A Reason to Hope - Katie

Chapter One

            Alex went into the nursery and picked up her son who was fussing, after checking his diaper Alex changed it then sat down in the rocker and attempted to breastfeed her son but was unable to do so causing him to really start yelling. Walker entered the nursery at this point and asked “Alex what's the matter with him?"

Alex answered her husband “I’m just not producing any milk right now and he's hungry. Would you mind going downstairs and making him a bottle from the formula?"  Walker replied “Can’t we just give him some regular milk until your milk comes in? I mean you'll be able to feed him yourself tomorrow, won't you?"

“No you can't give a baby cow's milk until he's a year old. As soon as I get a minute tomorrow I'll make an appointment to see why I'm having trouble producing enough milk for our son." Alex said to Walker who left the nursery to make up a bottle for the baby. As Alex was feeding it to him Walker questioned her “Alex, is there something wrong with you that you're not telling me about? I mean there has to be something wrong with you because all of a sudden you can't breast feed Cord like you have been doing ever since he was born. Have you considered that the stress of you returning to work too soon might have caused your problem of being unable to produce enough breast milk for our son? Maybe you should still be at home with him, not running yourself ragged at the D.A.'s office."

"I just told you Cordell that I'm going to make an appointment to see what the problem is and I'll have you know that I returned to work when Beth was two months old and had no problems with being able to breast feed her then. Cord is seven months old now and you agreed with me about my returning to the D.A.'s office when he was six months old. So why are you objecting to my working now? I made it known to you that I still intended to have a career after we got married and that's not going to change. Here, why don't you see if you can get him to go to sleep? We can finish this conversation another day. I'm going to bed." Alex replied as she got up from the rocker and handed the baby to Walker who sat down in the rocker and tried to get the baby to go to sleep.

After he had his son asleep Walker went into his bedroom and got into bed with Alex who stirred and asked him “Did Little Cord go to sleep okay?" Walker pulled her close as he answered "Yes he did, now do I get a reward for getting our son to go to sleep?"

“How about a goodnight kiss? Is that a good enough reward for you?" Alex teased her husband as she began to kiss him without waiting for an answer. Walker returned the kisses and then some. Several hours later Walker was awakened by Alex yelling out in her sleep “No, this can't be happening, no Walker I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. Please no, not my babies. I need my babies." Walker reached up and turned his bedside lamp on. He was reaching for Alex when she bolted awake causing Walker to question his wife “Honey, what's the matter? What were you dreaming about?"

Lying back down in the bed Alex told him “Walker, it was so horrible. You took the children and left me because you thought that I was a terrible mother to them." Walker pulled Alex into his arms as he tried to assure her “Alex that is never going to happen. Our children have a great mother and I would never ever take them away from you."

Alex removed herself from her husband's arms as she asked him “But what if I did return to work too soon and because of that I can't produce breast milk for little Cord? Won't that make me a terrible mother to our children? Wouldn't that make you think that you should take them away from me?"

“No, it won't. Alex you are a very good mother to our children and I didn't mean for you to think that I thought you were a terrible mother to our children. I shouldn't have told you that you returned to work too soon because I did agree that you could return to work when our son was six months old and the D.A.'s office really needs you working there. I know how worried you are about being able to balance our family and work at the same time and you shouldn't be worried about it because I think that you're doing a very good job of balancing our family and work. Alex about you being able to feed Cord yourself, why don't we see what your doctor has to say first then we'll go from there." Walker said to Alex who responded “Okay but I want you to know Cordell that if my doctor tells me that I returned to work too soon I will quit my job and stay home with our children. My children are far more important to me than any job could ever be."

Walker replied “I know that lady but for now why don't you try and get some sleep?" Alex said as she laid her head on his chest “Okay cowboy, by the way I love you so much." After Alex drifted off to sleep Walker got out of bed and went into the nursery to check on his son, seeing that the cover had slipped down on the baby he pulled it up then went and looked out the window at the moon. As Walker was standing there watching the moon a shadow crossed it and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up on end. Walker took this as a sign that something bad was going to happen, but who it was going to happen to he had no idea.

Chapter Two

It was now a month later and Alex had gone to see Dr. Stine and she told Alex to drink more cows’ milk along with plenty of water and to cut back on the hours that she worked. Alex agreed to that then asked Dr. Stine if she should quit her job altogether and Dr. Stine told her that working part-time wouldn't put too much stress on her and that she would be able to resume producing enough breast milk for her baby. After talking it over with Walker Alex decided to cut down on her hours at work and see if that worked before quitting her job altogether. Alex also vowed to Walker that if it turned out that she was still having trouble producing enough breast milk to feed their son she would quit her job. Walker assured Alex that he had no problem with her working part-time. After the first week of working part-time Alex was less stressed out and able to feed her baby without any problems.

At Ranger headquarters Walker answered the phone to find out that it was Alex calling him, she said "Hi cowboy, it's me. Listen I just called to tell you that I have to go to San Antonio to interview a witness this afternoon so that means I won't be home tonight. Can you get our children and take them home? I have some breast milk in the fridge for Cord; all you have to do is to heat it up. I should be home in time to feed him myself in the morning." Walker asked her “Why do you have to go to San Antonio? Can't Holland do it for you?"

“He was going to but Kim has tickets to a concert that Phil has been dying to see and it's tonight so I offered to go interview the witness myself. Walker I promise you that I'll be home before you can even miss me." Alex told him.

“Okay I'll get our children and take them home. Alex I want you to be very careful driving there and back. I don't want you hurrying to get back home and getting into a wreck or something. I can always make up a bottle of formula for Cord in the morning if need be." Walker replied urging Alex to use caution because he still had a feeling of impending doom.

Walker was in the kitchen cooking dinner when Beth asked him “Daddy, when is Mommy going to be back home?" Walker answered “Your mother should be back home tomorrow, now how about you set the table while I finish dinner?" Beth went and set the table for her father. As they were eating dinner the baby woke up so Walker placed him in his high chair and tried to feed him but Little Cord resisted Walker's efforts to feed him so Beth suggested “Daddy, why don't you do what Mommy does?"

“And what is that Beth?" Walker asked back. Getting up from her chair Beth went to her baby brother and after getting a spoonful of food ready made a funny face, when Cord opened his mouth Beth placed the spoon into it. Little Cord ate that bite full and looked at his sister who placed another spoonful of food into his mouth. Walker then took over feeding the baby.

After dinner was done Walker cleaned up his son then asked his daughter “Beth is your homework done?" Getting out her schoolbooks Beth replied “Almost, I'm having some trouble with this math problem. Mommy always helps me out when I get stuck on a problem but she's not here so can you help me?" Walker looked at the math problem then said “Well what do you think the answer should be?"

“Daddy, you're just like Mommy, she always says that to me then she goes through the steps of how to solve the problem with me. Can't you just tell me the answer instead of making me figure it out?" Beth asked her father who shook his head no and told her “I’m willing to help you solve the problem but I won't give you the answer. Now what do you think the answer should be?"

Beth sighed and began to work out the math problem and when she was done she said “Fourteen. Why did you make me get the answer on my own?"

Walker replied “Fourteen is the right answer. Beth both your mother and I want you children to be able to think for yourselves and if we give you the answers neither you nor your brother will be able to think for yourselves. You're a smart girl and we want it to stay that way."

“But Marsha's brother Petey says that boys only like girls that don't have any brains. That if a girl has a brain boys aren't interested in playing with her, is that true Daddy?" Beth asked her father who answered “Some boys can be like that but I want you to know that your mother is the smartest woman that I know and I like her a lot."

“Mommy is smart, isn't she Daddy? And you know what I'm going to tell Petey? I'm going to tell him that my Mommy is very smart and that my Daddy likes her a lot and that they even play together." Beth informed Walker who quickly changed the subject.

After he had the children asleep Walker was in his room getting ready for bed when the phone rang. Alex said “Hi honey, it's me. I have to stay overnight, my car has a flat tire and the garage can't fix it until tomorrow. I already interviewed my witness so just as soon as the tire is replaced I'll be on my way home."

“Okay, please be careful on the way home." Walker told his wife who teased him “Honey, you know that I'm the cautious one but you on the other hand just run headfirst into things that would scare any other man."

“So you say lady. I'll see you tomorrow." Walker responded then hung up the phone and looked at the moon which became overshadowed. After dropping Beth off at school Walker took Little Cord to the day care center and went to Ranger headquarters. Around noon time Captain Harland called Walker into his office and after closing the door told him “Ranger Walker, I don't know how to tell you this son except to tell you what I know. The Texas Department of Public Safety just informed the D.A.'s office that A.D.A. Cahill-Walker's car was in an accident."

“Where at? What hospital did they take her to?" Walker questioned Harland who fought back tears as he replied “The outskirts of San Antonio. I'm sorry son but she was taken to the morgue. Do you want me to have Trivette drive you down there so that you can claim her body?"

Walker denied what his captain had told him by saying “My wife is not dead, I would know if she was. Why are you lying about it?" Harland opened the door and motioned for Trivette to join them. Trivette looked at Walker who didn't meet his eyes so he asked “What’s going on Captain Harland?"

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this Ranger Trivette but Mrs. Walker was killed earlier today in a car accident near San Antonio, apparently she was speeding and her car hit a bridge abutment for an overpass and burst into flames. Ranger Walker needs someone to drive him down to San Antonio and help him with the funeral arrangements." Harland informed Trivette who collapsed into a chair. After regaining his wits Trivette said “Walker, do you want me to call C.D. and have him get the children? What about Gordon do you want me to let him know about his daughter's death?"

“Don’t tell Gordon that his daughter is dead when she isn't Trivette. About my children, can you have C.D. watch them while I get to the bottom of this? I'll drive down there myself and see what's going on." Walker said and then started to leave Harland's office but Trivette told him "Hold on there Walker, I'm going with you. Now before you object Alex is a friend of mine and I'd like to get to the bottom of this myself, okay?"

Walker nodded okay.

Chapter Three

Walker and Trivette drove to San Antonio where they met with an officer from the police department who said to them "Ranger Walker before you go to the morgue I think you should know that the car accident resulted in a fire that destroyed the interior of your wife's car and as a result of that the driver won't be able to be indentified by looking at her face."

A shocked Trivette asked the officer “Are you saying that Alex was burned alive?" The police officer replied “Yes, she was." Walker broke in to say “Then how do you know that Alex was driving the car? How do you know that someone else wasn't?"

The police officer looked at Trivette before answering Walker “Ranger Walker, who else would have been driving the car? I'm sorry but the body is that of a white woman with blonde hair. The coroner can tell you more when you meet with him. If you would please come with me I'll take you to meet him." Walker and Trivette went with the police officer.

At the morgue they were greeted by a coroner who said to them “I understand that you gentlemen are here to identify and claim the body? I have to point out to you that you won't be able to indentify the victim the usual way because her facial features were destroyed in the fire. Now having said that we were able to determine that the body is that of an Alexander Cahill-Walker. We based that on the fact that the body is that a white woman with blond hair and blue eyes and that she was in her mid to late thirties. Also we found a purse in the trunk that belonged to a Mrs. Walker. Are there any questions before we go into there to formally identify the body?" Trivette said no while Walker said nothing.

They went into the room where the bodies were kept and the coroner pulled out a tray containing a badly burnt body. After looking at the body Trivette started choking up so the coroner asked “Is this the body of Mrs. Walker?"

Walker said “No, it's not." Trivette told him “Walker, I know that this is hard to deal with but it is Alex. Why don't you let me deal with the paperwork?"

“Trivette, I am telling you that is not Alex and don't try to tell me again that is it. Now let's go." Walker forcefully said to his partner who answered back “Walker man I am so sorry but you have to face the facts that is your wife laying there. Listen how about I call C.D. and have him come down here and help us deal with the paperwork? How does that sound?"

“Trivette for the last time that is not Alex.  I would feel it in my soul if she were dead and I don't feel that way. My wife is alive." Walker replied.

Trivette tried again “Listen Walker if your soul were to feel that Alex was dead and it doesn't what is your heart and head telling you right now? You're a Texas Ranger, what are the chances that someone other than Alex was driving her car?"

Walker responded “My head is telling me that it's unlikely that anyone other that Alex would have been driving her car but my heart tells me that for right now Alex is still alive and that I need to find her before it's too late." Trivette then asked him “What about the children and Alex's father and her friends? Don't they deserve to have a chance to say goodbye to her instead of having some sort of false hope that she's out there somewhere? Walker please let me make the funeral arrangements if you're unable to make them yourself. It has to be done for everyone's sake."

Walker didn't reply to that so Trivette took that as an okay to make the arrangements to transport Alex's body back to Dallas for her funeral. On the day of the funeral Beth questioned her father “Daddy, why has everyone been so sad lately? Does it have anything to do with Mommy not coming home from her trip?"

“Beth, Mommy's car was in an accident and everyone thinks that your mother isn't going to come back home." Walker explained to his daughter who then asked him “Is Mommy going to come back home Daddy?"

“Beth I promise you that some day you will see your mother again. Until you see Mommy again I want you to remember that Mommy will always be in your heart. Your Grandfather Gordon and Grandfather C.D. are going to come and pick you up so that you can be there when they say goodbye to your mother." Walker told her.

“But Daddy why are they going to tell Mommy goodbye when she's going to come back home some day?" Beth asked Walker who answered “They are just saying goodbye for now honey, now why don't you go put on that nice blue dress that Mommy bought for you the last time you two went shopping at the mall?"

C.D. took Beth outside while Gordon asked Walker “Aren’t you going to the funeral?" Walker picked up his son and said “No, I'm not. Gordon I agreed to allow Beth to attend the funeral for that woman you think is your daughter but I will not attend it. My wife is still alive and someday she will return to me."

Gordon stated "Don't you think that I want my daughter to still be alive but she's not and denying that fact isn't going to change anything. Alex is dead and that's all there is to it. Please stop this nonsense." When Walker stood there not saying anything Gordon asked “Can I take Little Cord too?"

“No." Walker answered his father-in-law then went out the back door still holding his son. At the wake Walker's attitude towards Alex's death was discussed by his concerned friends leading Gordon to suggest that someone should try and talk Walker into going to see someone about not accepting Alex's death. C.D. then said “Give Cordell some more time before you suggest that to him. Alex's death was the worst thing to ever happen to him, he just needs more time to accept that she's gone."

“You may be right about giving him more time C.D. because you know him better than I do. But having said that I think that the only thing that will convince Walker is proof of Alex's death." Gordon said.

“What sort of proof are you talking about Gordon?" C.D. questioned Gordon who replied "D.N.A., if it comes down to it I'll exhume Alex's body and have D.N.A. tests performed so that Walker can see the truth for what it is, that Alex is dead." C.D. just shook his head.

Walker never said another word to anyone about believing that Alex was still alive but he also showed no signs of mourning her either. So Trivette decided that he had to get Walker to admit that Alex was gone because he thought that Walker and the children needed closure. Trivette attempted to do that one afternoon as they were sparring in the Ranger gym, after Walker had taken him down yet again Trivette laying on the mat said “All right I give up, unlike my partner who doesn't give up even when he's wrong."

“What are you talking about this time Trivette?" Walker asked his partner who answered "You know what I'm talking about Walker, Alex's death. Now enough time has gone by for you to see the facts for what they are."

Walker snapped "And the facts are what Trivette?" Trivette replied "One, it was Alex's car and the body matched Alex's. Two if by some miracle you were right and she was still alive wouldn't Alex have gotten in touch with you by now? There is no way that she would allow everyone to believe that she was dead if she were still alive. Walker I'm not trying to upset you but at the time you said that your soul would know if your wife were dead. What is it telling you now in light of the fact that she's still not here?"

“My soul is none of your concern Ranger Trivette and if you ever bring up the subject of Alex again you can find yourself another partner, got that?" Walker growled at Trivette who despite seeing the look in Walker's eyes questioned him "Well if you really think that Alex is still alive somewhere, why haven't you tried to find her? What's your answer to that?"

Walker lashed out and kicked a punching bag with enough force to rip it off its chain splitting it open then turned to Trivette and asked “Do you want to end up like that punching bag?" Trivette decided that he wanted to keep on breathing so he carefully answered “No I don't Ranger Walker."

That evening Trivette told C.D. what had happened and Gordon who happened to be there said "I guess that I have no choice but to have the D.N.A. tests done on Alex's body so that Walker finally understands that there is no hope of his wife ever returning to him." Trivette and C.D, reluctantly agreed to the exhumation of Alex's body.

Chapter Four

Captain Harland called Walker into his office and informed him “Ranger Walker the Captain from Austin asked me if I had a man that I could send there for an undercover mission, it involves gun smuggling. It shouldn't take more than a week. Is there anyway that you can do it? I need an answer right away, so can you do it?" Walker replied "Yes I can Captain Harland, when do we leave?"

“It’s just you Walker; Trivette will be handling the Wesley case. You need to be in Austin tomorrow, any questions?" Harland said to Walker who replied that he didn't have any questions.

Walker called Gordon up “Gordon, it's me Walker is there any way you can watch Beth and Little Cord for the next week? I have an assignment in Austin that should last a week, it starts tomorrow."

“How about I spend the week at the ranch with them? I need to get away from the city for awhile and relax. I'll see if Gretchen Mueller can stay over too. If you I want I can bring her by Ranger headquarters so that you can meet her before you agree to her staying at your place while you're gone." Gordon told Walker.

“Why do I need to meet her? She's your girlfriend, isn't she?" A puzzled Walker questioned his father-in-law who laughed then said “I wish, no she's not my girlfriend. As a matter of fact she's a lawyer who's working on a case with me. She knows about Alex's tragic death and was so supportive to me then, in some ways she reminds of my late daughter."

“Fine bring her by Ranger headquarters." Walker snapped then hung up the phone. A few hours later Gordon entered Ranger headquarters followed by a slim blue-eyed blonde woman. Gordon took her over to Walker and introduced them “Walker, this is Gretchen Mueller, she works at my law firm. Gretchen, this is Cordell Walker, my son-in-law."

Gretchen took Walker's hand as she said “Ranger Walker, I was so sorry to hear about your wife's tragic death. If there is ever anything I can do for you please let me know. I understand that your wife left you with two children to raise?"

Walker responded “Yes, Alex and I have two children. Are you sure that you want to help Gordon watch them while I'm in Austin?" Gretchen who still had a hold of Walker's hand answered “Yes, I'm sure. Gordon has told me so much about them I feel as though I already know them. I hope to get to know you too, there's something special about you. Could we meet for lunch sometime?"

Walker removed his hand then said “Well I'd better be going, nice to have met you Miss Mueller."

After Walker left Ranger headquarters Gretchen excused herself saying that she needed to find a ladies room, after she left Trivette asked "Gordon why are you trying to set Walker up with another woman?"

“I’m not; Gretchen is a very outgoing young lady. She's like that with everyone that she meets, she wasn't flirting with him." Gordon defended Gretchen but Trivette changed the subject by asking “Since my partner is going to be out of town for the next week are you going to have the D.N.A. tests done while he's gone?

“Alex’s body will be exhumed tomorrow at three. C.D. is going to go to the ranch to watch Beth and Little Cord then. Gretchen will be at the gravesite with me. Would you like to be there too?" Gordon answered Trivette.

“I’ll be there; I can't believe that Alex has been gone three months already."

Trivette said then quickly changed the subject to avoid becoming emotional in Ranger headquarters.

Walker assignment was dragging along and he was starting to wonder why he had been assigned to the case because so far all the suspects had done was to brag about getting drunk and starting fights. Walker was more interested in what they had to know about the gun smuggling operation that was supposed to happening out of a large warehouse that all three of the suspects worked at and that Walker had gotten a job at. One day the three of them insisted that Walker joined them for lunch at a small diner whose owner they knew from his days at the warehouse. Walker went there with them hoping to gain some information about the case. At the diner one of them asked the waitress “Hey Shirley where's that hot looking new waitress? What's her name? Dee, as in delightful? Don't tell me that she quit already?"

Shirley replied "Dee'll be here in a couple of minutes. What's the matter fellows, aren't I good enough looking for the three of you? By the way who's the hunk with you?"

Walker said “The name's Bill Dano, I just started working at the warehouse." The fellow who had teased Shirley teased Walker "Yeah this new guys is so good at his job that he'll be putting all of us out of business before we know it. He should have a gold star tattooed on his forehead." Shirley took their orders and gave them to the cook Clancey who was also the owner. Dee entered the diner through the back door and overheard Shirley say “Hey Clancey you need to drug that new fellow's drink."

Dee shrunk into the shadows so that they wouldn't see her as Clancey asked Shirley “Why is he trouble?"

Shirley replied “They think he's a rat so make sure that you put enough of that stuff into his drink to knock him out. Then they'll make him disappear like he'd never been here." Clancey drugged the drink. Dee hurried out the back door and went around to the front to enter the diner. When she got there the new man Bill Dano was drinking his drink, after a few minutes he got dizzy and one of the men helped him to the men's room while the other two started flirting with Dee. Thinking quickly Dee said "Fellows if you'll excuse me a minute I have to go to the ladies' room, nature calls."

Shirley came over to the table and starting talking to the men as Dee hurried to where the rest rooms were and grabbed a metal pipe that was laying there. She slipped into the men's room to see Bill Dano trying to resist the effort of the man who was trying to drown him in a toilet. Dee smacked the man in his head with the pipe grabbed Bill Dano and steered him towards the door. Opening it a little bit she saw that Clancey had joined Shirley at the table with the two other men so she managed to slip out the back door with Dano.

As soon as they were outside Dee muttered "Now what?" Dano mumbled “My truck is over there my lady. Can you help me to it?"

“I’ll help you on the condition that you let me come with you. It won't be safe for me to stay here." Dee told him as they went to the truck where after unlocking it she placed him into the passenger’s seat and got into the driver's side. Dee then decided that they needed to get out of town as soon as possible so she got onto the interstate. She drove for an hour until she located a sign advertising cabins for rent so took some money out of Walker's pocket and rented one.

Gordon came into C.D.'s with the D.N.A. tests results that were sealed in an envelope and after C.D. had Gretchen take the children into the back room he sat down at the booth with C.D. and Trivette. Gordon said as he opened the envelope “After I show Walker these results he'll have no choice but to accept the fact that Alex is dead." Gordon read over the results then not believing his eyes reread them. When he was done Gordon uttered “Oh my God, all these months wasted."

Trivette picked up the papers and read them himself and when he was done he said “All along Walker has been insisting that Alex wasn't driving that car and he was right. But if it wasn't Alex driving her car who was? And where is Alex at? Why hasn't she come home?"

C.D. who also read the papers told them “I don't know fellows but one thing that I know for sure is that Cordell needs to know about this right now so that he can go to San Antonio and find out what really happened that day."

“I’ll talk to Harland tomorrow and explain what's going on to him but in the meantime maybe we should keep this under wraps. There has to be a reason that Alex hasn't come back. We have to think of Beth and Little Cord, there's no sense in getting their hopes up if it turns out that Alex is...well I hate to say it but dead somewhere else." Gordon and C.D. both agreed to go along with Trivette.

When Gretchen came out of the back room with the children she asked “Was it who we thought it was in the coffin?" Trivette replied as he picked up the envelope “Yes it was. When Walker gets back I'll show him this myself."

Chapter Five

Coming around but still a little fuzzy Walker asked “Where are we?" Dee came over to the bed and told him “We’re about an hour outside of Austin. I rented a cabin with money that I took from you. Now Mister I want to know who you are and why those fellows at the diner were trying to kill you."

“Come on lady stop teasing me, you know who I am. I know who you are too and it's not Dee like your name tag says that it is." Walker responded but Dee stunned Walker by saying “Listen and listen good mister, I do not know you. I have never set eyes on you before I rescued you at that diner. Now tell me who you are and why those men were trying to kill you. Start talking or I start walking."

Walker said “I’ll tell you who I am on the condition that you tell me who you are, starting with how long you've been going by the name Dee."

“Fine have it your way then but you have to explain first so I suggest that you get started on that explanation." Dee informed Walker who muttered “Still stubborn I see. My name is Cordell Walker and I'm a Texas Ranger. I was undercover trying to bust a gun smuggling operation. Now it's your turn, who are you really? And don't try to tell me Dee because I know that's not your given name."

“Before I answer you I want your word that you'll see to it that I end up where my husband can't find me. Do I have it?" Dee asked Walker who was barely able to stop himself from asking about Dee's husband, instead he nodded okay.

Dee then told him “My given name is Danilee McKee or at least that was what my husband Dwight McKee told me my name was three months ago when he came into my hospital room and told the doctors that he was my husband and was there to take me home. I was uneasy about going home with him but the doctors insisted that he was my husband and have proven that fact to them so I went home with him."

“If you have a husband why don't you want him to know where you're at?" Walker questioned Dee who pulled herself into a ball on the chair before quietly answering “Because when I refused to sleep with him he beat me so I threatened to leave him but he told me that he would just hunt me down again. He's a federal agent and used his position to find me in the hospital after I left him. He then told me that since he was such a nice guy that he'd cut me a break and not insist on his rights that night but when he got back from his next assignment I'd had better be a dutiful wife if I knew what was good for me. I didn't know what else to do so I told him that I was still shook up from not being able to remember things and that I would be better behaved when he returned. That seemed to satisfy him. I then made plans to escape just as soon as he left the house. I moved from place to place always looking over my shoulder terrified that he would find me. Mister Walker you have to protect me from him, I'm terrified that he's going to find me and kill me."

Walker who by now was beyond furious went over to Dee and kneeling before her vowed “I promise you lady that I will protect you from ever being hurt by that man or any other man again. You have my word on that."

Dee wiped away several tears as she asked him “Won’t that make your wife mad? You know you looking out for another woman? You're wearing a wedding ring, so you must have a wife." Walker carefully replied “Right now my wife is away from me but I hope that someday she'll come back to me."

“You’re not another abusive husband, are you?" Dee bluntly questioned him.

“No what I am is a man who would do anything for my wife and for the lady who saved me earlier today. Not to change the subject but we'd better get on the road." Walker told Dee who asked him " On the road to where?"

"Dallas, once we get there I'll have my partner James Trivette meet us and we can figure what to do next but before we leave this room I want your word that you will stay with me until we meet with Trivette. You'll understand why after we meet with him." Walker told her.

“I can do that much for the man who said that he's going to protect me from McKee." Dee answered. They left the cabin and headed towards Dallas. At a rest stop while Dee was in the ladies' room Walker called up Trivette who told him “Hey Walker, you were right about Alex. It wasn't her body in the car. Gordon had some D.N.A. tests done and they showed that she wasn't the driver."

“I know that Trivette. Listen I don't have much time, I need you to meet me at the cabin on my ranch that Alex used to live in before we got married. I'll be there in three hours along with Dee who saved my hide earlier today. Also Trivette come by yourself, will you? Once you see Dee you'll understand why I want you to come alone." Walker answered his partner who assured him that he would do as Walker wanted him to do.

As they were nearing the cabin Walker told Dee “My partner James Trivette is going to be meeting us at a cabin that's on my property. He's going to help you, okay?"

“I guess that I can use all the help that I can get." Dee replied as they pulled up to the cabin. Hearing Walker's truck Trivette went outside to greet Walker and before Walker could say anything Trivette looked at Dee and said "My god, is it really you Alex? Where have you've been?"

Dee looked at Walker then Trivette before snapping at them “I don't know what sort of sick game that the two of you are playing with me but I'm not going to wait around for answers. Ranger Walker I thought that you were a better man that this. You gave me your word that you would help me and then you pull this stunt? I didn't escape an abusive husband only to have you turn out to be worse than him. My name is Dee not Alex, now get out of my way because I'm leaving."

Trivette grabbed her by the arm and told her “Enough Alex, you know that neither Walker nor I would ever do anything like that to you. And what's this about your name being Dee and that you've escaped an abusive husband when you know damn well that your name is Alex and that you're married to Walker?"  Dee tried shrugging off Trivette's grip as she asked him “Who’s this Alex that you're talking about? And I'm married to Dwight McKee who's beaten me in the past, not Walker."

Trivette insisted “Come on your name is Alexandra Erin Cahill-Walker and you're married to my partner, Cordell John Walker. You know the man standing right besides you. He's also the man who so happens to be the father of your two children, Beth and Little Cord. So tell me Alex are you going to walk away and leave your family yet again?" Dee turned white and passed out.

Chapter Six

Walker and Trivette were waiting for word on how Alex was doing when Trivette questioned his partner “Walker what was Alex saying about an abusive husband? And where has she been the last several months?"

“Alex told me that when she woke up in the hospital with no memory a man by the name of Dwight McKee told the staff that her name was Danilee McKee. That he was her husband and would be taking her home. He then beat her when she refused to have sex with him. After he went on an assignment she fled the house and has been moving from one place to another every several weeks terrified that he would find her. I'm telling you right now Trivette just as soon as Alex recovers her memory I am going to hunt him down and make him pay dearly for what he did to her and no one is going to stop me." Walker ended the explanation with a vow.

“My god why would anyone claim that a woman with no memory was his wife when she hasn't? He didn't assault her, did he? The hell that Alex must have gone through, not knowing who she was and being abused at the same time. I'd like to beat him to a pulp myself." An upset Trivette said then added in a calmer tone “Do you want me to call Gordon and C.D. and tell them that you found Alex?" Walker replied " I guess that you'd better let them know but also let them know that Alex has amnesia and doesn't remember any of us."

“Uhm Walker, you haven't told me, was Alex hurt by that animal? He didn't make her sleep with him, did he?" Trivette again questioned Walker who replied while starting to clench his fists "No, she told me that after he beat her for refusing to have sex with him McKee then told her that since he was such a good guy he would cut her a break and not insist on his rights but that when he got back from his trip she had better be a dutiful wife if she knew what was good for her. She fled the house as soon as he left it. Trivette you should also know that McKee told Alex that he's a federal agent. I am going to beat him to within an inch of his life when I get my hands on him, federal agent or not."

Trivette patted Walker on the shoulder and went to call C.D. and Gordon Cahill. When he returned from making the phone calls Walker was in a heated discussion with the doctor about Alex. The doctor was trying to tell Walker that Alex didn't want to see him and that she was within her rights to refuse to see him so Trivette pleaded “Why don't you go in there with the two of us while we talk with Alex? Listen right now Alex is scared to death and rightly so but this man is her husband and I'm her best friend. We are only concerned about helping her. How do you know that we can't trigger some of her memories by talking with her? It can't hurt to try, can it? She has two children that have missed their mother so much; her father is on his way here to see her too."

Dr. Shannon replied “You’ve made your point Ranger Trivette, I'll go in there to monitor how my patient is doing and if I think that she's becoming too upset for her own good I will insist that you leave, which you will do."

They went into Alex's room where she glared at Dr. Shannon while saying “I thought that I told you that I didn't want to see that cowboy who claims to be my husband and his partner?" Walker answered her “Lady, I know that you're scared out of your mind right now and I can't blame you for being so but I am your husband and I'll prove it to you."

She bit back “Just like McKee proved that he was my husband? Are you also going to insist on your rights once you drag me off to your home? Never mind the fact that I don't know you." Walker answered her “On your back you have a scar from when you were stabbed in the back by a former A.D.A. I can also tell you that have another beauty mark on your bottom that looks just like the one by your lower lip."

“So what? All that proves is that you slept with me in the past, not that we're married. I want you to prove to me that I am in fact your wife before I'll even consider going anywhere with you. I can't have yet another man claim that he's my husband when he isn't. I won't be beaten again, I won't." Alex answered Walker who took out his wallet removed a picture and handed it to her. Taking the picture Alex looked at it then said “So I look like this woman's twin sister, so what."

Trivette entered the conversation “Look I know how scared you are Alex but why are you denying what we're telling you? Or do you really remember who you are but for some reason decided that you don't want to be a mother anymore? Because if that's the case Walker should have left you there. So what is it? Or you a good mother or aren't you?"

This got Walker mad and he snapped “Don’t talk to Alex like that Trivette. She's a very good mother to our children and she would never fake amnesia."

“I’m such a good mother that I don't even know my own children names. What kind of woman am I? He's right you should have left me there because they deserve better than someone like me, any child would." Alex said as she began to cry so Walker gently gathered her into his arms. Trivette and Dr. Shannon left the room.

Walker held Alex until she stopped crying then told her "Alex, don't do this, once you see our children you will realize that they have the best mother in the world, you."

“But what if I never remember them? What happens to me then? Will you take them away from me like I deserve?" Alex questioned Walker who answered “Lady I would never ever take our children from you, listen if your memory never returns we'll deal with it as a family, okay? Now your father is on his way here along with C.D. Parker who's my former partner. Are you up to seeing them?"

“I’d like to see my father and I'd also like to see our children as soon as possible but before you bring them to see me I need to know their names." Alex told Walker.

“Our nine year old daughter's name is Rowan Elizabeth Walker; we call her Beth most of the time. Our son's name is Falcon Cordell Walker, he's going to be a year old in a couple of weeks and we call him 'Little Cord'. Your father's name is Gordon Cahill but you call him dad most of the time." Walker said to Alex who got a hint of a smile on her face as she told him “I think that I know that I call my father Dad most of the time. Tell me what do our children look like?"

“Beth looks like my father and Uncle Ray, both of whom were full-blooded Cherokee and our son looks like the both of us." Walker answered his wife. A while later someone knocked on the door so he told them “Come on in."

Gordon entered the room followed by C.D. and said “This is C.D. Parker and I'm Gordon Cahill, your father. Are you up to visiting with us for a little while?" Alex replied “For a few minutes."

Walker went outside to talk with Dr. Shannon about Alex. C.D. and Gordon talked to Alex for a few minutes then they left the room. In the hallway Trivette was going over the arrangements he had made with the nursing staff of who was and wasn't allowed in to see Alex. Walker came back from talking with Dr. Shannon and told them “If you can come out to the ranch I'll explain everything to you." They agreed to follow him out to the ranch. Walker then went back into Alex's room and told her that he was leaving but that he would bring the children to see her the first thing in the morning. Alex told him that she was looking forward to it.

Chapter Seven

At the ranch Walker waited until after Gretchen left then told the others “As you know Alex doesn't have any memory of us or any of her life for that matter. Now Gordon and C.D. what I'm going to tell you, you are not to tell anyone else and I mean that, got it?" C.D. replied “I got that." But Gordon questioned "Why don't you want anyone else to know what you're about to tell us? We have Alex's best interest at heart and would never do anything to hurt her."

Walker answered his father-in-law “I know that you have Alex's best interest at heart but other people don't and if the wrong person gets a hold of certain information about Alex her life may be in danger. Trivette has arranged for the nursing staff to only allow the four of us and our children into her room. I do not want anyone seeing Alex while she's in the hospital. Gordon before you object again Alex doesn't need to be overwhelmed by people wanting to see her, okay?"

“Okay Walker, now can you please tell me why everyone thought that my daughter was dead? And furthermore if you knew where she was why did you wait so long to bring her home?" Gordon asked.

“I did not know where Alex was at, as a matter of fact she rescued me from being killed by one of the suspects in a gun smuggling operation. To make a long story short when Alex awoke in the hospital with no memory a man by the name of Dwight McKee told her and the staff that he was her husband and was there to take her home. That her name was Danilee McKee. After he had her home McKee beat her for refusing to have sex with him. He then told Alex that he wouldn't insist oh his rights that night but that when he got back from his next assignment she had better be a dutiful wife. She fled the house as soon as he left it moving from place to place every several weeks always looking over her shoulder terrified that he would find her. Right now Alex is scared out of her mind, not knowing who she is or who she can trust. I promise you Gordon that just as soon as Alex is okay again I am going to hunt down that bastard and give him the beating that he deserves. What I need from the three of you is for you to answer any questions that Alex might have about her life but stick to the facts and don't overwhelm her with too much information at a time. Gordon, I don't know if Alex will want to come here to the ranch when they release her so can she stay at your place with the children if that's where she decides that she'll be the most comfortable?"

“Of course she can stay at my place but if I know my daughter she'll want to stay here." Gordon answered Walker who then said “I’d also like you'd to be there when I take the children to see Alex in the morning."

Gordon replied “I can do better than that; I'll spend the night and help you explain things to Beth in the morning. Son if there is anything else that I can do for you let me know, will you?" Walker nodded that he would so Gordon went into the guest bedroom that he had been staying in to hide his tears from the other men. Trivette asked “Hey Walker do you want to let Harland know what's going on and that you'll be taking a leave for awhile?"

“Could you Trivette?" Walker answered Trivette who assured him that he would do that then he left the ranch. After he was gone C.D. questioned “Are you okay Cordell?"

Walker answered “I’m fine C.D., after Alex is released from the hospital I'm going to need you to be there for her because she doesn't trust me right now but I think that she'll trust you. She always has." C.D. wiped a tear away as he gruffly answered "Of course I will Cordell and before we know it that lady of yours will remember everything that there is to remember. Just keep that in mind."

Walker nodded that he would and C.D. too left the ranch. Walker went upstairs and looked in on his children then went into his bedroom hoping that C.D. was right about Alex recovering her memory.

At the hospital Walker had Gordon wait in the hallway with the children while he went into Alex's room but she wasn't in it so he opened the bathroom door looking for her causing Alex to yell at him “Close that door behind you right now. What's wrong with you? Barging in on me while I'm trying to get dressed?"

Walker responded “I’m so sorry Alex but when I didn't see you in the room I thought that maybe you got scared and took off." Alex snapped “I have no intention of leaving my babies now would you please let me get dressed?"

“Okay, I'll be out in the hall with your father and our children. When you're done getting dressed let me know and I'll bring them in to see you." Walker said as he backed out of the bathroom closing the door behind him. After Alex was dressed in her hospital gown and back in her bed she called out “It’s safe to come in now." Walker came into the room holding their son while their daughter came running into the room and flung herself into Alex's arms as she said "Mommy, Daddy explained how you were having trouble with your memory and that was why you took so long to come back home to us."

“What else did your Daddy tell you sweetheart?" Alex questioned Beth who answered “That you still loved us very much, do you still love us Mommy?" Hugging Beth closer Alex said “That I do honey, even without her memory Mommy loves both of her babies, more than she can ever say. Cord, can I hold Little Cord now?"    

Beth giggled causing Alex to ask her “What’s so funny Beth?" Beth replied “You only call Daddy Walker or Cordell when you're mad at him, you never call him by the baby's name." Looking at Walker as he placed his son into her arms Alex questioned “Is that true Cordell Walker?"

“Yes it is, I know that sounds strange to you but you've called me by my last name ever since we met. You've never called me Cord because I told you early in our relationship that I didn't like to be called Cord." Walker said to Alex who was fussing over their son.

“Okay cowboy, I'll stick with Walker until you make me mad enough to call you by your given name and I have this feeling that's not going to take too long. There's something about the way that you carry yourself that suggests that you are very stubborn and go around making people mad at you, just to do it." Alex informed Walker who got a grin on his face as he replied "Some have said that about me, you most of all."

After she visited with the children for awhile Alex had Walker take them into the hallway so that she could talk with her father. After they left the room Alex asked Gordon “If I go home with that man can I trust him not to hurt me in any way? Because I have to tell you that he scares me to death but I need to be with my children."

Gordon answered "Listen Alex do this, go to the ranch with Walker and give him a chance to show you that he would never hurt you, Walker would rather die first. Now before you say anything else if it turns out that you're too scared of him to feel safe at the ranch you and the children can move into my place with me but I want you to try living there for at least a week before you decide to uproot my grandchildren. Can you do that?"

“He’s not going to let me take the children away from him." Alex objected to Gordon’s plan but he stunned her by saying “Walker has already suggested that I take you and the children to my place if you think that you can't stay there with him."

Alex then said “Okay I'll give him a chance but you have to keep your word that you'll let me and the children move in with you if it's too much for me living at his ranch." Gordon replied that he would and had Walker bring the children back into the room where Beth asked "Mommy when are you coming home?"

“Soon I hope, now how about you tell me about the ranch so that I'll know where things are when they let me out of here?" Alex asked her daughter who happily began to tell her mother all about the ranch.

Chapter Eight

A very nervous Alex followed Walker into the ranch house where she was greeted by C.D. telling her “Honey I stocked up the freezer with plenty of food for you. I don't want you to have to worry about cooking for Cordell. I also stocked up on the basics since Cordell seems to have forgotten that you need more in a house than milk, bread, eggs, cereal and coffee. Now before you say anything Cordell did make sure that the children were fed properly while you were gone. He brought them to my place nearly every night to eat. Heck when he didn't bring them to my place I came out here and cooked them some mighty fine food if I do say so myself."

Alex replied “Thank you for everything that you've done for me C.D., now if you don't mind I want to see my children. Where are they at?" Walker went to the steps as he answered “Beth is most likely in her room and Little Cord is probably in the nursery. Why don't you come upstairs with me to check on them?"

C.D. called out to them "Cordell, Alex, I'm going to head back to my bar now. I'll check in with you tomorrow to see how everything is going."

Alex followed Walker up the steps and without asking where it was at went straight to the nursery. Entering the room she found Beth making faces at the baby so Alex said to her daughter “Hi honey, I'm home. Have you've been keeping your baby brother entertained?"

“Yes Mommy I have, he really likes it when I scrunch my face up this way." Beth answered as she scrunched her face up causing Little Cord to start laughing. Joining in the laughter Alex picked her son up and sat down in the rocker with him.  As Alex was looking over her baby boy Walker asked “Beth, how about we go to the barn to take care of the horses and let your mother take care of Little Cord's diaper? I can smell it from here."

Alex objected “Wait a minute I don't know anything about changing his diaper. I haven't the slightest idea of where anything is at either. What if I do it wrong and hurt him or something? You have to do it." Walker told her “Alex, everything that you need to change his diaper is right over there underneath the changing table. And you can't possibly do it the wrong way and hurt him. Come on Beth, let's go."

After they left the room Alex took the baby over to the changing table and looked through all of the drawers until she found everything that she needed. When she had the baby changed Alex took him and looked around the upstairs then headed downstairs with him. Entering the living room Alex placed him on the floor then secured the gates that were by the doorways. Awhile later Walker returned with Beth and he asked her “Do you need me to do anything for you before I start dinner?"

“Instead of you reheating something that C.D. left for us could we order some pizza? For some reason I'm really craving pizza." Alex asked Walker but Beth answered her by saying “Yes we can have pizza. Can't we Daddy?" Walker said “Pizza it is then.

After they had eaten the pizza and Beth went upstairs to take her bath Alex questioned her husband "Where's is my bedroom? And more importantly what bed do you plan on sleeping in? You do know that I have no intention of sleeping with you, don't you?"

“Yes, I know that. I made up the downstairs guest bedroom for you and I'll sleep upstairs in our bedroom. Is that okay with you?" Walker told Alex who hunched up her shoulders and looked at the floor as though she was afraid to say anything to him because she was scared to death of him so Walker said to her “What’s the matter? If you're worried about me taking advantage of you at a time like this, don't be. I love you lady and I would never ever hurt you in any way. I will stay in my bedroom by myself until you remember everything and want to resume our marriage."

After a few more minutes of staring at the floor Alex managed to get enough nerve up to say to him “My father told me that about you but that wasn't what was bothering me. What was bothering me was sleeping downstairs where anyone could break in and really hurt me before you could get down here to stop them. Is it at all possible for me to sleep upstairs and you sleep down here? If you can't sleep down here maybe I could get a bed put in Beth's room and sleep in there until I get over my fears. I really want to be upstairs with the children and not down here all alone." Walker quickly assured her “That’s no problem at all. I'll just go upstairs and bring my clothes down here. Yours are still up in our bedroom, I hadn't gotten around to bringing them down here. Alex if there is anything else that you need to do let me know. I will do anything to make sure that you have a reason to hope for a brighter future."

“I know that this may sound crazy to you but I don't want a reason to hope for a brighter future, I want a reason to believe that I'll have a better life than the one that I'm living right now." Alex said to her husband who replied “If I have anything to say about it your future will be full of light, laughter and love. I'll get started on bringing my clothes down here, why don't you go check on our daughter?" Alex headed upstairs to her daughter.

After bringing most of his clothes to his new bedroom Walker took a shower in the attached bathroom then went back upstairs and checked on his children. Walker then lightly knocked on his bedroom door and told Alex “I’m going downstairs for the night, see you in the morning. I've already locked up." Alex didn't answer him so Walker slipped the door open a crack to check on her only to find Alex sound asleep on their bed dressed in a t-shirt of his that he had left in the room. Closing the door Walker vowed to himself ' I will give you every reason to believe in a better future lady.'

  I don't own Walker Texas Ranger, C.B.S. and other entities do.