all day. When you come home, she's pretty well out of it and she only whimpers for you, this is the side of your daughter that you seldom see---just leave---go somewhere, I will get my daughter calmed down."
Walker's temper is now rising, "She's our daughter, Alex, not just yours---and I'm staying!"
Angela continues to cry, Walker can't stand it, he turns around and stomps out the door. About twenty minutes later he returns, walks over and takes Angela away from Alex. "What are you doing, where are you taking her?"
Walker says nothing as he walks out the door, Alex is running after him. She sees "Amigo" saddled and Walker walks towards him, shifting the baby to his left arm and pulling himself up and over the saddle. Without a word to Alex, they start down the gravel driveway, Angela is still screaming at the top of her lungs.
Alex is standing in the driveway pushing her hair back and watching the two of them ride away from her, she starts to cry. "Where is he taking her, what is he doing?"
She watches as they get down to the far end of the driveway and then when they start back towards her, Angela has stopped crying. Alex watches as they come up to her, Walker hands her to Alex and then he gallops off.
He's gone for a couple of hours, Alex is getting worried, but she knows he has to have time to cool off. Angela is sleeping calmly, Alex keeps getting up and walking to the window, looking for Walker, and finally she sees him coming back. He heads to the barn to put "Amigo" away, then he starts towards the house. He's carrying something in his hand, she can't make out what it is.
She steps back into the middle of the room, he walks in and goes to the bassinet first. Very softly, he asks, "Did she continue to sleep?"
Alex nods, "Where have you been---where did you go?"
Walker looks at his daughter and then to Alex, pulling his hand up, showing wildflowers , "I went down to the lake for awhile---I picked these for you---I'm sorry I've been so unaware of your feelings---forgive me?"
Alex stands there and looks at him, then she runs into his arms crying. "I'm sorry too, I have been such a fool."
They stand there holding each other, "Alex---you're my life. Don't you know that every time I hold Angela, I'm holding a part of you----a part of us?"
"Yes," she sniffles, "but I was feeling so neglected---and when Jimmy and Ericka canceled their trip to Vegas, you acted like you were relieved that we weren't going, that you didn't have to spend time away from Angela to spend time with me."
Walker stares at her, "Alex, how could you think such a thing---I love you---you are everything to me."
They walk over to the couch and sit down, "I know I've been fussing over Angela, but I thought that was normal, I was trying to take some of the work off of you, I didn't realize that you were thinking I was neglecting you."
Alex looks at him through tears, "Well, I did! I was looking forward to that trip to Vegas, just to have you to myself for a couple of days---even though the Dr. says we have another 2 weeks to go before we can be intimate. I just wanted to be held---I just wanted your arms around me, ---is that so wrong?"
He pulls her head down on his chest, "I'm sorry hon, I'll make it up to you, I promise, and we'll take that trip to Vegas---name the time---we'll go."
She looks up at him, "It doesn't have to be Vegas, it can be right here---right now."
Walker looks over at the bassinet, "What about the blue eyed ‘screamer', what do we do with her?"
Alex smiles, "If she starts crying again, you can go saddle up Amigo and take your daughter for another ride!"
It's now the night of the wedding rehearsal/dinner. Alex is helping Ericka lay out her gown in the spare room that Ericka will be dressing in. Alex runs her hands over the gown, thinking back to a little over a year ago when she was the one getting ready for the big day.
Ericka looks at her and smiles, "Were you this nervous?"
Alex laughs, "I was so nervous, I couldn't stand it---with the track record that Walker and I had, I just knew our beautiful wedding would be marred---but the ceremony was perfect!"
"I know, I saw your wedding pictures, and the video that Jimmy has--you were a beautiful bride, Alex."
Alex murmurs "Thank you."
Ericka continues to look at Alex, "Everything is okay between you and Walker now, isn't it?"
"Everything is fine---we had a nice long talk about what has been happening, and we've got everything settled between us, why do you ask?"
"Because I feel like there is something else going on, ever since we changed the wedding date, there has been a look in your eyes, like you're thinking about something---is there something about the wedding date that accounts for that "far away look" in your eyes?"
Alex sighs, motioning for Ericka to sit down . "Yeah---I guess the date is important---June 10th."
"What's important about June 10th?"
Alex has tears in her eyes, "I don't want to start remembering and start crying, this is suppose to be a happy time for you."
"Alex, I want to know---please tell me!"
"Well, June 10th was a special time for Walker and me, ---that's when our first baby was due".
"First baby---you and Walker --lost a baby?"
Alex gets up and walks to the window, she can see all the decorations going up for the big day tomorrow. Nearly 200 guests would be coming. She turns and looks at Ericka, "Yes, we lost a baby, and if our baby had lived, he or she would be four years old tomorrow---on your wedding date!"
"We had been on vacation, I got messed up on my birth control pills and I got pregnant. That vacation was like the vacation from hell, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. But, the good thing to come out of it was learning I was pregnant, Walker and I both were deliriously happy. We planned to have a cook out that weekend after we got back from Colorado, we were going to tell all of our friends. We had it all planned, and then Mother Nature threw us another curve--I was coming down the steps at the court house, missed my footing---and I ended up miscarrying."
"Jimmy never said anything about you two losing a baby?"
"He didn't know, neither did C.D., we didn't tell anyone about the miscarriage---it just hurt too much to talk about it---aside from you--no one else knows about it. But, June 10th was to be my delivery date--now you know."
"Alex, I am so sorry, having a miscarriage is devastating---I know."
"You speak from experience---don't you?"
Ericka nods, "About my senior year in high school, the usual story, the high school sweetheart, I was about 2 months when I lost my baby."
The women stand there looking at each other, knowing they have a common bond. Ericka smiles, "but now, I want to confess to some good news---I'm pregnant!"
"You are!?" Ericka and Alex embrace, "I'm surprised Jimmy hasn't told Walker--he's dying to tell someone!"
Alex shakes her head, "Walker hasn't said anything about it, when are you due?"
Ericka squeals , "Early March."
The wedding is beautiful as over 200 friends and relatives come in for Jimmy and Ericka’s big day, it's now time for the best man to give his toast.
Walker takes a glass of champagne, with Alex beside him he says: "A little over a year ago, you were standing where I'm standing now and I seem to recall in your toast you were saying how important it is to find the right partner in life." Walker looks at Alex and smiles, "Well, I found my perfect partner and now you've found yours. Not only have we found perfect partners in our personal lives, but also we have found the perfect partner in our work, I couldn't ask for ---a better partner. Trivette, we have seen good times and we've seen bad times, we've risked our lives for each other many times, and we haven't always seen eye to eye on everything. But, through the nine years I have known you, we've have always managed to be the best of friends----you're the brother I never had, and I-------------I love you."
Trivette is speechless as he grabs Walker and hugs him, the tears are streaming down his face. Walker gets a little misty, "If you don't stop hugging me, people are going to start talking."
Everyone starts laughing and it's time to head for the airport. Alex goes to check on Angela, she's sound asleep when Sydney walks in, Walker is behind her. "Come on honey, we're driving the newlyweds to the airport."
Alex is confused, "We are, when did this all come about?"
Walker grabs her gently by the elbow, "You ask too many questions, come on, the bride and groom awaits!"
"But, what about Angela----"
Gage walks up behind Sydney--"We're watching Angela---who knows it could be good experience," and then he winks at Syd.
She frowns back at him, "in your dreams!"
Alex hesitates, "Well, okay, we'll be back in a couple of hours--okay?"
Both Syd and Gage smile, "Uumm, sure you will".
Alex looks to Walker and he winks back at Syd and Gage. They're now at the airport and the newly weds are nervous.
Ericka sighs, "I can't believe we're going to Jamaica, and then to St. Kitts."
Alex smiles, "St. Kitts--- ooooh I hear that place is sooooo romantic."
Walker kisses her cheek, "Have you forgotten Paris and our honeymoon?"
She returns his kiss, "Noooo I haven't forgotten."
The four of them laugh and then Walker takes out an envelope, "This is our wedding present to the two of you," and he hands it to Trivette. He opens the envelope and stares back at Walker and Alex.
Ericka peeps over his shoulder, "What is it, Jimmy?"
Trivette's mouth drops open, "We can't accept this---this is too much," and then he shows it to Ericka. She looks at the Walkers, "Oh my God---- are you serious?"
Alex puts her arm around Walker's waist, "We're serious---it's all yours!"
Walker nods, "Yep, that's the deed to 25 acres, on the north end of our ranch, all you have to do is promise us one thing!"
Both Jimmy and Ericka are too stunned to speak, "Wh- what?"
"That you will build a house there, and not be moving off to Baltimore---I don't want to be dragging Angela clear across the country to see her Uncle, and vice versa for any little nephews and nieces that we'll be having!"
Trivette shakes his head and hands the deed back to Walker, "We can't accept that man---it's too much!"
Walker shoves the envelope back to him, "Look, Alex and I have talked about this ever since you two started talking about getting married. Yeah, I could sell it---but hell--we don't want just anybody being our neighbor!"
The voice on the intercom starts calling for passengers to board, Walker and Alex keep shoving the Trivette’s towards the loading gate.
"Go! Before you miss your plane."
Finally they get them down the ramp and the then Walkers are heading towards their Ram. Alex is smiling at her husband, "Jimmy and Ericka were blown away by their wedding present."
"Yep, they were---and I meant it when I said I didn't want anyone else having that land, and besides that's one sure way of keeping them here, right?"
She reaches out and takes his right hand, "Yes, I couldn't stand the thought of losing Jimmy too, we've already lost your Uncle Ray and C.D., aside from my Father, Jimmy is the closest we got to family."
Walker smiles back at her, then he takes his right hand back so he can take a cutoff to downtown Dallas. She looks at him puzzled, "Honey, why are we going downtown?"
He smiles, "Because, I am
taking you out to dinner, the reservations have already been made at one of
Dallas' finest restaurant and hotel."
"Yep, I got our overnight bag in the back along with one of your fanciest evening gowns that Syd helped to pick out, I still got my tux from the wedding, and tonight we do the town."
Alex is now speechless, "What about Angela?"
"Syd and Gage are spending the night and they are taking care of our daughter."
The room turns out to be just as grand as the one they stayed in on their honeymoon, they have a magnificent view of the Dallas skyline. They quickly change into their evening clothes and make their way to the restaurant. The champagne is served, the maitre d' asks Walker if it's satisfactory.
"Well, I don't know--why don't you ask the lady?"
Alex sips it, "Perfect, just like the whole evening."
She's wearing a black evening gown that is backless and split up the side, a single strap goes across one shoulder and ties at the side, with stiletto heels. Even though the heels make her taller than Walker, he still loves to see her wear them. She's wearing the diamond necklace and earrings he bought her as a wedding present, and she's wearing his favorite perfume, Lilac Passion. He keeps staring at her, she lost all of the extra weight she put on with Angela , she looked just as beautiful as the first night he saw her at C.D.'s on New Year's night, nine years ago.
They finish their dinner of lobster and then they dance. She dances close to him, her cheek up against his, she can smell his cologne--Paul Sebastian. The cologne is making her feel woozy, it seems so long since they were this close to each other, she loves being in his arms, feeling them around her, his hands gliding softly up and down her bare back. He's feeling her movement up against him, he's starting to get warm as she kisses his cheek, his manhood coming to attention.
He whispers, "We better get to our room, or I am going to be forced to take you---right here in the middle of the dance floor."
She giggles, "Ooooh that would make the front page of tomorrow's newspaper, maybe I should take you up on your threat."
Walker smiles back at her, "Yeah, and I can just see the look on Angela’s' face when she learns to read, and she reads about her parents making out on the dance floor at one of Dallas' swankiest!"
Alex pouts, "Good point----let's go to our room."
While Alex is changing, Walker sets the mood. He's made arrangements for dozens of roses and lilacs to be delivered to the room, another bottle of champagne and he's arranged for their special song to be played. He reaches into his jacket for the CD of Tracey Lawrence's song "I'll Hang The Moon For You". He puts it into the disc player and turns it down real low. Alex comes out of the bathroom very slowly, taking it all in. She looks around at the preparations and then to her husband, the tears start to swell.
He can't take his eyes off of her she is so beautiful. She's wearing a cream colored negligee, very sheer, showing off every inch of her curves and her long sexy legs. Her eyes are smoky, her heart is beating so loud, she just knows he can hear. She walks slowly up to him, he takes in her every move as he hands her a glass of champagne. She sips it, never taking her eyes off him. He's bare-chested and wearing only black satin pajama bottoms. She watches his chest, that muscular chest that always makes her crazy. His shoulders and arms are so masculine, she is dying to be in those arms.
He takes a sip of the champagne, looking at her, his eyes coming to rest on her bosom. He takes the glass from her and starts kissing her neck and then to her shoulders. The room is starting to spin, as she drops the glass and Walker sweeps her up in his arms and takes her to their bed. Their kisses start to deepen and Walker's hands began to explore her body as he keeps repeating her name. She takes his face in both hands and starts kissing him hard, her tongue searching for his. She gasps and pushes him back gently.
"Before we get started with something we can't stop----can I make one little phone call---to check on Angela?"
Walker sighs, "I thought I was the one that was suppose to stop being so possessive----oh, okay."
Alex reaches for the phone and dials their home number, Walker is nibbling on her shoulder and telling her to hurry. She giggles as he goes to her neck, meanwhile, the phone keeps ringing.
Finally on the 5th ring, Sydney picks up. Alex asks how the baby is, and then she hangs up. She turns to Walker and smiles, "I think I interrupted something."
Walker starts helping Alex get her negligee off, "Really, was there hard breathing on the other end?"
She runs her tongue over her top lip, "Ummmm, but not as heavy as the breathing is going to get at this end!"
For a month now, it's been the same routine, Walker comes in from his five o'clock stakeouts, picks up the baby and heads out for their morning ride. Angela has started waking earlier and Alex tries to have her ready for their Father/daughter ride. Sometimes she's barely awake as Walker gives her a kiss and lays a single rose on her pillow. Other times she waiting outside to watch them ride up to her. That is a beautiful sight, the sun coming up behind them, their silhouettes against the sunrise. She has a cup of coffee ready for him, and ready to nurse Angela. Sometimes they just sit on the porch swing, and Walker watches the two women in his life. He sighs and kisses them both, "It doesn't get any better than this----I'm a lucky man---I got two beautiful women in my life!!"