When It Hits Home

 

By Pam G

PG1701@aol.com

 

For the longest time Walker was unable to find his voice. He could only hold her. She lay still in his arms freezing, wet and bedraggled – so unmoving he found himself double checking her pulse even though he could see the rise and fall of her chest. Walker frequently cast a look to his

partner. Though Trivette lay on the floor in extreme exhaustion, it was the younger Ranger who kept reassuring him! James Trivette was something else.

“We’ll be …okay, Walker,” Trivette’s voice was gasping, “Don’t …worry.”

 

Walker fought the enormity of the situation, rallying his mind to focus. I’ve got to get them help. Blankets ..hot drinks…

He began to lay Alex back on the floor. “I’ll just be a minute.”

“NO!” Her eyes opened wide and her hands grasped at his jacket, the weak fingers struggling to maintain hold.

“It’s okay…” Walker gently kissed her forehead, “I promise, I’ll be right back.”

Fear set in, “NO! Don’t leave me!”

“Okay, okay.” Walker cradled her, rocked her gently for a few seconds and thankfully his mind activated again. Slipping his arms out the sleeves of his jacket, he removed the garment completely, and keeping hold of it, scooted them both over to Trivette.

“Here.” Walker covered his friend with the coat and a reassuring hug.

“I’ll come back for you. Okay?”

Witnessing a nod, Walker lifted Alex into his arms and hurried outside. He warily cast a glance towards Hooks, and pausing to kick open the gate, took only a few seconds to walk round to the silver Dodge Ram. Opening the door brought the sounds of radio broadcasts.

“…reports of a fifty fifty on Diplomat and  Spring Valley. Handle code three.”

Placing Alex across the driver’s seat in the front and retaining a hand on her, he sat on the cab floor and reached behind for the mike.

“This is Ranger Walker on a nine nine eight. I’m at Diplomat and Spring Valley. Two zero seven terminated. Request medical assistance for six, repeat six persons; four with multiple gunshot wounds. Code three.”

“Copy that nine nine eight, Ranger Walker.” There followed a thirty second beat of silence before the radio burst forth again. “Dispatch to Ranger One. Units in the vicinity responding. ETA medical assistance -four minutes.”

Listening with one ear while he worked, it took only a few seconds for him to peel away Alex’s soaking, cold clothes, and wrap her in the spare Indian blanket he kept in the truck. While her body gratefully sunk into the downy warmth, Walker chose that moment to open up the passenger door, pushing the front seat forward, before running back to the yard.  He reached the tank in time to see his friend fall back to the floor, Trivette’s bone-tired body unable to stand.

Walker picked up his partner.

“Can’t ..find my strength …man.” Trivette’s head flopped to one side.

“It’s okay.”

Walker carried him back, and placing the fatigued man down on the back seats, Walker stripped away the saturated woolen top and T-shirt, replacing them with the jacket. Trivette’s body shook wildly and his eyes closed, his grimace reflecting pain.

“Trivette?” Walker queried with alarm.

“Cramp.” Trivette fumbled to grasp the left calf muscle. “Ahhh.”

“Lay back,” Walker commanded, looking gratefully in the direction of the arriving police units. He gestured to them and pointed into the condemned warehouse. “Four suspects. I’m pretty sure they’re down, but be careful,” Walker warned.

Hauling Trivette’s left leg over his shoulder, the Ranger pressed down from the foot while keeping the limb as straight as possible.

“Aghh.” Trivette could hardly squirm. He had never felt so cold and been so devoid of energy in all his life. He ached with a vengeance - literally every muscle, every sinew, felt worn out. Gradually pressure caused the leg to stop its involuntary spasm.

“Better?” Walker asked.

Trivette nodded.

One of the uniformed officers offered a spare blanket. “Ranger Walker.

We’ve secured the scene.”

“They all dead?” Walker demanded.

The young officer nodded. He had only been in job six months and this was his first dealing with legendary Rangers, Walker and Trivette. He watched as Walker placed the blanket round Trivette’s body and observed as Walker waited for his partner’s tired eyes close before stepping to the driver’s side and protectively laying a hand on the white female. He reckoned this must be Alex Cahill.

“Son?” Walker looked directly at him.

“Yes, sir.” The young man stood straight as he spoke.

“I’d like for you to check the bodies again for me. Especially the stocky white male, five ten, about two hundred pounds. He’s by the warehouse door. Make sure he’s dead.”

There was a seconds pause. “Yes, sir, Ranger Walker.” The young man hurried away and returned with the assurance Hooks was dead.  Without one ounce of pity the Ranger nodded

Three ambulance units converged almost at the same time and Walker waved them over. It took only a few minutes for Trivette and Alex to be whisked away to hospital where they were diagnosed with borderline hypothermia and exhaustion. As they slept for the most part, C.D. stayed while Walker spent most of the night over seeing the paperwork and talking to the shooting team.  The next day, however, although weak but recovering well, the patients refused the recommended second nights stay in hospital to insist on going home.

“No, Walker. I don’t want to stay here.” Alex shook her head.

“It’s only for one more night.” Walker pleaded.

Alex looked about. “What can I wear to go home in?”

“Alex, please.”

“I’m not staying either.” Trivette had entered quietly. He was dressed in a gown and robe, and very slowly walked over, his limbs not recovered from their ordeal.

Walker swallowed heavily and looked from one to another feeling conflict and confusion. Why was it he could deal with everything EXCEPT a hurt on his friends?

The door opened again.

“Cordell? I got some warm clothes for them.” C.D. looked up. “What’s going on?”

“We don’t want to stay, Big Dog. We’re fine. Nothing a few more hours in bed won’t solve.”

Walker sighed. “Okay, okay.”

The three were soon in the truck, C.D. following along behind in his SUV.

Alex looked out the window. “This isn’t to my place or Jimmy’s.” She accused.

“That’s right. It’s to my place. I’m not letting either of you out of my sight, right now.”

It was delivered in a peculiar tone, neither aggressive nor confrontational, but at the same time, not open for debate. There followed a subdued silence and on reaching the ranch, both found

themselves tucked up in bed within ten minutes.

Walker stood at the door and stared at his partner. “Call me if you need me, Trivette.”

“Walker?” He stopped the red bearded Ranger from leaving.

“Yeah?”

“You did it again, pard. You got us in time.” Trivette nodded his unspoken thank you. It made Walker give a nod of his own.

“Yeah.”

And averting his eyes away from his colored friend, Walker awkwardly stepped out the room, quietly closing the door.

With the smallest of knocks, Walker entered Alex’s room to find her barely awake.

Just the trip home and she’d become fatigued, her words almost blurred. “Wanted to see you, ‘fore I went to sleep.” She held out her arms to receive him, and sinking on to the bed beside her, Walker scooped her up, hugging her tightly. He rocked her gently, her face buried in his neck.

“Oh, Walker. I knew you’d come for us.”

And with that, the beautiful blond fell right asleep in his arms. She went out like a light.

Walker held her for sometime, his protectiveness heightened to the extreme, his love overflowing. Just giving little kisses on her cheek, adoring the feel of her slim body in his embrace…while savage fear still rampaged through his gut!

Finally he laid her back, covered her, and Alex never stirred. He could see that she was asleep, her breathing was regular and yet there was still an urge to check her pulse. He admonished himself before leaving.

 

“You okay?” The old man questioned?

Walker nodded. “I’m fine. …Er …C.D. …”

C.D. embraced him, clapping him soundly on the back. “I know, son. You do what you have to do. I’ll make supper, maybe rest a spell.”

 

Now, some hours later it was after sun down. The night crisp and cool, a few continual crickets and the occasional call of one lone barn owl the only sounds the night offered.

Walker had mucked out the stables with considerable aggression, showered, and put on old striped training pants. They were loose and comfortable, and such was his mood he had no desire to wear a shirt or shoes. Stealthily descending the stairs, Walker gave a small smile at the sight of C.D. dozing in the chair. His old friend never moved as Walker replenished the dying fire with more logs and replaced the guard.

 

Strolling outside, Walker sat on the top step of the porch and desperately tried to relax. Some three hours later he was still wound like a tight spring, the unsettled feeling inside him eating at his soul. He was aware of the problem, but it wasn’t ready to be confronted until Walker recalled their words. ‘You did it again, pard. You got us in time.’ ‘Oh, Walker. I knew you’d come for us.’ The words echoed and reverberated over and over in his mind until Walker thought he’d go mad.

 

But what if …what if I don’t get there next time? Walker’s deep fear surfaced fully, I almost didn’t make it this time? Did I? What if it’s really too late next time? What if I try my best and it’s not good enough?

He was beset by images of their funerals, his parent’s funerals and thinking how he felt then! How could he live knowing his best wasn’t good enough? And Walker now wrestled again with the need for a life of solace. If he was by himself and unattached there would be no one to let

down, no one to care about so deeply that if they died it would affect him. He would be shielded from the pain. Before Alex and Trivette that had been his plan and it had worked just fine.

Walker thought back to Mobley. Bob Mobley was a fairly new partner, well, not so much a partner as a ‘sometimes’ partner, Walker preferring to work alone for the most part. He fought tooth and nail with Captain Price over that, only his exceptional skills and arrest rate allowing

him to get away with it. So when Mobley was murdered Walker felt his passing and was enraged, but it didn’t get inside him. He did right by the youngster, performed Indian prayers by his grave and made sure his killer was brought to justice. But he’d kept Mobley far enough away for it not to affect him too deeply. And maybe …maybe that’s how he should have kept it, but Price had insisted on partnering him with Trivette.

Had he made a big mistake allowing Alex and Trivette so close?

Walker rested his forearms on his knees, and in despair, laid his head on top.

It’s too late. They’re too deep in my heart. Walker felt their immense love and loyalty and was warmed to the depth of his soul.

He thought of Trivette’s courage; the younger man’s unique sense of humor that would get a smile from him no matter how cranky his mood, and the surety he felt with Trivette by his side when the bullets were flying. He never even thought about his back being covered when he had

his partner with him! They could read each other’s moves without words or even looks most times. It was a winning edge in the midst of battle unlikely of defeat. But Trivette was even more than a partner; he’d become his closest friend and confidante.

Walker sighed and gave a small, exasperated shake of his head. And that woman! The bubbly, clever blond with the most captivating smile! How could any man not fall hopelessly in love with her? And, God, he had tried so hard not to! But she was such a big part of his life now. She

had him wrapped round her little finger and the tough Texas Ranger loved every minute of it. She would only have to glance over in his direction and she would stir such feelings inside him. Made him blush, move awkwardly, stutter over his own words while at the same time elevating

him to most important guy in the room!

As Walker sat on the porch in the cold night air and thought about Alex Cahill he was forced to admit she had touched his soul like no other. He had a passion that burned for her like fire. How in the world she could fall for a guy like him had Walker still so puzzled he knew it would be

remain unanswered for all time! And when she was in his arms…warm, laughing … Walker inhaled. They complimented each other, they were good for each other, they were physically great with each other. Never could he imagine being so comfortable in someone else’s presence than with her. She gave him space to be himself. She was his breath of fresh air …Alex Cahill …Alex Cahill. Her name wouldn’t leave his thoughts.

Damn it! He couldn’t live without them or the old buzzard sleeping on the sofa, despite the drawbacks that came with love. He would need to find away to get over this latest scare. Maybe it was just time…

So wrestled in thought, the Ranger failed to notice his fiancée and his partner until they silently sat either side of him. He looked from one to the other, at the two caring faces, and his emotions already peaked, the sight of them was too much and Walker pinched the bridge of his nose

in his effort to fight back the tears. He’d nearly lost them both yesterday.

Alex and Trivette each linked a blanket-covered arm around Walker’s chilled back, huddling him in the middle, and the three friends sat in silence.

Tonight was a night to reflect, and give thanks to God.  Tomorrow was Trivette’s birthday. They would celebrate …and then some.

 

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