AND HE SHALL RETURN FROM THE DEAD

By Elna E. Black

eeblack@hotmail.com

With a little less than two weeks, till their wedding, Alex received a phone call from New York from her father’s lawyer, George Hunt, but she’s in court, so the lawyer asks to speak with Walker.  He talks with Walker to let him know that Gordon Cahill suffered a massive heart attack and died that morning. 

Walker makes flight arrangements for New York for the two of them, arranges with his boss and Alex’s boss to take the rest of the week off to take care of the business in New York.  Walker waits until Alex is finished with court then goes to tell her.  He finds Alex packing up her brief case, and explaining what needs to be done to her assistant, Blake Harrison.  If they are not finished with this case by Friday, she will need to come in next week, when she was planning on taking off to finish her wedding plans.

Walker walked up and stood behind her and let Blake know by a nod of this head to go ahead and leave, leaving Alex to him.  He took her shoulders and turned her around to face him.  His face was very serious and worried.

“Walker, what’s wrong?”  Alex knowing from his expression that something was wrong.

“Alex, I received a call from George Hunt this afternoon,” Walker announced.

“George Hunt, dad’s lawyer?  What did he want?”

“Alex, I’m sorry, but Gordon suffered a massive heart attack and died this morning.” 

Alex just stared at her husband-to-be, opened her mouth to say something, but nothing was able to come out.  She just reached out for him to take her into his arms and laid her head on his shoulders and quietly wept.  He just stood there for several minutes and held her until she finally quieted.

Finally, she raised up and faced him.  “When do we leave?” 

“I couldn’t get a flight out until 7:00 in the morning, which means we need to be at the airport at 6:00 a.m.  So, I’m going to stay in town with you tonight, I should have enough clothes at your apartment.”  They sat up most of the night, Walker just let Alex talk about her childhood with her father and then their experiences together with Gordon Cahill.  Alex cried quite a bit, but Walker held her through it all.

Alex and Walker took the 7:00 am flight in the morning to New York to make the plans and attend the funeral.  The lawyer met them at the airport and arranged for them to stay in Gordon’s apartment.  He also arranged for a reading of the will to take place that afternoon, since Walker and Alex could only stay the rest of the week and weekend.  It would take them that long to go through Gordon's’ things. 

Gordon had called Alex the week before and informed her that he had a surprise for her and had asked her and Walker to come to New York, so they had planned on being in New York this weekend anyway.  Alex thought that maybe it had something to do with their wedding present.

That afternoon the lawyer, George Hunt, took Alex and Walker to his office then left for a few moments.  Alex and Walker were waiting for George to return and in the meantime, Walker stands, to hold Alex to comfort her, because she started to cry.  She was beginning to relax a little, when George returned followed by another individual, who had blond hair and blue eyes, a gentleman that Walker did not recognize, but Walker thought he looked like Alex.

Alex had had her back to the door, but when she felt Walker tense, she turned around still in his arms.  She took one look at the younger man, went pasty white, cried, “Ted, Oh, my God” and passed out, luckily Walker was able to hold onto her before she could slide to the floor.  Walker still standing, just looked from the newcomer, then to Hunt, then back to Alex, who was still lying in his arms.

“Mr. Cordell Walker, let me introduce you to Theodore Gordon Cahill, Alex’s younger brother, Ted meet Alex’s fiancé, Cordell Walker.” George announced, shocking Walker.  By now Alex was beginning to wake up.  She finally was able to stand on her own feet, with Walker’s help, as he still had a hold of her shoulders.

“Ted,” cried Alex, as she walked to him, crying and took him into her arms and hugged him.  “What happened, where have you been?  They told us your were dead.”

Ted pulled her away from him, but still held onto her with his hands on her shoulders.  “I know, Alex, I have a lot to explain and I will in time.  Mr. Hunt brought us here for the reading of Dad’s will, then we will go back to Dad’s apartment and I will try to explain what has happened the last 15 years.  OK!”

Alex bit her lower lip and nodded her head.  She was smiling, as she hugged her brother again.  “Ted, I can’t believe it’s actually you.  You’re here, you’re safe and you are alive!”

George Hunt read Gordon’s will, which left the biggest portion to Alex and Walker and even a sizeable amount to the HOPE house.  Ted was also mentioned in the will and left a sizeable amount of money.  As George pointed out, Gordon had just found out where Ted was only the prior week and had been talking with him on the phone daily and had just had his will edited just a week ago.

Ted, because of something that had happened over 15 years ago was forced into the protective witness program.  Gordon who had found out that his son was still alive had ordered his lawyer several months before to locate Ted.   What finally came out, George Hunt had known where Ted was all that time.  Alex immediately went off on George, screaming and yelling, accusing him of causing her mother’s death, caused, they believe, from the “death” of her darling son.  Walker had to grab her and hold her back before she had a chance to strike Hunt.  Her anger really surprised Ted, but Walker wasn’t especially surprised, because he had seen some of her angry moments.

“Look, Alex, Walker, and Ted, all I can say is I’m sorry this had to happen, but my lips are sealed and I can not reveal anything.”

On the way to Gordon’s apartment in the taxi, Ted announced to Alex that she also had a sister-in-law, Sandra, an 8-year niece, Alexandra Sarah and a 5-year old nephew, Jacob Alexander.  His wife, Sandra and he had been married for 10 years.

At Gordon’s, Walker unlocked the apartment and allowed the two of them to precede him.  They were all three carrying their luggage. 

Once they were settled in, Alex found enough food in the refrigerator and among the three of them they fixed a meal.  Then they sat around and talked.  Ted revealed most of what he could of his last 15 years. 

“Ted, do you wish you hadn’t gone into hiding.”  Alex asked.

Ted thought for a moment, then replied, “Yes, I’ve missed out on what you’ve been up to and the last few years of Dad’s life.  We have talked quite a bit these last couple of weeks, and I only got to be with him a few days.  Yes, I missed out on a lot.  But, I have kept track of your career, Alex.  I didn’t know that you were engaged to be married though.”  He glanced over at Walker, who had his arms around Alex’s shoulder.

She turned to Walker and smiled, “It’s been a long time in coming.”  She smiled at Walker and he looked back puzzled.  “About nine years.”

“Nine years, Alex, that’s how long we have known each other,” Cordell added.

“I know.”  She started laughing, which caused Ted to burst out laughing, as he caught on, but Walker just kept staring at her and not smiling.  Finally, he leaned over and kissed her.

Alex rose up and walked to another room and brought back a photo album to show Ted.  “I made this photo album up for Dad a couple of Christmas’ ago and now I’ll give it to you,” she announced.  She handed it to Ted, who opened it up and started looking at the pictures.

“Oh, my gosh,” he exclaimed, as he looked over at Alex, who had resumed her seat beside Walker.

“Allie looks exactly like you did when you were her age.”

“Allie?”

“Alexandra, I started calling her that when she was just a baby.  Sandy prefers to call her Alexandra.”

“That’s what you used to call me when you were younger.”

“I know.”  He continued to enjoy the photo album of their younger years.  In the back, Alex had placed photos of her and Walker in their relationship.  Also, included were blank pages in which she intended to fill with their wedding pictures.

They continued their conversation long into the evening, until Alex became very quiet and as Walker and Ted continued their conversation, Alex fell asleep.  Her head nestled comfortably into Walker’s shoulder.  He tuned to Ted.  “If you’ll excuse me for a few moments, I’ll put sleeping beauty to bed and then return.”  Walker carried Alex to the bedroom, where he removed her shoes and covered her.  He stayed with her long enough to make sure that she was in a deep sleep, then he leaned down and kissed her on her forehead.   

Walker returned to the living room where Ted was wandering around the apartment looking at everything, pictures on the walls, momentous from his family’s past.  He and Walker sat up and talked throughout the rest of the evening to get to know one another. 

Then Walker came up with a good idea and passed it by Ted.  He asked if Ted and his family would like to come to Dallas to give Alex away at their wedding. 

Ted thought about it for a few moments, then turned to Walker, “Yes, I would like that very much.  If I can get some of Dad’s money, we will be able to be afford to drive down.  I would prefer to fly, but Sandy has never flown and she’s afraid to even try.”

“Don’t worry about a place to stay, as Alex still has her apartment in town or we have plenty of room out at the ranch,” suggested Walker.

“On your ranch do you have any horses?” 

“Yes, I have two horses, Alex has one, and the fourth one belongs to my partner.”

“Alexandra and Jacob will love to visit your ranch.”

“Why don’t you call Sandra now and tell her?”

“I can’t.  She knows nothing of my past life.  She only knows me as Robert Wilson.  I need to face her when I tell her.”

“What did you tell her when you had to all of a sudden come to New York?”

“I told her I was coming to New York on business.”

“Would you like Alex and me to come along with you when you tell her?”  Walker suggested.

Ted thought for a moment and then asked, “That might be a good idea, but are you sure you have time?”

“The funeral is tomorrow, Thursday, we can go through Gordon’s stuff and figure out what to do with everything and Friday, we can take off to Chicago,” suggested Walker.  “I’ll run it by Alex tomorrow and see what she says.”

About 12:30, both Walker and Ted decided to turn in.  Walker showed Ted the second bedroom and then he went into Gordon’s bedroom, where Alex lay asleep on Gordon’s bed.  He removed his boots and shirt, belt and lay down beside Alex.  He reached over to her and pulled her close to him, as she cuddled closer to him.  

A couple of hours later, Walker was woken when Alex started crying in her sleep.  She was yelling and muttering in her sleep.  Walker pulled her close and soothed her, “Sh, Sh, Alex, it’s okay.  You’re safe.”  He pulled her into his arms and held her close. 

She was soon awake and pulled back from Walker’s arms.  “You were having a bad dream.”

“Oh, I could get very used to this,” as she cuddled back into his arms. 

“You won’t have very long to wait now,” Walker replied.  “Are you okay.”

“Now I am.  I love you so very much.”

“Good night, Alex.  Go back to sleep.  We have a lot to do tomorrow and the next day.  I’ve something to discuss with you tomorrow.” 

“What.”

“Go to sleep.”  He kissed her, settled her in his arms and soon both were asleep.

Alex was the first one awake the next morning.  She took a shower, got dressed and went back into the bedroom to find Walker still asleep in her father’s bed.  She sat beside him and started running her hands along his bare chest to wake him.  He let her touch him for just a few moments before he grabbed her hands and pulled her to him. 

“We don’t want to start something we can’t finish, now do we.”  She just grinned and then kissed him.

“I’m beginning to count the days and hours,” Alex added.  They just lay there and stared at each other.  “I love you.”

“And I love you.  Now go get the coffee ready, so I can take my shower.”

“Too bad.  I’ve already had my shower, but you just wait, mister.” 

“I can hardly wait.”  She leaned down and kissed him one more time, then rose and walked out of the room, smiling to herself.

She had just put the coffee into the filter and poured the water into the coffee maker, when Ted came out of the second bedroom and stood watching his sister from the kitchen doorway.  It was several moments before she finally looked up and saw him.

            “I have really missed you, Alex.”

“And I missed you, Theodore.”  This was a name she had called him affectionately ever since he had been born.  She went over to hug him. 

“So, how did both of your kids end up with the name Alex?” 

“I told my wife before Alexandra was born, her name was going to be Alexandra, and at first Sandra didn’t like it, but it just sort of grew on her as I always referred to the baby as Alexandra.  Jacob is named after her father and grandfather, even though her grandfather went by another name.”

“I can’t wait to meet them.”

“You might get to meet them sooner than you think.  Sandy knows nothing of my former life, as she only knows me as Robert Wilson.  Cordell asked me if I wanted you and him to come along with me to tell her and I said yes.” 

“Oh, that is wonderful.”

“Question, when Mr. Hunt introduced me to Walker, he introduced him as Cordell Walker.  Why do you call your fiancé by his last name.”

At that minute, Walker came into the kitchen.  “Yes, I’ve always wondered that, too.  I only ever remember you calling me Cordell once or twice.”

Alex had to stop and think about that one.  “That’s what I’ve always called you.  Out of habit, I guess and you’ve never told me otherwise.”

It’s going to sound kind of funny, when you call me Walker and your last name will be Walker.”  He walked over to her and took her into his arms then kissed her.

“How ‘s this then, Walker when we’re at work and Cordell when we’re alone?”  Alex asked.

“Sounds fine with me.”  He kissed her, then let her go.  “Everyone calls me Walker, except for C.D.”

“Well, I’d rather call you Cordell, if that’s alright.”

“Sure, okay.”

Alex stood looking at her fiancé, soon-to-be husband and had never realized exactly why she called him by his last name, but she always had.  They spent the rest of the morning fixing breakfast and then getting ready for the funeral, which was at 11:00.

Alex made it through the funeral with just a couple of sniffles, but it helped to have Walker’s arm protectively around her.  The funeral was fairly large, as Gordon had a number of friends here in New York.  A lot of people came up to Alex afterward, hugged her and let her know of their sympathy.  After the funeral, they returned to George Hunt’s office, where they made the last arrangements of the will.  Alex still was very angry with Hunt and vocally voiced her opinion, for keeping the information about Ted to himself and from her and her father.  She was thinking that possibly the excitement of seeing his son again after so many years could have caused Gordon’s heart attack, but she would never say that to Ted.  Mr. Hunt was able to give Ted, a sizeable check for expenses.  The rest would be forwarded to Alex, Walker, and Ted in time.

Afterward they returned to Gordon’s apartment and while Walker changed their plane reservations, Alex and Ted started going through the apartment trying to decide what to do with everything.  What stuff they both wanted, they packed up in boxes that George Hunt provided, so that they could be shipped to them at their respective places.  Ted didn’t take too much, but he did take the photo album.  By Thursday afternoon, they pretty much had everything packed up ready to be shipped to either home or given to charity.  George Hunt would take care of the particulars of the shipping and take care of selling the remaining furniture.

Friday morning, the three of them boarded the same flight and luckily were able to get seats together.  Alex fell asleep with her head on Walker’s shoulder.  Walker and Ted continued their conversation.  Soon they were in Chicago Airport, where Ted had left his van.  They loaded their luggage into Ted’s van and took off from the airport to the suburbs where Ted and Sandra lived.  They lived in a small town several miles south of Chicago.

He had called Sandra from the airport, that he was on his way home and that he was bringing friends with him.  Sandra was left a little stunned, because he never brought friends home.  The kids were excited that their daddy was coming home.  Several things were going through Sandra’s mind, as Bob had been so secretive lately.  She had contacted Bob’s office and found out he was not in New York on business and his boss did not know why Bob had gone to New York.

It took them about an hour to get to Ted’s home.  Ted and Walker sat in the front seat while Alex laid down in the back seat and fell asleep again.  She knew if she didn’t get some rest this week, she sure wasn’t getting any next week.  Every day next week was filled with bridal showers, parties for them in the evening, the rehearsal dinner on Thursday, and a big party for them at C.D.’s on Friday.  Tuesday afternoon the judges and her fellow workers were giving Alex a bridal shower, Wednesday afternoon if things worked out, the Texas Rangers were giving Walker a party, one which he didn’t know about.  Different friends were giving them parties in the evenings.  Alex wasn’t supposed to know about the party at HOPE house on Thursday afternoon, but Josie let it slip.  So every day was going to be extremely busy and that was on top of getting the last minute preparations for the wedding on Saturday. 

Ted, Walker, and Alex had discussed when would be the best time for Ted and his family to come to Dallas.  Of course, he would have to talk it all over with Sandra.  Bob was hoping to fly, but Sandra had never flown, so he was planning on driving and it would take them a couple of days to make the trip, especially with two little ones. 

He finally drove into his own driveway, where Sandra and the kids were waiting for him on the front steps.  Sandy had to hold the kids back while Bob parked the car and when he got out of the car, the two kids came running to him.   Sandra was not too far behind them and hugged and kissed her husband.  In the meantime, Walker had opened the rear door and pulled Alex out.  They had only woken her up about 15 minutes before, so she was still kind of sleepy, but he held his arm around her shoulders.

Sandra finally noticed the other couple and motioned everyone inside.  Inside everyone was introduced to one another.  Alex was introduced for the present time as a friend, whom he had met in New York and Cordell was introduced to Sandra as Alex’s fiancé.  Sandra was beginning to wonder, because Alex and Ted looked so much alike.  Ted had carried the photo album with him on the plane and had looked at it several times remembering back when he and Alex were younger.  It was now lying on the coffee table.

Bob finally spoke to his kids, “Kids, why don’t you go play in your rooms for a little while.  Your Mom, Alex, Cordell, and I have something to talk about.  Afterward, I’ll come get you and give you the gifts I brought back for you.”

“Okay, Daddy,” they both answered in unison and ran to their rooms.

Bob sat Sandy down in the chair, Alex and Walker took to the sofa, Walker putting his arm around the back of the sofa and onto Alex’s shoulder.  Bob just started pacing.

“Geez, I don’t know where to start.”

“Why not start with the truth?”  Sandy suggested.  “Where have you been this past week?”

“Sandy, I didn’t go to New York on business.”

“I know that, Bob.  I tried to reach you on Sunday to let you know that Jacob was running a fever and Tom nor Dirk knew where you were at.” 

Ted thought for a moment, as he paced.  Sandra and Alex sat staring at each other, Sandy wondering who Alex was, as she reminded her so much of Alexandra. 

“Sandra, to start off, my name isn’t really Robert Wilson, it’s Theodore Gordon Cahill.  This is my sister, Alexandra Dawn Cahill.”

“I was wondering about her, because Alexandra looks so much like her.  But, why the assumed name.” 

Ted paced and thought some more.  “Something happened 15 years ago, which I can’t go into, that forced me into the Witness Protection Program, when I was just 18 years old.  My parents and sister were told I was dead.”

“Oh, my God,” cried Sandra. 

“Look, Sandra,” announced Cordell.  “Ted or Bob, whichever he decides to go by, can stay in the Witness Protection Program and retain his current identity.”

“What happened in New York.”

Ted hung his head and continued to pace.  “Three weeks ago, a lawyer in New York by the name of George Hunt called me.  He was my – our Dad’s lawyer.”

“Yes, I remember, because I took the message, but you were so mysterious and wouldn’t tell me what was going on.”

“Remember, I said I would tell you everything when I returned from New York.”  Sandra nodded.  “George called to let me know my dad wanted to see me, somehow my dad had found out that I was alive.”

“So, you took off to see your dad.”

Bob nodded.  “What I didn’t know and you didn’t know, Alex, Dad was very ill.  He had already had one mild heart attack, a couple of days before and on Monday morning, Dad suffered a massive heart attack and died.  I was with him, when he died.”

 “I’m sorry, Bob,” she rose to her feet and went to her husband.  She hugged him.

 Alex looked at Walker at the same time, smiled softly and kissed him.

“The one good thing out of the trip to New York, is that I was reunited with my sister, Alex.”  Bob and Sandra turned to the couple on the couch.  “Now the reason, they are here, besides being my morale support when I told you is that Cordell and Alex are being married a week from tomorrow and they want us to be there.”

Sandra was stunned.  She had visions of her husband, having an affair, meeting someone else in New York, all sorts of weird images had come to he mind when her husband disappeared to New York.  Now she gained a sister-in-law and a new brother-in-law. 

Alex rose from the couch and went to her new sister-in-law and hugged her.  “I’m so glad to meet you and am so thankful that I have been reunited with my brother.  Now can I really meet my niece and nephew.”

“I’ll go get them.”  Bob turned and headed for the bedroom to get his two kids.  He found them huddled together and near tears.

“Heh, what’s wrong?” Bob asked, as he sat on the edge beside them.

            “Daddy, who are those people.  Are you in trouble?” cried Alexandra.

“Well, they want to really meet your two.   Allie, you are named after Alex, but we’ll explain that all to you when you go out to meet them.  Now come on, let’s go meet your new aunt and uncle.”  He picked up Jacob and took Allie by the hand and led them back out to the living room. 

Alex and Sandy were busy talking, while Cordell sat on the couch looking at the two of them. 

“Here they are.”  Jacob laid his on his father’s shoulders and turned his face into his neck. 

Alex came over and bent down to Allie.  “Allie, this is your Aunt Alexandra.”

Allie looked up at her dad.  He nodded and Allie went to Alex.  “Hi, Allie,” Alex announced.  “You are named after me.”

“I know my daddy told me.”

“I am very happy and very proud to finally meet you,” Alex announced to her 8-year old niece.  “Your daddy used to call me Allie when we were younger.”

Allie finally let herself be hugged by Alex.  Then she took her over to the couch, where she introduced her to her new Uncle Cordell.  Bob still had not put Jacob down, as he had tried to put him down, but he refused, as he jumped right back into his dad’s arms.

After that Allie never left Alex’s side, as she talked a blue streak.  It took Jacob a lot longer to warm up to either Alex or Cordell.  Sandy had explained to Alex and Cordell before Bob had returned that Jacob had a speech problem – he didn’t talk.  They had had him to several different doctors and they couldn’t explain it, something or someone had traumatized him and only he knew the answer. 

Cordell finally won Jacob over, when he showed him his Texas Ranger badge, then all of a sudden Jacob was hooked.  Then Cordell told them both about his horses, which caught both kids’ attention.  Cordell knew then that when he returned to Dallas, he needed to get both kids the miniature Texas Ranger badges they gave out to kids.

Bob and Sandy also told the kids they were going to Dallas to be at Aunt Alex and Uncle Cordell’s wedding the following Saturday.  They were both very excited, especially at the thought of going to Uncle Cordell’s ranch and seeing his horses.

“Aunt Alex,” asked Allie, as she sat on the couch.

“Yes, Alexandra.”  She brought the little girl into her arms and sat her on her lap.

“My friend, Kasei was a flower girl at her Uncle’s wedding last summer.  Do you have a flower girl yet?”

Alex looked at her, then at Cordell, who nodded.

“You know what, no we do not have a flower girl nor a ring bearer.  We really don’t have friends that have children of your age, so the thought never crossed our minds.  Yes, you can be our flower girl and Jacob can be our ring bearer.”

“Yes,” cried Allie, as she punched her fist into the air.  “Wait until I tell Kasei.  Mom, can I call Kasei.” 

“Yes, dear.” 

“Whoopee,” cried Allie, as she ran for the phone.

Alex then turned to Jacob, who was sitting next to Cordell.  “Jacob, would you like to carry our rings on a pillow?”  He nodded quietly and a very small smile escaped his lips.   

Alex went into to the kitchen to help Sandy prepare the meal for the group and also get to know her new sister-in-law.  They talked about each other, how they met their husbands, their jobs, and especially Sandy wanted to know about Bob or Ted as a youngster.  When they had a break, Sandy and Alex sat down and she showed her the photo album of she and Ted growing up.

Ted and Cordell went out sometime during the afternoon to talk in the van and to run a couple of errands, such as going to the bank and closing out his and Sandy’s bank account.  He told Cordell of his plans of not returning to this house.  He left enough money in to cover any checks that might be outstanding.

After the kids were put to bed, Sandy showed Alex and Cordell where they could sleep, in the basement where there were two bedrooms.  She was a little embarrassed, whether to offer them the same bedroom or separate bedrooms.  Alex assured her that they would decide for themselves.  She admitted to Sandy that they had often slept together, but had yet to make love, which kind of surprised Sandy.   That’s when Alex told Sandy that they had decided to wait until their wedding night before they finally made love. 

When they returned to the living room, Bob and Cordell were deep in conversation, as they were making plans for next week.

“When should they leave here for them to arrive in Dallas?”  Cordell asked.

“If they don’t mind either a round of parties or staying by themselves.  Walker, we have a party every night next week, except for Monday night.” 

“What parties, you never told me about parties every night?”  He really looked scared and nervous.

“Yes, I have, several times.  You are off work next week, don’t forget.  I might have to go in for awhile on Monday to make sure Blake knows what’s going on and to find out what happens today with the trial.  Tuesday afternoon is my bridal shower put on by the judges; Tuesday evening is the party put on by the Jones’.   Wednesday afternoon is your party; Wednesday evening is the party put on for us by the Ramsey’s.  Thursday afternoon is the HOPE house party, Thursday evening is the rehearsal dinner, and Friday is the party at C.D.’s.”

“What do you mean my party?” 

“Oops, I goofed.  I wasn’t supposed to say anything.  Just act surprised, ok.”

“No, Alex, what party?”

“No more, Sweetheart.  My lips are sealed.”

“I’m going to be busy, Wednesday afternoon.”

“Oh, no you are not.  You will be there.  I promised.  Besides Jimmy, Gage, and Sydney are in charge of getting you there.” 

Bob and Sandy both stood there laughing at the couple bantering back and forth.

“Does this mean I have to dress up for four evenings in a row?”

Alex smiled.  “Yes, darling and its five counting Saturday.” 

            Cordell put his head in hands and feigned pain.  Bob and Sandy just laughed at him, as he groaned.  “Cordell Walker, this is your first and only wedding and it’s only a week out of your lifetime and you’ll do this, because you love me.”  She put her arm around him and pulled him close and kissed him on the lips.  “I love you,” she whispered only loud enough for him to hear.

He smiled and kissed her back, but didn’t say anything more, just scowled at the thought of all those parties and having to dress up, at least in the evening.

“It looks like we probably should leave here Saturday morning to arrive Sunday evening,” suggested Bob.  “When does your flight leave?”

Alex had the tickets in her purse, so she rose from the couch to go fetch it, she pulled the tickets out and read them.   “We leave at 10:35 am.” 

“Well, that means we should leave here no later than 8:00 in the morning to get you to the airport, then we could leave around 11:00 after we drop you off, unless I can talk Sandy into flying.  I guess that means I need to make some phone calls tonight and you need to get packed.”

“No.  I’ve never flown and my mother always told me it was dangerous.”

“Your mother always exaggerates,” added Bob and scowled at the mention of his mother-in-law.  Sandy did not argue with him.

“Really, flying is a lot safer than driving an automobile.”

“I’ll think about it, but can we really afford it?”

“Don’t worry about the money, Sandy, I received some of Dad’s money before I left New York.”

“I can help you pack and we’ll talk about you flying,” suggested Alex.

“I’ll get a map and figure out a route and Cordell and I can plan when and where to arrive in Dallas.”

By midnight, the foursome was very tired and was all stretched out on the floor, the sofa or chair.  Sandy had packed everything they needed for the week’s trip, Bob had phoned his boss and asked for another week’s of leave.  He figured with his dad’s inheritance that they could afford to take some time off.  Cordell and Bob had mapped out their way to Dallas and suggested some places to meet when they arrived in Dallas.  Cordell thought it would be easier if he could meet them than try to map out the way to the ranch. 

Earlier in the evening, Cordell had gone out to the car to bring in their luggage and taken them downstairs.  They still hadn’t decided whether or not they would sleep in the same bed, but only time would tell.  They were both too tired to do anything, but go to sleep.

Before Alex and Cordell headed downstairs, Bob/Ted stopped them, but Cordell continued on downstairs.  Bob/Ted hugged Alex tightly and found tears starting to form in his eyes.  “Thank you, God for bringing Alex back to me,” as he looked toward the ceiling.  “I love you very much, Alex.  A day hasn’t gone by without me thinking of you.  It was so painful to have to leave you, Mom, and Dad”

“Mom was never the same after you “died”.”

“I know.  They let me view the funeral on tape.” 

“I love you, too, Theodore,” whispered Alex.  “Come on we can talk more about this next week.”

“Good night, Allie.”

“Good night, Theodore.”

Alex went downstairs, more or less in a daze.  She walked into one of the bedrooms, where Cordell was opening one of the suitcases.  “Which do you want?” 

She walked over to him, put her arms around his neck, kissed him and then laid her head on his shoulder.  He in turn put his arms around her and held her for a few moments. 

“I want you to hold me.”

“Come on then, let’s go to bed.”

The didn’t completely undress, just down to shirts and jeans, then pulled the comforter back and lay under it on top of the blankets.  Cordell pulled Alex into his arms and she laid her head on his shoulder.  “Just one more week.”  He kissed her lightly on the forehead.  “I love you.”

“Thank you, Lord, for bringing my little brother back to me,” Alex whispered.   “Cordell, I love you very much and thank you for being here for me.”

“I’ll always be here for you from now on.  Now, please go to sleep.” 

They both fell asleep very quickly holding onto each other.  The next morning, Cordell was the first to wake up, he got into the shower first and was soon dressed.  He went upstairs, but didn’t hear anyone else up, so he went outside to the patio – it wasn’t yet 6:30 am.  He really enjoyed the early morning and sat out there, just listening to the early morning sounds.  Soon he heard the sliding glass door open, he turned and saw Ted come outside.  He was carrying two cups of coffee, so he handed one to Cordell.

“Thought you might need this.”

“Thank you.”

”You must enjoy the early morning.”

“My favorite time of the day.”

“We need to be leaving by 7:30, just to make sure we get you to the airport on time.” 

“We could get a taxi to the airport.”   

“No, Cordell, I couldn’t do that to you.  I might leave Sandy and the kids here, then come back and get them.  I would hopefully Sandy will decide to fly.  You think you’ll be able to get sleeping beauty up.” 

Cordell smiled.  “I’ll get her up.” 

“I want to thank you.”

“For what?”

“Alex seems very happy with you and as Sandy was saying last night, you make a wonderful couple.  I’m glad she found someone that will take care of her and make her happy.”

Cordell blushed and ducked his head.  “She was right when she said, it has been a long time coming.  I had lost a fiancée a few years before I met Alex because of my job and I swore I was never going through that again.  It’s taken Alex’s patience and persistence to get us to this point.”

“I say she’s lucky.”

“No, I’m the lucky one to get someone as beautiful, caring, kind and thoughtful as she is.”

Again the sliding glass door opened and out popped Alex, still half asleep.  She had already had her shower, but still hadn’t quite opened her eyes and she usually didn’t until she had her first cup of coffee.  She stopped beside Cordell and reached for his coffee cup, but found it empty.  He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him.

“Here let me go get you both some coffee.”  He took Cordell’s cup and headed back into the house.

“How are you going to survive next week?”

“Lots of coffee.”  She put both arms around his neck and stared at him.

“Then you’ll be up all night.” 

“Heh, that’s an idea.  A 24-hour marathon.”  She grinned at him then kissed him.

“A 24-hour marathon?”

“Yes, next Saturday night.”

“Oh, you are evil aren’t you?”

“Yes, and you know you’ll love it.”

“Here we go,” announced Ted, as he opened the door and brought out a tray of coffee, sugar, creamer and a couple more cups.  He sat it down on the table, poured another cup for Cordell and one for Alex.  He walked over to them and handed each their cup of coffee.

“Well, sleeping beauty, you really haven’t changed much.  Coffee still keeps you going.”

“Yes,”

The door opened once again and Sandy stepped out onto the patio with not a very happy face.

“I just got off the phone with Mother.”

“Oh, God, what did she want?”

“I told her we were heading for Texas today, so she’s on her way over here.”

Bob dropped his cup on the table and headed for the house.  “Sandy, go get the kids up and dressed.  We are headed out as soon as we get the car packed.  I am not sticking around to listen to that witch.”

Cordell and Alex looked at each other, then looked at a very surprised Sandy.  “Wow,” she mouthed.  She had never heard her husband say anything like that before.  She was headed back into the house to get the kids up and Bob/Ted headed into the house to start getting the car packed.

Alex stayed behind with Cordell and had her arms wrapped around him.  “I wonder what that’s all about?”

“Well, if we’re still here when she gets here, we’ll soon find out.  Ted did tell me a little about his mother-in-law.  She is very controlling and mean, and runs both him and Sandy up the wall.  Ted was afraid to finally admit it, but he says he’s a wimp.”

“My brother.  I think not unless he’s had to because of his circumstances.”

“I think that is what he was referring to.  Come on we’d better go get everything packed, so that we can get out of here.”  He turned to her, put his arms around her and kissed her.  “Hum, I can hardly wait.”  He smiled at her as he led her back into the house.

They went downstairs to get their things together and packed.  It wasn’t long before they had carried everything up the stairs and sat their bags by the door.  Bob had already started taking things out to their Van, so Cordell grabbed his and Alex’s bags and took them to the van.  Bob ran back into the house and Cordell was putting their bags in the back, when a large blue car pulled up behind Bob’s van.

A very tall, skinny, gray-haired lady got out from behind the wheel, glared at Cordell as she passed and headed into the house.  The first person she met was Bob.

“Where are you going?”

“We’re headed off to Dallas, Texas, if it’s any of your business.”

She was a little taken back, but then continued her tirade.  “No, you’re not.  You do not have my permission to go anywhere.  You already have been gone a week and Tom needs your help at work.  Besides, you’re not taking Sandy and the children out of the state.”

            Alex was standing not too far and listened to this witch go off on her brother.  “Excuse me, but my brother is an adult and he can go anywhere --,” she announced.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Alex Cahill, Bob is my brother.”

“He has no family.  He came here with no one.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, but Bob is my brother.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got a van to load,” and walked away from her.  She made a grab for Bob, but he managed to get away from her.”

At that moment, Sandy came out of the bedroom with Allie by her side and carrying Jacob who was still asleep.

“You’re not going anywhere, Sandy.  You have work to do and Bob needs to get back to the office.  He’s been gone too long already.”

“What, Mother, so he can be a slave to you and Tom.  We are going to Dallas to Cordell and Alex’s wedding.”

“And you are not taking these children,” She made a grab for Allie and grabbed her arm before she could get away.

“Grandma, you’re hurting me.”  Allie cried.  Alex intervened this time.  She grabbed Sandy’s mother’s arm.

“Let go of my niece, right now.”

“I will call the cops, if you people don’t leave my daughter’s home right now.”

“That’s fine.  My husband is a Texas Ranger and he’ll tell them everything that is going on.”

Sandy’s mother turned and stared at Alex.  “I don’t know who you think you are, but this is my daughter’s home, which I own and you’re not welcome.”

Sandy slipped out to the van to put Jacob in his car seat and she was ready to collapse and near tears, so she stayed in the van.  Bob and Cordell went inside the house to rescue Alex and try to calm, Mrs. Bryers.  She was beginning to lash out at Alex and Alex kept trying to duck, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to last too long without fighting back.  Mrs. Bryers finally connected with Alex, but Alex was able to grab her arm and twist it around her.

“Mam, please calm down or we will call the police.”  Cordell came up to Mrs. Bryers and took her arm. 

“You people have no right to come in and take my daughter and grandchildren,” she screamed. 

“They will be coming back,” suggested Cordell, as he released her arm.

Bob whispered to himself, “Over my dead body.”

Bob went through the house to make sure everything was off and locked.  He grabbed the last pieces of luggage and Sandy’s purse, and took them out to the van, as Sandy had decided to stay in the van.  Cordell hugged Alex, then fingered the red spot above her right eye where Mrs. Bryers had socked her. 

Bob returned to the house to escort his mother-in-law out, so that he could lock up.  “You will regret this, Bob Wilson.”

“Oh, by the way, my name isn’t Bob Wilson, its Ted Cahill,” he announced.

She just looked stunned, as her son-in-law talked to her in that tone of voice.  Bob had always cowered to her and she could control him and her daughter. 

He got into his van, asked Sandy if she had everything.  Alex was comforting Sandy, who was crying in the middle seat, while the kids were in the back seat and both were close to tears.  Cordell was outside of the van trying to convince Mrs. Bryers to move her car, but she just stood still.  Cordell went to the car and sure enough she had left the keys in it, he got in and started it, backed it out of the driveway, parked it on the street.  Bob in the meantime, backed the van out of the driveway, and waited until Cordell could get in.  The last they viewed the house, Mrs. Bryers was still standing on the porch with her arms crossed and very angry.

“Do you think she will call the cops?”

“She has nothing to stand on.  This van is in Sandy’s name and mine and I paid for it.  I have had enough of that witch and if I could, I would not return to this house.”  Sandy sat in the middle seat, just staring out the window, as Alex tried to comfort her.  Walker looked back at them and he was able to catch Alex’s eyes.

The drive to the airport was driven mainly in silence.  Both kids had fallen asleep in the back, Sandy still huddled against the window.  Cordell had reached to the back seat to hold Alex’s hand.

At the airport, Bob took charge unloading everything, as by then he had decided, despite Sandy’s possible objection, that they were going to fly.  While he went to park the van in the parking garage, Cordell, Alex, and Sandy went into buy the tickets for the family.  Sandy gave him no argument about flying, as Alex had reassured her that flying was very safe.  Within two hours, a very nervous Sandy, two very excited children, Cordell, Alex, and Ted all boarded the plane to Dallas.  Ted and Sandy took Jacob on one side of the aisle, Alex and Cordell had Allie on the other side of the aisle. 

Cordell and Alex sat next to each other, letting Allie, who was very excited about flying, sit by the window.  Jacob was very quiet about flying and wanted to sit next to the aisle, so that he could sit by his new hero, Cordell.  Jacob still had not said anything. 

Cordell and Alex sat holding hands, turned to one another and finally kissed.  They had not been alone for five minutes except to sleep in the last five days and wouldn’t really be alone until their wedding night on Saturday, more than a week away.  Soon after they were in the sky, Alex’s head fell to her future husbands shoulder and she was soon asleep.  Sandy and Ted sat across from them, Ted holding Sandy’s hand very tightly.

It wasn’t long before they were finally on the ground in Dallas, Sandy breathed a sigh of relief, but she was very thankful that she had this opportunity to find out for herself that flying wasn’t all that bad. 

On their way to the baggage claim, Cordell had Alex call Trivette to ask him where his truck was so that they could pick it up.  Cordell also decided to go ahead and rent a van, so that Alex and Sandy could have something to drive all week, and for one it had more room in it than Alex’s little convertible.

Alex pulled her phone out of her bag and dialed Jimmy’s number.  “Jimmy.”

“Alex, you’re back in town?”

“Yes, we are at the airport now, offloading our luggage.  Walker wants to know where his truck is?”

“In the Police Department’s underground garage.  Do you need me to come pick you up?”

“No, thanks, Jimmy, we’re going to go ahead and rent a mini-van, then we’ll be by to pick up Walker’s truck.”

“Mini-van?  Did you go shopping in New York and brought back a whole load of stuff for the wedding?”  Jimmy was smiling as he thought of Walker following Alex through mall after mall and carrying all those packages.

“No, Jimmy, not shopping.  We brought my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew back with us.”

“Your brother?”

“It’s a long story, Jimmy.  We’ll tell you later.  I’ll drop Walker off, he may want to come upstairs, then we’re headed out to the ranch.”

“OK.  I’m here at the office.  I’ll talk with Walker when he gets here.”

“It is Saturday, Jimmy.”

“Something big came down that Sydney, Gage, and I are working on.”

“Don’t be dragging Walker into this?  I don’t want anything happening to him this week.”

“Don’t worry, Alex, we’ll make sure nothing happens to him.”

“Okay, we’ll talk with you later.”  She hung up, turned and found her husband-to-be staring at her.

“Don’t be dragging me into what?”

“Jimmy, didn’t say, but Walker, remember you are on leave.  If you go up to the office, take Ted and Jacob with you.”

“Don’t you trust me?”  He grabbed her arm pulled her toward him.

She stared at him and smiled, “No.”  Then she leaned over and kissed him.

Walker just shook his head.  “I just need to go to the office for a little bit to catch up on what’s been going all week.”

“Make sure you come home.”

“Yes, sweetheart, I will.”  He grabbed her and gave her a kiss.  “Now while Ted and I go get the mini-van, you stay here with our baggage.”  He and Ted carrying a couple of bags, left to go to the car rental area.  She and Sandy, Allie, and Jacob stayed behind and waited for them to return with the van.  On Cordell’s return, they loaded the van, buckled the kids into their seat belts and headed downtown. 

Cordell pulled into the garage, drove in, finally found his gray Dodge Ram, and parked behind it.  Ted also got out of the van and joined Cordell near the truck.

“Wow, this is a great looking truck.”

“I’ve always liked it.  This is my fourth one.”

“All the same color, even,” added Alex, as she joined them.  She put her arms around Cordell and he did the same with her.  “Now remember, just upstairs to the office to check on things and then home.”

In the van, both kids were in the back seat.  “Mommy, can I go with them.”  Sandy was still in the middle seat, ready to slide across to get out.

“Allie, sweetheart, why don’t you stay with Mommy and Aunt Alex.” 

“Mommy, I didn’t say anything,” Allie came back.

Sandy, very startled, turned in her seat and stared at her son, who was smiling from ear to ear.

“Jacob?” 

“Can I go with them?”  Sandy crawled into the back seat and grabbed her son out of the seat belt and finally made it out of the van.

“Bob,” she cried, as she walked crying to her husband, carrying their 5-year-old son.

“What’s wrong?”

“Listen to this.” Sandy explained excitedly.  Both of them stared at their son.  Allie was standing in the doorway of the van.  Alex and Cordell were standing arm in arm, just behind Bob.

“Daddy, can I go with you and Uncle Cordell,” Jacob asked, staring at his father.

“Oh, my God, Jacob,” as he took his son out of his wife’s arms and hugged him to him.  Jacob was smiling so big, then he glanced over at Alex and Cordell and his smile even got bigger.  “You betcha, big boy, you can go with us.”  He hugged his son to him and felt tears forming in his eyes, as he held him.

Alex and Cordell just stood and grinned at the father and son.  Cordell turned to Alex and kissed her, then added,  “I will call you if I get tied up too long, but we shouldn’t be more than a couple of hours.”

“See you to that, Cowboy.”  She kissed him back.

“Ted, make sure he doesn’t stay too long upstairs,” Alex asked.

“I sure will.”  They turned and walked away from the van and went to the elevator.

Sandy made sure Allie was buckled into the middle seat, then she got in the front seat and buckled herself in.  Alex got in the driver’s seat and started the vehicle.

Once she was out on the street, she turned to her sister-in-law.  “What was that all about?”

Sandy breathed a heavy sigh, turned to Alex, and replied, “Those are the first words that Jacob has spoken in over three years.  Up until he was two years old, he was speaking quite a number of words and even sometimes in sentences.  Then all of a sudden, he just clammed up and has not spoken since until today.

“Mommy, I know why he wouldn’t speak.”

Sandy turned in her seat and faced her daughter.

“Why wouldn’t Jacob speak?” 

“Grandma.”  Sandy just stared at her daughter, opened her mouth, but nothing came out, as she faced front.

“My mother.”

“Yes, she scared Jacob, even when he was a baby.”

“She traumatized him.”

“Yes, she did.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me about this?”, as she stared at her daughter in the back seat.

“She threatened me, if I told.”

“Oh, sweetheart,” cried Sandy.  Sandy did not know what to say, so she just turned toward the front and shook her head.  As she began remembering back, what Allie was telling her was beginning to make sense.  Jacob would scream whenever he had to go to Grandma’s.  Sandy and Bob finally had to quit leaving Jacob with her, because he was always so upset and now Sandy began to understand.

On the rest of the way to the ranch, Sandy was pretty quiet, Allie fell asleep, and Alex planned in her head what else needed to be done the rest of the week.  She now needed to go get Sandy and Allie a dress, and outfit Jacob in a tux, just like his Uncle Cordell’s and she knew he would look very handsome.  Sandy’s and Allie’s dresses would be similar to the rest of the bridesmaid’s dresses.  They would do this first thing Monday.  She still had to talk with the caterers, make sure the flowers were going to be delivered, and check on the cake.  She needed to take care of all this on Monday, as it was only her free day, since the rest of the days of the week were party days.  She also had to check in with work in the mornings to make sure everything was running smoothly.  She knew that Cordell would also report into work even though he was off.

Finally, they arrived at the ranch, where Alex pulled the van up next to the house, close enough to the door, so they wouldn’t have to pack the bags very far.  Allie immediately pulled out of her seat belt, open the side door and got out of the van and took off running toward the barn to the horses.

“Allie, don’t go far and stay within site,” called her mother.

“I will, I’m just going to go to the fence to see the horses,” cried Allie as she ran to the fence.

Sandy and Alex got out of the van and went to the back to start unloading the luggage.  Alex had popped the door from the inside and lifted it up.  They started removing the baggage and took them to the porch, where they sat them.  Once the van was unloaded, Alex dug her keys out of her purse to unlock the front door.

“I’ve got to move my stuff out of the one bedroom, so that you can have it.”

“Are you sure we’re not putting you all out?”

“No, of course you aren’t.  I’m thrilled that you guys decided to come along.  I’ve gained my little brother back, a sister-in-law, and a niece and nephew.”

“What about Cordell?  I mean, we’re all rushing in on him, like this.”

Alex smiled, as she looked at her sister-in-law.  “He’ll get used to it, besides, I believe he’s thrilled to see that I finally found my brother.”

“If you’re sure.”  They both sat down on the couch soon after they had all the bags in the house and then they would take them upstairs in a little while.

“Besides, it may only be for about a week.”

“Alex, Bob is talking about not going back to Illinois.  He cannot stand my mother and he sees this as a way out.”

“That is great.  That means you and Ted can stay here while we are on our honeymoon.  What about you, what do you want?”

“You know Bob asked me the other night, that if he decided not to return to Illinois, what I wanted to do.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him that I wanted to stay with him, that I loved him and didn’t want to leave him.” 

“Great, Sandy, that’s what I would have said.  I’ve had lots of experience of waiting, patience, and sticking by my man.”

“Meaning, Cordell, right.”

“Yes, mam, I’ve stood beside him for several years waiting for him to make the right move.”

“I think Bob is going to talk to Cordell to find out how easy it will be to come out of hiding and go back to his real name of Ted Cahill.”

“What do you think about that?”

“I love Bob very much and I am willing to stick by him, no matter what.  He even told me that he’s not Bob, that he has just acted the part for the last ten years.”

“Ted was very fun loving, very mischievous, and loved his older sister very much.  I was devastated, when I learned that he had been “killed”.  His disappearance also resulted in the early death of our mother, especially after also losing my father, when he walked out, because of Ted’s “death”.”

“Ted cowered down to my mother, was very intimidated by her or so he let on all these years.”

“Believe me, Ted was never a wimp, as he called himself the other day.  He was very strong, very outgoing.”

“Was he ever involved in drugs?”

“I can’t say exactly what happened.  He got involved with the wrong kids and went by the wayside and that’s what caused all his problems and got him into trouble.  But, I don’t think he was involved in drugs.”

All of a sudden, the phone rang.  Alex got up to answer.  “Hello, Oh, hi, honey.”

“We’re on our way home.”

“Good.”

“Do we have any food in the house?”

“Let me check,” as Alex walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and found nothing in it.

“Cordell Walker, there is absolutely nothing in this refrigerator.”

“I thought so, as I tried to clean it out before we left.”

“We’ll stop by the store before we leave Dallas and get something.”

“I didn’t even think about grocery shopping or I would have stopped.  Too much has happened.”

“I know.   See if there is anything Sandy wants.”

Alex turned and found Sandy standing in the doorway.  “The guys are going grocery shopping.  Do you think they are capable of being turned loose in the grocery store by themselves?”

Sandy smiled.  “Believe it or not, Bob does most of our grocery shopping, so yeah, he can handle it.”  She was close to laughing out loud, when her daughter came running into the house.

“Mom, Aunt Alex, come look.”

“Sweetheart, Aunt Alex is on the phone.  Just a moment.”

“Alex, is there anything you want?”

“Sandy says that Ted is very capable of shopping.  Yes, I would like some yogurt,” added Alex,  “and you.” The last she turned away from Sandy and whispered into the phone.

“Okay, see you in a couple of hours.”

“Oh, get the fixings for a barbecue and we’ll have one tomorrow.”

“Beat you to it.  I’ve already invited Trivette, Sydney, Gage, and C.D. out for tomorrow.”

“Our minds work well together.  Oh, by the way, I’m moving into your room.”

“Where do I go, to the barn?”

Alex had to laugh, “No way, Darling.”

“Okay, we’ll see you when we get home.”

“I love you,”

“I love you, too.  Bye.”

Alex hung up the phone with tears threating in her eyes and turned to Sandy and sighed.  “Well, are you ready to tackle taking the baggage upstairs.”

“Allie wanted us to come out to the barn to look at something.”

“Oh, it’s probably the barn cat’s new kittens.  Come on let’s go look at them.”  Then went out to the barn, saw the kittens, Alex introduced Sandy and Allie to the horses, and then returned to the house within half an hour.

Alex had a job ahead of her, as she had to move all her clothes that she had slowly been bringing out to the ranch from her apartment from the bedroom she had been using into Cordell’s room.  They weren’t going to move most of Alex’s things out to the ranch until after they returned from their honeymoon.

By the time, Cordell and Ted arrived home, Alex had finished moving her stuff into Cordell’s room, by moving his clothes into half the area they had occupied before.  They were planning on getting another dresser for her clothes and the closet was a large walk-in, so there was plenty of room there.  They had even brought the bags upstairs and got all them unpacked and put away.  Alex put their dirty clothes into the laundry and started a load of wash.

She showed Sandy where all the towels and wash cloths were, they changed the sheets on the beds, got the twin beds in the third bedroom ready for Jacob and Allie.  They were just finishing when they heard Cordell and Ted return.  Cordell and Ted were putting away the groceries when Alex and Sandy entered the kitchen.  Alex went over to Cordell, where he took her into his arms and held her for a few moments.

“Tired?”  Cordell asked her, and as she nodded, he kissed her

“Good, why don’t you and Sandy go relax and make plans for next week, Ted and I will make dinner.”

Alex stared at him, then to Ted, then back at Cordell.  “Are you serious?” 

“What Cordell is trying to say is, Alex, I’m also an excellent cook.”  Ted announced.

Alex then turned her stare at her brother.  “You’re serious.”

Ted nodded his head.  Alex turned back to her soon to be husband, kissed him and went back into the living room to sit with Sandy and plan on what they needed to do the rest of the week.  The rest of the evening, they spent talking about the rest of the week and getting the kids ready to bed.

Before the kids went to bed, both Allie and Jacob flew to their dad for their nightly hugs and kisses.  Then suddenly they both turned to their Uncle Cordell hugged and kissed him, as he sat on the couch.  Alex just stared at him noticed his reaction to the two children and smiled a big smile.  She would talk with him later and tease him about what a wonderful father he was going to make in due time.

Alex and Sandy put the kids to bed together, then went back downstairs to be with their spouses, who were out on the porch talking.  Alex joined Cordell in the swing and curled up next to him.  The two couples stayed outside enjoying the beautiful evening for another hour, then Sandy decided she was tired and wanted to go to bed, as it had been a very long day, so she and Ted went back inside.

Cordell’s arm was around Alex’s shoulder as she laid her head on his shoulder.

“It’s been quite a day, hasn’t it.”

“Yes, it has.”

“Cordell, you are going to make a wonderful father.”

“Why do you say that?”

“You have been so wonderful to Allie and Jacob and you’ve only known them a few days.

 Besides that they are really taken with you, especially Jacob.”

            “They are wonderful kids and easy to love.  I don’t understand how their grandmother could have treated them so horrible.”

“Sandy doesn’t say much about her mother, but from what she has said, she is a terribly unhappy and very mean woman.  She terrorized little Jacob as a baby and from what they can gather, she is the reason why he quit talking. 

“He’s made up for it the last couple of days.  He’s talking up a storm and nonstop from town till we hit the yard.  Then I could hear him talking with Allie as they headed toward the barn.”

“He’s such a little sweet heart.  He even told me that he loved me upstairs, while we were putting him to bed.  He also gave me a message for you.  He told me to tell you he loves you, too.  I love you,” she whispered, as she turned to him and turned his face with her hand so she could kiss him, long and thoughtful.

“Are you sure you want me sleeping in the same bed with you?”

“I’m sure.  I know we can wait for another week.”

“It’s going to be hard.”  They began kissing, as Cordell put his arms around her and pulled her closer to him, almost pulling her onto his lap.  They stayed outside for another half an hour, kissing and talking, before they decided to call it a night.

“Why don’t you go ahead and go upstairs and get ready for bed, while I lock up?”

Alex laughed, as he pulled her to feet.  “Cordell Walker, I think you actually nervous.”

“Me, nervous, never.”  He pulled her to him and kissed her then, shoved her away from him, swatted her butt and sent her away from him.  “Go on, get ready for bed.”

She turned, smiling at him and walked back into the house, swaying, as she walked away from him.

By the time, Cordell went upstairs, opened the door, and walked into the bedroom, he found Alex fast asleep almost in the middle of the queen size bed.  He knew she was tired and so he thought if he waited long enough, she would be asleep.   He went into the bathroom, put on a pair of sweats and a T-shirt, even though he usually slept with out one.  He slipped into the bed and moved next to Alex, but it wasn’t long before she curled up next to him placing her arm over his chest and her head on his shoulder.  He leaned over to her kissed her forehead and put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close.  It was going to be a very long week, especially if she slept in his bed every night.

The next morning he rose early, got dressed, and went out to feed the horses and do the morning chores.  When he returned to the house an hour or so later, he could smell fresh-brewed coffee.  It was different having company in his house, but he was rather enjoying it.  Alex sometimes, even Jimmy and C.D. came out to spend the weekends with him.  As tired as Alex was, she probably would sleep awhile.

In the kitchen he found Ted and the two children sitting at the table, the kids drinking milk, and Ted had a cup of coffee in front of him.  “Been up early.”

“Yep, the most peaceful and my favorite part of the day.  I get up go feed the horses and just enjoy the morning quietness.”

“Uncle Cordell, can we ride one of the horses later on?”  Jacob asked excitedly.

“You bet you can ride the horses later on.  There is one out there that just might be your size.  I gave it to a little boy about your age, Allie.”

“What happened to him?”  Allie asked.

“He died,” Cordell slowly replied, almost choking up remembering Little Lucas.  “He’s buried up on a hill above the river.”  He just stared off into space, as Allie stared at her uncle.

“Well, I’m going upstairs to take a shower,” he added.  “Then we can have breakfast.”  He quietly went up the stairs, feeling kind of down at the mention of Lucas. 

He opened the bedroom door and found Alex still asleep in the bed.  He didn’t want to disturb her, as she needed her sleep.  He grabbed clean clothes and went into the bathroom.  About 15 minutes later, he returned to the bedroom, with just jeans on.  He stood staring at Alex still lying on the bed, then slowly walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge of it.

“I was wondering when you were going to come out.”  Alex opened her eyes and smiled up at her fiancée.  “Just wait until next week and we no longer have to be apart.  We can take showers together, stay in bed all day, kiss, and make love all day.”

He lay down beside her, she laid her hand on his bare arm and slowly moved it to his back.  “I love you so very much.”

He pulled her closer so that he could kiss her.  “And I love you.  Gee that sounds so good to be able to say it without stuttering.”

Her hands moved up and down his back, feeling his strong muscles.  He pulled her to him and held her close to his chest and moved his hands up and down her back, as he kissed her.

“God, Alex, you feel so good.  I’m so glad you are in my life and you’re making me the happiest man alive by marrying me.”

“I’ve waited for many years for Saturday to arrive.  Am I dreaming or are we real close to our wedding?”

“Let’s see, six days, 5 hours and 33 minutes.”

Alex started giggling.  “Who is counting and who is anxious for this wedding? Are you ever going to tell me where we’re going on our honeymoon?” 

“Oh, you’ll find out on Sunday.”

“You won’t even tell me where we’re spending Saturday night.”

Cordell shook his head, “Nope that’s a surprise, too.”

“Oh, you.”  She then kissed him, wrapped her arms around him and did not want to leave them.  “This is just too good.”

“Just wait until Saturday night, it will even be better.”

“I can’t wait.  I’m also so happy we’ve waited.”

“Believe me, it has not been easy.”

“I know and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being patient, as I have been patient waiting for you all these years.”

“What is this payback?”

Alex started giggling again, as he began tickling her in her ticklish spots, he had found in the past.  They played around some more tickling each other, kissing, and just laying there staring at each other.

“Come on, we’ve got some starving kids downstairs.  If we lay here much longer, we might be here all day.”

“How wonderful that sounds and if we didn’t have company, I would take you up on that suggestion.”

Cordell kissed her, rose off the bed and put his shirt on, swatted Alex’s backside, as he passed her.

“Get your shower and don’t be too long or breakfast will be too cold.”

The rest of the morning was spent in preparing for the barbecue they had planned for later on the afternoon.  Jimmy and Josie arrived shortly afternoon, C.D. and Mable showed up about half and hour later.  Finally Gage and Sydney arrived last, all of them bearing some sort of food.  Everyone was introduced to Ted and Sandy and the kids.

Cordell and Gage took the kids out to the corral and let them have rides on Little Ranger.  Jacob talked almost the whole time and Allie let him.  For years she had to act as his interpreter for everyone including his or her parents.

Everyone enjoyed himself or herself immensely and everyone seemed to get along with each other.  It was late in the evening before anyone attempted to leave, because they were having so much fun.  Everyone noticed that Walker and Alex were attentive toward one another.  Alex talked with everyone about the plans for the rest of the week, talked about he rehearsal and dinner on Thursday and the party at C.D.’s on Friday.

Monday morning, Cordell and Ted went into to meet with Captain Briscoe to find out what he needed to do to get out of the Witness Protection Program.  Alex took Sandy, Allie, and Jacob to the dress shop to get fitted for their dresses and a little tux for Jacob.  He was thrilled at the thought of being able to dress just like his Uncle Cordell.  Allie was very pleased and thrilled with her new dress and was very excited to walk down the aisle as a flower girl.

At the Tux and dress shop, as Jacob came out of the dressing room dressed in the Tux, Alex whistled at her very handsome nephew.

“Jacob, sweetheart, you’re handsome enough to be my boy friend any day.”

Jacob put his hands on his hips, looked at his aunt and said, “Aunt Alex, you already have a boy friend, I’m your nephew.”

They all laughed out loud at his comment.

“And Allie, you look very beautiful as a princess in your new dress.”

“Can I keep it, Aunt Alex?”  Allie asked.

“Yes, dear, it’s yours to keep.”

Just then her phone rang, she pulled it out of her purse and turned it on.  “Hello.”

“Hi, sweetheart.”

“Alex, Ted and I have been in conference all morning with Captain Briscoe and he needs to talk with Sandy,” announced Cordell.

“Okay, we’re just about through here, so we should be there in about 45 minutes. See you then.”

At that she hung up her phone and put it back into her purse.

“Captain Briscoe, who is Cordell’s boss needs to speak with you.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know.  Cordell did say they had been in conference all morning long.”

Alex and Sandy finished their business in the shop and they were able to take with them Allie’s dress and Jacob’s Tux, but Sandy’s dress needed altering.   They headed toward the courthouse.  Alex parked in the parking garage and they took the elevator to the third floor to the Ranger’s office.

Alex opened the door to the Ranger – Company B office and ushered Sandy, Allie, and Jacob inside.  Jacob had already been in the room, but Allie just stood back in awe of everything.  Alex walked over to Walker’s desk and sat down, picked up the phone and dialed the Captain’s number.

“Captain Briscoe, this is Alex, we are here,” she announced.

“OK, we’ll take a break and be out in a minute.”

Within a couple of minutes, Cordell and Ted came out of the Captain’s office and headed toward Cordell’s desk, where Alex and Sandy were sitting.  “Hi, guys.”

Sandy rose to her feet and went to her husband, put her arms around him and hugged him.  “Bob, what is this all about?”

“We’ll explain when we get back in the room.  We just had to take a break.”

Walker walked over to his desk, where Alex sat, he sat down on the edge of the desk and just sat and smiled at her. 

“What’s going on?”

“We’ll explain later, after we’ve got all the details worked out.”

“OK.  You should have seen Allie and Jacob in their new clothes.  Jacob looked like a little man in a tux just like yours.  Allie looks like a fairy tale princess.”

“I’ll be glad when Saturday gets here and everything is all over with.”

Alex just smiled at him and whispered, “Me, too.  I love you,” just loud enough for him to hear.

Allie and Jacob were staring at the guns, badges, and trophies in the case behind Walker’s desk.

Just then Allie and Jacob walked over to Alex and Walker.  “Hi, guys.”

“We got new clothes.  Allie got a new dress and I got a tux just like yours,” His eyes were real wide, as he stared at his new Uncle.

“Walker, Ted, Sandy,” Captain Briscoe, as he walked into the room.  “Are you ready?”

Alex rose to her feet and stood beside her fiancée, reached up and kissed him on the cheek.  “I’ll take the kids up and show them my office to check on things.  How long do you think you’ll be?”

“Probably another hour or so, just to explain some things to Sandy.”

“If you’re not finished by the time I come back down, I’ll just take the kids over to C.D.’s and meet you there.”

“OK.” He kissed her this time, as he held her hand, then slowly dropped it as he walked back toward the Captain’s office. 

Alex turned to the kids and announced, “Come on, I’ll take you to my office.”

An hour and a half later, Alex returned to Cordell’s office and found that they were still deep in conversation behind closed doors. 

“You guys hungry?”

“Yes,” cried two very excited kids.  They made it to C.D.’s where they accepted a table that would hold three more.  They only had to wait for half an hour before Cordell, Ted, and Sandy showed up.

Ted sat down next to his wife and looked at his kids on the other side of the table.

“Okay, kids, how would you like to stay in Texas.”
“You mean not go back home?”  asked Jacob.

“Yes, Jacob, we wouldn’t go back home.”

Jacob smiled big, “We would stay here with Uncle Cordell and Aunt Alex.”

“Yes, Jacob, but we’ll get our own house, maybe a yard where you can finally have your dog and Allie you can have a kitten.”

“Yes,” cried both kids, as they hugged each other and chanted, “We’re staying in Texas, We’re staying in Texas.  We don’t have to go back to Illinois.”

Then they hugged their parents and Alex and Cordell.  They were two very happy kids for a change.  Sandy and Bob/Ted hugged each other and Alex and Cordell stood with their arms around each other, they turned and smiled at each other.

This is the end of part 1.  Part two will be the wedding and I would like to expand more on Ted and Sandy.  There will not be that much violence in my stories, but hopefully I can pull something off for the wedding.

'Walker Texas Ranger' and it's characters belong to CBS Inc., Norris Brothers Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a great show and it's cast and crew.  All original author and copyright information must remain intact.  Any sales or other uses of this document are expressly forbidden, without the specific consent of the author(s).