By 59 Katie 59

Chapter One

Alex Cahill was working her usual shift at the Corner Diner in Houston when a man came into the diner and sat himself along the counter. Alex went to the man and asked him as she handed him a menu " What will it be?" The man replied " Coffee for starters. Black." Alex poured him the coffee then went further down the counter to wait on a regular customer by the name of Mac who has in the habit of hitting on her every time he came in the diner and tonight was no different as Mac said to her "hey Sweetcakes I'll take some coffee. Then after your shift is over with how about you meet me outside? Unless you want to come into the men's room with me for a quickie." Alex coolly replied "what do you want that's on the menu?"

"I just told you that I wanted you sweetcakes. So are you going to meet me outside or in the men's room?" Mac responded causing the man who had previously entered the diner to look at them. Alex said to Mac "either order something from the menu that's in front of you or leave. Got that Mac?" Mac noticing that the other man was looking at him and Alex said to the man "all I was trying to do was to be friendly to the little ice princess here and what does she do? She acts like I'm some sort of creep. Hell I bet that she's never had sex with anyone and that's why she's so frigid about it. Ain' t I right about her mister?"

The man answered "you don't talk to or about a lady like that." This caused Mac to sneer "if you're thinking that you're going to get into her pants by defending her I suggest that you rethink your thinking. The woman is a walking iceberg." The man grabbed Mac by his shirt collar as he stated "tell her that you're sorry and do it now."

Alex quickly said "it's okay. Mac was just being his usual self. He didn't mean anything by it. Did you Mac?" Mac grudgingly replied "hey it's just the way I talk. Alex here knows that I don't mean anything by it." Mac tossed a five at Alex to pay for his coffee and left the diner muttering to himself.

Alex told the man "listen Mister I can handle myself. Why did you threaten Mac?" The man answered "he was out of line talking to you that way. Why were you putting up with it?"

"Not that it's any of your business but Mac is a good friend of this diner's owner and I can't afford to get him mad at me. I've already been told that if I don't play nice with the customers I'm fired. I need this job so please if you come in here again and Mac is being his usual obnoxious self keep your mouth shut. I can get him to shut up most nights." Alex informed the man who then asked her "why don't you get a job at another diner?"

"Because T.G., that's the owner lets me work around my class schedule for law school. Mister whatever your name is." Alex responded causing the man to tell her "the name is Bill Dano and I just relocated here for a temporary work assignment."

"So Mr. Bill Dano what are you having?" Alex asked as she poised her order pad to take down his order. Dano answered "what's good?" Alex replied "we have a decent beef stew and the cook has a new meatloaf that's made with turkey. The stew comes with home baked bread, the turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and stuffing."

"I'll take the turkey meatloaf and if you have them a couple of brownies for desert." Dano said and Alex placed his order with the cook then topped off his coffee. As Dano was eating Alex seeing the door open muttered to herself "oh no." Mac was there along with another man and he was saying to the other man "T.G., how many times do I have to tell you about Alex being so cold to me before you get rid of her? You must know that her coldness is driving your other customers away."

T.G. then said to Alex "I've put up with you and your crazy working schedule a lot longer than I should have and you know it Alex. When your shift is over with you no longer have a job here. Unless of course you start being nicer to the customers, starting with my friend Mac. He was doing some harmless flirting you and you over reacted, like you usually do." Mac added "now let's not be too hasty here T.G. I'm sure that Alex regrets being frigid to me earlier and is willing to go out on a date with me to show you that she's learning how to be friendly with the customers. So what do you say Alex? Will you meet me outside when your shift is over with?"

Alex pleaded "please T.G., I really need this job. I'm in my last year of law school. I promise you that after I'm finished with my classes my schedule will be like everyone else's. You know that my mother is counting on me and the money I bring home from my evening job." Mac sneered at her "oh yes your poor mother who has cancer and needs her medicine that she can't afford to pay for on her own. Isn't that why you took a second job here in the evenings? To pay for her medical bills? Well Alex I must say that you're a bad daughter getting yourself fired from a job that you need to help pay your mother's medical bills. So one last chance to keep your job, you go out with me and put out or you lose your job. It's as simple as that."

Alex looked like she was going to be sick at any minute so Dano who had overheard the entire conversation stated " Alex already has a date tonight and that's with me. I'll be back to pick her up when her shift is over with and if I hear that either one of you has bothered her again I will teach you some manners. No woman should have to put with the kind of crap that you're trying to pull on her." Mac laughed as he took up a fighting stance "hey T.G. the cowboy wants to teach us some manners. This ought to be quick."

Mac then threw a quick punch at Dano's head but he easily blocked it. Mac then tried a roundhouse kick to the ribs but that too was easily blocked. Dano then told him "quit while you can." Now pissed off Mac charged at Dano who sidestepped him then got Mac from behind and placed him in a sleeper hold. After Mac was laid out on the floor Dano asked Alex "when is your shift over with Miss?"

T.G. did the answering as he checked on his friend "in an hour, might be two if we have a late rush of customers. Listen mister I know that Mac can come on a little strong but he's harmless, really. And I wasn't really going to fire Alex if she didn't go out with him. I was just trying to get her to loosen up some is all. She doesn't need to be so rigid all the time. Besides there wasn't any harm done. Was there Alex?"

"T.G. you know that the only thing two things I have time for right now are my mother and law school. I don't have the time or the energy to deal with a man, any man right now. I need to pass the bar exam and get a job with good medical benefits so that I can get my mother better treatment for her cancer. After that's done then and only then will I be able to think about going out with someone." Alex responded. T.G. then questioned her "what about him? You have a date with him. Don't you?"

Alex retorted "he said that. I didn't. Like I just said I do not have the time to date anyone and that includes him." T.G. nodded okay as Mac stirred. Getting up from the floor Mac told Dano "you just got lucky this time, next time I'll wipe the floor with you." Dano ignored him so T.G. led his friend away as Alex said to Dano "thank you for trying to help me out but just so you know I'm not going out on a date with you, let alone putting out for you."

"I know that lady. I'll see you around." Dano answered then paid his bill and left the diner. After Dano left Mac started in on Alex again but T.G. told him "give it a rest will you Mac?" When Mac looked like he wanted to keep on bothering Alex T.G. said "come on buddy how about the two of us go hit that new gentlemen's club over on Hazel?"

Mac answered "sounds good to me and what would sound even better is if Alex here were to get a job as one of the strippers. I'll bet beneath her ice cold exterior is one hot mama." The cook in the back room slammed a skillet down letting T.G. know that Mac was going too far, yet again. T.G. then all but yanked Mac out of the diner. Alex breathed a sigh of relief then thanked the cook who told her that T.G. really needed to do something about his friend Mac before someone else did. Alex couldn't have agreed more.

When Alex left the diner two hours later instead of the one hour because she helped out with the late rush customers Mac and T.G. were coming back from the gentlemen's club. Spotting Alex hurrying towards her bus stop Mac yelled out "hey Sweetcakes, where's your date at?" Bill Dano came around the corner then and went to Alex as he said "right here. Come on my truck is around the corner." Alex replied "okay." The pair then walked around the corner to go to Dano's truck. Once they were near Dano's truck Alex said to him "thanks for standing up for me back there. However that doesn't mean that I'll go out on a date with you now. Now I have to get back to my bus stop and hopefully they're gone by now."

"I'll walk you in case they're still there." Dano offered but Alex firmly told him no and started back around the corner towards her bus stop. Dano followed Alex causing her to stop and tell him "you've done enough for me mister. Now how about you get into your truck and go away? I just told you that I'm not looking for a boyfriend." Alex then fished walking around the corner.

"I'm not looking to get involved with anyone myself. I came back here to make sure that Mac didn't bother you after your shift was over with."Dano who had followed Alex around the corner was saying to her when a bus went flying down the street. Alex ran to try and stop the bus but the driver ignored her. A dejected Alex then muttered "that was the last bus of the night. Running well ahead of schedule, I might add. Now I'll have to walk the two miles home."

Dano told her "since it's my fault you missed your bus I'll ride you home Miss." Alex replied "Cahill. I'll take that ride only because my mother won't go to sleep until I get home, even though she needs her rest. But that doesn't mean I'm going to put up with you trying something. I can walk the two miles home if it comes down to it." Dano rode Alex home and saw her to her front door where Alex thanked him. Dano told her that he would see her around then left.

Chapter Two

Over the next several weeks Bill Dano made it a point to come into the diner to eat when he thought Alex would be working. As a result of that Mac began to behave himself. Alex who was serving Dano his brownies after he had eaten his dinner said to him "thank you for coming by here every so often. Your doing so has really kept Mac in line." Dano replied "I've been coming in here to see how you're doing. Are the treatments helping your mother any?"

Getting a very sad look on her face Alex replied "my mother's doctor told her that the cancer was terminal but I'm hoping that once I pass the bar exam and get a good job I can get her better medical care and she might then be able to beat the cancer. The medicines that I've been trying to get for her can only ease her pain and she's in a lot of it." Dano then questioned her "what about your mother's husband? Or your father for that matter? Can't either one of them help you with getting your mother her medicine and better medical care?"

Alex told him while getting tears in her eyes "my mother's husband is my father and we haven't heard from him since the day of my sixteenth birthday when he called me downstairs and told me that it was time for me to grow up. He then said that he was leaving and for me to have a nice life." Dano got up went around the corner and pulled Alex into a hug as he said "I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you."

Removing herself from Dano's arms Alex replied "it's okay, you didn't know but it's been hard on me to deal with this by myself." Dano asked her "you don't have anyone you can talk to about your mother?" Alex shook her head no so Dano told her "I'll be glad to help a friend of mine out by talking with her about her mother. And you are a friend of mine."

"I'd like to be a friend of your's Bill Dano because there's something about you that in spite of my natural instincts not to just trust any man tells me that I can trust in you not to be like all those men who say they want to be my friend when all they want to do is to get me into their beds." Alex informed Dano who assured her "Lady I am not interested in getting you into my bed. You or anyone else for that matter. My work is the only thing that matters to me right now."

Alex met Dano after her shift was over with and he rode her home where he asked if he could meet her mother so Alex invited him in. After they were introduced Alex's mother Erin Cahill said to Dano "I'm glad that my Alex has made a friend because she is really going to need someone to lean on after I'm gone."

"Mom, please don't talk like that. I'll pass the bar exam and get a good job then I'll be able to get you better medical care. Once I do that you'll be able to beat this." Alex told her mother hoping that it would be true. Erin Cahill sadly answered "It's okay honey. I know that the end is near and I'm at peace with that. I also want you to promise me that after I'm gone you and your father find a way to make your peace with each other. It takes two people to make a marriage work not just one."

Dano then vowed "I'll be there for your daughter Mrs. Cahill. You have my word on that." Alex asked him "what about when you return to wherever it is that you live? You said that you were here because of a temporary work assignment."

"Alex, you will always be my friend and nothing will ever change that. If I go back to where I came from I will find a way to keep in touch with you. After you pass the bar exam maybe you can come visit me where I live and look for a job in the area." Dano replied causing Mrs. Cahill to say to her daughter "honey say that you'll go visit him after you pass the bar exam because a friendship with a man like that is something to treasure. If I was twenty years younger I'd do anything that I could to keep him in my life."

Alex blushed as she rebuked her mother "mother really." Her mother smiled then left the room leaving Dano and Alex staring at each other. Dano cleared his throat a few times then asked "Alex how about I take you out to eat some where tomorrow after your classes? I'm sure that T.G. will give you the evening off."

Before Alex could reply her mother called from the other room "Alex will be glad to go to dinner with you. Isn't that right dear?" Alex who wanted to get to know Dano better said "Yes mother. I would be glad to go out to dinner with Bill tomorrow after my classes. And shouldn't you be laying down or something?"

After making sure that her mother had indeed gone upstairs to bed Alex said to Dano "sorry about that but my mother is worried about me not having any friends and is afraid that I'll spend the rest of my life by myself." Dano replied "as long as there is breath in my body I will always be a part of your life Alex Cahill." Alex nodded okay and the subject matter was changed.

Over the next month Alex and Dano began to go out to dinner once a week. During those dinners Alex mostly did the talking while Dano did most of the listening. One evening when Alex attempted to change the subject to Bill and what was going on in his life he firmly redirected the conversation back to Alex and how she was coping with her mother's terminal cancer. Alex who really needed to vent about it went along with the subject change.

As they were leaving a nice restaurant where they had enjoyed a nice dinner they were confronted in the parking lot by three men who had been drinking at the bar the entire time Alex and Dano had been eating their meal. The leader who had decided that he wanted Alex said to Dano "hey cowboy me and the boys are going to have a little fun with this lady here so why don't you go take a hike?" Dano ignored them and tried to lead Alex away but the three men blocked their path to Dano's truck. The leader then told Dano "move aside before me and the boys have to hurt you. It's not like we plan to hurt her or anything. Hell we'll be gentle enough so that she'll be able to walk in the morning. Isn't that right fellows?" The other two thought that was funny and one of them replied "I don't know about that, the last one we had a little bit of fun with couldn't walk for awhile." The other one added "that was because you broke her leg when she tried to kick you in the balls. Dimwit."

"Neither one of you two are going to be breaking anything this time, at least not until we've each had our turn with blondie here then we'll see what happens." The leader said then swung a punch at Dano who blocked it with kicking one of the other men in the stomach. The third man joined in but the fight was very short lived as Dano defeated the three cretins rather easily. As they were laying on the ground moaning in pain Dano told them to get lost and that if he ever saw them again he would finish what he started and that each one of them would have at least one broken bone. The men got up from the ground and stumbled away as Alex asked Dano "shouldn't we call the police?"

"I took care of them, no reason to call the police." Dano answered as he led Alex to his truck. Once they were on their way to Alex's home she told Dano as she laid her hand on his thigh "Bill there is a lot more to you than what meets the eye and some day I'd like to hear your story and get to know you a lot better." Dano answered her as he removed her hand from his thigh and squeezed it "you will hear my story and I'd like to get to know you a lot better when the time is right lady, which it's not right now. But in the meantime let's just be friends. Okay?" Alex replied "sounds good to me cowboy."

As Dano was walking Alex to her front door he told her as he handed her a piece of paper with a phone number written down on it "as you know there is something about me that you don't know. If things work out the way that I want them to I'll be able to tell everything when the time is right. If for some reason that doesn't happen I want you to keep this paper and if you ever need help with anything call the phone number on it. It's the phone number for a bar which is owned by a good friend of mine and he will be able to get in touch with me and give me a message from you. Just tell him that you need to leave a message for Bill Dano and he'll know what to do. If I ever hear from my friend that you called him I will do whatever you need me to do to help you."

Alex questioned him "are you leaving town? Are you in some sort of trouble? Is Bill Dano your real name?" Dano answered "you're going to make a damn good lawyer. You already know how to ask the questions that people don't want to answer."

"So when are you leaving town? And will I see you again?" Alex asked Dano who kissed her on the cheek then said "In a month or so and yes you will see me again. You have my word." Alex kissed Dano on his cheek then let herself into her house where she closed the front door as a tear slid down her face because she had just realized that she was in love with Bill Dano and that he was going to be leaving town. Dano sat in his truck as he thought to himself that he had done a stupid thing by falling in love with a woman while on a undercover assignment but that maybe it had been for the best. That the woman he had thought was the love of his life had told him that she needed to think long and hard about staying involved with him and that she would let him know what she had decided about their future when she reached her decision. Dano then drove away from Alex's house as he realized that he wasn't as upset about his girlfriend maybe breaking up with him as he had been and that maybe Alex and he were meant to be.

Chapter Three

Three weeks later when Alex had given up on seeing Dano again he came into the diner sat down at the counter and said to her as she poured him coffee "after your shift is over with I'll ride you home." Alex replied "sounds good to me cowboy." Mac who was sitting further down the counter muttered "I can't believe it, the ice princess is taking a ride home from a man." Dano glared at Mac so T.G. told his buddy "stop bothering Alex because if you don't you're no longer welcomed here. If Alex chooses to take a ride from Dano that's her business, not your's."

Mac objected "I thought we were good friends T.G.?" T.G. answered "we are and that's why I didn't put a stop to your behavior sooner. As your friend right now I'm trying to keep you from getting beaten up by Dano if you bother Alex again. And we both know that he could wipe the floor with you if he wanted to. So find someone else to hit on, just so long as it's not a member of my staff. And Alex is off limits no matter what. Are we clear about that?" Mac replied "sure thing buddy besides those broads at the strip club are a lot prettier than Alex is anyhow. Why Dano wants a ice cube like her is beyond me."

Dano stood up and went after Mac who quickly said that he was going to the strip club and left the diner. Dano sat back down as T.G. suggested "Alex why don't you go ahead and go right now? Your shift is only for another hour and if there's a late rush I can help Mary handle it." Alex thanked her boss as Dano tossed a five onto the counter to cover his coffee.

Once they were in Dano's truck he asked her "Alex would you like to come with me for a drive before you go home?" Alex replied "that depends on where you plan on driving us to." Dano pulled away from the diner as he told her "there's this place just outside of town where you can watch the sun set and I wanted you to see it with me."

"Are you flirting with me cowboy?" Alex teasingly asked Dano who seriously responded "lady I'm giving it my best shot." Alex leaned over and kissed Dano on his cheek. As they were watching the sun set Alex declared "it's the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen in my life. Thank you Bill Dano."

Pulling her into his arms Dano stated "You are the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen lady." Dano then kissed Alex until neither one of them were able to think straight. After catching her breath Alex told him "how about we go somewhere and finish this? That is right after I check on my mother."

Dano drove them to Alex's house where her mother seeing the way her daughter and Dano were looking at each other firmly told Dano "I want you to take my daughter out dancing or whatever the two of you want to do tonight. She needs to just enjoy herself for a night without having to worry about me and I think that you're just the man for the job. Now go on you two." Alex with lust running through her veins did the answering "if you insist mother. Bill how about we go and enjoy ourselves for the night?"

Dano who knew that if they left the house together they would end up being together in every sense of the word questioned her " Are you really sure about this Alex? Do you really want to enjoy yourself with me tonight?" Alex with a overwhelming desire to be with Bill affirmed " More than anything. Let's go and enjoy ourselves."

As they were slow dancing in a night club Alex asked him "can we please go to your place?" Dano just nodded okay. Once they were in Dano's truck he said to her "Alex if you've changed your mind about this tell me now and I'll drive you back home." Alex replied while laying her hand on Dano's thigh and squeezing it "I'm very sure about what I want from you. What about you? Are you sure it's me that you want?" Dano's only answer was to speed his truck up.

Once at his place Dano led Alex to his bedroom where he began to kiss her with deep hunger. Alex who was on fire from the kisses reached up to unbutton Dano's shirt. He quickly began to undo Alex's blouse and before she knew it the two of them were naked on Dano's bed where he began to kiss her all over. Pausing for a moment Dano looked into Alex's eyes as if to ask her if she was sure that she wanted him to continue. Alex pulled his head down to hers and kissed him with a passion that she hadn't thought herself capable of having. As they were making love Dano realized that Alex had never been with a man before and tried to pull away but Alex locked her legs around his back and urged him to make her a woman. Dano did exactly that. When they were done Dano pulled Alex back into his arms as he told her "I didn't know that you'd never been with anyone before. If I had known I would have done things differently."

Getting tears in her eyes Alex said "please Bill don't tell me that you think our making love was a mistake. I wanted you so much. Didn't you feel the same way about me? I thought that you did. Was I wrong?" Dano answered "I wanted to show you how much I care for you Alex but there are things you don't know about me and I can't tell you what they are until my assignment wraps up in a week or so. When it's over with you and I will talk about our future."

"Sounds good to me cowboy, real good to me." Alex replied as she laid her head on his chest then began to slide her hand down his stomach. Dano grabbed her hand kissed it then told her "If you don't stop that we won't be getting any rest."

Alex raised up to look him in the eyes as she stated "I'm not interested in getting any rest right now. Right now I want you to show me what you meant when you said that you would have done things differently. Are you up to it?" Dano replied " More than up to it lady of mine." When they finished Alex told him "that was incredible. I think that I've just been to heaven. We will have to do that again some time, real soon." Dano just smiled and pulled her into his arms so that they could get some sleep.

A few hours later Dano's phone rang and he answered it. Alex awoke to hear him tell someone "I don't want to hear it." The person on the other end said something so Dano added "I have the lady that I want right here with me." As Dano hung up the phone Alex sat up and asked him "is there something the matter?"

"Nothing's wrong. Come on I'd better get you back home to your mother." Dano answered as he got up from the bed and started getting dressed. Alex also got up from the bed also and got herself dressed.

When they arrived at Alex's house Dano told her as they walked to her front door "Alex I'll be out of touch for at least a week wrapping up my undercover assignment. After that I'll come for you. Okay?" Alex replied "so you're a cop then. Thank God. I was a little worried at first that maybe you were some sort of criminal but after getting to know you I didn't think that was possible given your character. But you were so mysterious about what you were doing I didn't know for sure. What I did know for sure was that I would do anything that I had to to keep you in my life."

Dano pulled Alex to him kissed her soundly then told her "I will see you in a week lady of mine." Alex kissed him back then went into her house where her mother was sitting at the table drinking some coffee. Alex asked her "Mother why did you wait up for me?"

Placing the coffee cup in the sink Alex's mother asked her "so did you and Dano enjoy yourselves?" Unable to keep a huge grin off of her face Alex replied "did we ever. The man is something else."

Alex's mother looked into her daughter's eyes and realized that her daughter and Bill Dano had been intimate. She then asked her "so you enjoyed yourself?" Alex happily answered "oh yes I most certainly did and I'm pretty sure that Bill enjoyed himself too." Then getting serious Alex questioned "Mother why did you make it seem like being with a man was more of a chore than anything else? That at most I would only enjoy it a little bit, that is if I enjoyed it at all?"

Her mother honestly answered "because that's what my mother told me and that's what I experienced myself. But my darling daughter my grandmother once told me that if a woman found the man that was meant for her she would find heaven in his arms. Same thing with the man, if he found the right woman he would know what heaven felt like." Alex kissed her mother on the cheek then stated "your grandmother was right, in more ways than one." As she watched her daughter leave the kitchen Alex's mother thought to herself that her Alex wasn't going to be alone for the rest of her life. That Bill Dano would see to it. As she was turning off the lights downstairs Alex's mother heard her grandmother's voice whisper to her "it's time to come be with your mother and I Erin." Erin whispered back "in a few days."

A week later Bill Dano came into the diner looking for Alex. T.G. told him "Alex's mother died three days ago. She should be at the house cleaning it out." Dano thanked T.G. then hurried to Alex's house where he entered without knocking. Alex was directing men from the local goodwill on which things to take to their truck. Dano went to her and pulled Alex into his arms as he told her "Alex, I'm sorry. Is there anything that I can do for you?"

Alex replied while starting to cry "after they leave will you hold me in your arms so that I know I'm not alone? I need to know that someone on the face of this earth cares about me." Dano promised Alex that he would do that and after the men left he led her to her bedroom. Dano then got into bed with Alex and held her as she mourned her mother. Hours later Alex awoke and reached for Dano telling him "I need you Bill." Dano asked her "are you sure about this lady?" Alex's answer was to pull him to her and kiss him with everything inside of her.

The next morning Alex woke up alone in bed. There was a note from Dano on her nightstand, in it he told her that he would return to town in two or three weeks for her at which time they would plan their future together. Alex placed the note in her diary then got out of bed to do the final packing of her mother's house

Chapter Four

When Texas Ranger Cordell Walker entered C.D.'s bar he found his old partner with a younger man. C.D. introduced them "Cordell this here is James Trivette, Jimmy meet Cordell Walker." Trivette held out his hand and Walker shook it. C.D. then said "now Cordell I know that you haven't had a partner since I retired but I think it's time you had another one. I spoke to Harland about it and he agreed with me. And before you reject Jimmy here as your new partner just think how happy Ellen will be that you have someone to watch your back. You know how worried she's been about you being on your own without backup." Walker didn't respond to that so C.D. added "listen Jimmy is going to go ahead to Ranger headquarters and get settled in there while you and I talk about your last undercover assignment." Trivette took the hint and left C.D.'s.

After he was gone C.D. questioned his former partner "what did you mean when you told me that you had the woman that you wanted right besides you? Did you let some woman turn your head? And that's why you were acting like you were smitten with her? Look here Cordell I know that Ellen telling you that she wasn't sure about the two of you upset you but she just needed time to think about whether or not she could live with the way you run head first into danger, that's all. You know that she loves you and that you feel the same way about her. Now that Jimmy is going to be your partner Ellen will be okay with you remaining a Texas Ranger. Ellen came back to town last night, as a matter of fact she stopped in here looking for you. How about I call her and have her meet you here later on today?"

Walker answered "not that it's any of your business C.D. but I am not smitten with a pretty woman. I met the woman who is meant for me and she feels the same way about me. In a couple of weeks I'm going back there and we're going to plan our future together." C.D. objected "what about Ellen? She really loves you."

Walker replied "I know that C.D. and I care for her but it's not enough anymore. I'll tell her myself later when I see her and don't you dare say another word to me about it. It's my life." C.D. who thought to himself that Cordell was just letting lust ruin the rest of his life responded "so when do I get to meet this woman?" Walker said "as soon as she's done with law school and passes the bar exam she is going to move here to be with me. You'll meet Alex then." C.D. nodded okay so Walker left the bar and went to Ranger headquarters.

Trivette and Captain Harland were waiting for Walker when he got there. Walker beat Harland to the punch by saying "come on let's go Trivette." Trivette asked "go where?" Walker answered as he headed to the door "to make an arrest in the Mueller case." As they were making the arrest Mueller try to resist arrest by having some of his men go after the Rangers. Walker quickly defeated the two who had taken him on then helped Trivette with his two. After all of the men had been cuffed Trivette asked "why on earth does C.D. think you need a partner? I have never seen anyone defeat people so quickly except for the man who saved my hide when I was a rookie cop and some racists cornered me in a dark alley. If it hadn't been for that man I would have been a dead duck. You remind me a lot of him."

"So Trivette do you know anything about computers?" Walker asked puzzling Trivette who replied "do I ever. For instance did you know that you can track just about anybody on one?" Trivette then started to say more about computers and what you could do on them so Walker told him "fine you've got the job as my partner, for now. Just so long as you handle the computer stuff. Now let's get them to jail, partner."

As Walker was filling out his paperwork Ellen called him "Cord it's me Ellen. I thought that maybe you'd like to go out to the lake with me so that we could talk about us. Is that okay?" Walker answered "You're right we do need to talk. I'll meet you there at five."

When they met at the lake Ellen threw herself into Walker's arms as she told him "Cord I'm so sorry that I doubted if our love could survive the risks that your job brings into my life. I know now that you have a partner you won't be risking your life all the time. So what do you say my Cord? Do you want to take up where we left off?" Walker didn't reply because he was trying to figure out a way to tell Ellen that he had met some one else. Ellen who was in the habit of talking a mile a minute when she was nervous starting talking non stop about the scenery.

When Walker realized that Ellen was talking about the scenery he grabbed her hands to get her attention. Ellen then asked him "Cord, what is it?" Walker replied "Ellen you know that I care about you. Don't you?"

"Oh my darling Cord I love you and I know that you love me. And that's all we really need. Isn't It? True love can overcome anything." Ellen answered while hugging Walker for all she was worth. Walker stepped back took a deep breath and said "Ellen I do care about you and I want you to..." Ellen thinking that Walker was proposing to her excitedly told him "oh Yes Cord. I will."

Walker pulled further back to ask her "you will what?" Before Ellen could say anything Walker spotted movement out of the side of his eye and shoved Ellen to the ground as a hail of bullets rang out. Walker even though he was hit returned fire and the three men who had been shooting at him were taken care of. Walker then asked "Ellen are you okay?"

Getting up from the ground a shaken Ellen replied "yes I am Cord." Walker said "good." Then he crumbled to the ground. It was then that Ellen noticed that he had been shot several times.

At the hospital Ellen ran into C.D.'s arms and sobbed "it isn't fair. Cord and I...C.D. after we talked things out my Cord was trying to ask me to marry him." C.D. remembering the way Cordell had acted earlier that day in his bar questioned Ellen "sweetheart are you saying that Cordell asked you to marry him? Didn't you tell me that you couldn't marry Cordell as long as he was a Texas Ranger? And didn't Cordell refuse to give up being a Texas Ranger for you?"

"Cord and I agreed that he would be a Texas Ranger for another five years then after that he would retire so that we could have a family. Cord didn't actually ask me to marry him but I know he was trying to in his own way. It was really so cute how tongue tied he was when he was trying to ask me to become his wife. I just know that if those men hadn't started shooting he would have proposed to me properly, on bended knee." Ellen explained to C.D. who decided that maybe Cordell had come to his senses and had chosen Ellen over that woman Alex whom he thought he had fallen for. C.D. then vowed that he would do what ever he had to to make sure that Ellen and Cordell ended up married and hopefully the parents of children some day. That they were destined to be a couple for the rest of their life's.

A few hours later a nurse came into the waiting room and asked to see Cordell Walker's next of kin so C.D. said "that would be Ellen Garret here, her and Cordell just got engaged." The nurse then handed Ellen an envelope containing Walker's things as she told her "here are the things that Ranger Walker had on him when he was shot. Now Ranger Walker was shot twice, once in the upper chest but that bullet passed clean through and there should be no lasting damage from that one."

C.D. asked "and the other bullet? Where did it hit Cordell at?" The nurse replied "the left side of Ranger Walker's head, just above the temple. Ranger Walker suffered a skull fracture from the bullet but it didn't penetrate the skull. However you do need to know that Ranger Walker may end up with some sort of amnesia from the bullet striking where it did. Dr. Trolene feels that Ranger Walker stands a good chance of recovering from the wound but he told me to warn you that if Ranger Walker does have amnesia he may not remember all of his life before he was shot. I can show you into his room in about ten minutes Miss Garret. Any questions?"

Ellen shook her head no because she was looking at an engagement ring that she had taken out of the envelope with a slight look of unease on her face. C.D. told her "that belonged to Cordell's mother." Ellen slid the ring onto her finger as she said "then I'll be glad to wear it until my Cord is out of the hospital and can take me shopping for another one. I want my engagement ring to match our wedding bands." Trivette who was also there in the waiting room thought to himself that it was trivial of Ellen to be worrying about an engagement ring matching a wedding band when the man who had just given her his mother's engagement ring was laying in a hospital bed after being shot twice. Trivette however didn't say anything because he didn't know any of them well enough to voice his opinion.

After Ellen was shown into Walker's room Trivette told C.D. "the shooters were Mueller and two of his men. Apparently Judge Lorne decided the arrest warrant was invalid for whatever reason and threw the charges out. As soon Mueller was released from the county jail he took his two best men with him and went after Walker."

C.D. asked "where's Mueller at now?" Trivette replied "at the coroner's, along with his two best men. I'll go let Harland know how Walker is doing." C.D. then said "after that please come back here Jimmy so that I can explain a few things about your partner to you." Trivette nodded his consent then went and called the Texas Ranger captain.

Chapter Five

Walker watched as a beautiful blonde woman laid her hand on his chest placing it directly over his heart as she vowed "my heart will always belong to you." Walker went to assure her that he felt the same way but she faded away into the mists. He then heard White Eagle who was his tribe's spiritual leader say to him "Washoo she is your one true love but you will not have a future with her if you do not be true to yourself. The sprits have shown me this to be true. Remember." Walker then reached into the mists for the woman while saying "Al, Al."

A tearful Ellen realizing that Walker was coming around squeezed his hand and told him "Cord. I'm right here my darling." Walker opened his eyes as the memory of the blonde woman faded away like she had never been there. As did what White Eagle had told him. Seeing Ellen by his bedside Walker asked her "what happened? Are you okay?"

Ellen replied "you were shot at the lake right after you proposed to me. Don't you remember it? It was so touching the way you were tongue tied because you were trying to ask me to marry you." Walker shook his head no that he didn't remember so Ellen asked him "what is the last thing that you remember?"

"You getting upset when I told you about my undercover assignment in Houston. Why?" Walker answered Ellen who told him "Cord my darling that was four months ago. Are you saying that you don't remember anything that happened in the last four months?"

"No I don't. Did something happen that I should know about? Are you saying that I asked you to marry me?" Walker questioned Ellen who happily said "yes you did Cord. After we came to our agreement and you asked me to marry you that's when you spotted the gunmen and shoved me to the ground. You were shot twice but you took care of all three of them. Now C.D. and your new partner are waiting outside to see how you're doing. Are you up to seeing them?" Walker nodded his agreement because he was shocked that he and Ellen had become engaged.

C.D. came into the room followed by another man. C.D. said "Cordell I'm glad that you're okay. Jimmy here was worried that he was going to lose his partner but I told him that it takes a lot more than a couple of bullets to keep you down." Walker asked "Jimmy is my partner? When did that happen?"

"Yesterday, don't you remember?" C.D. asked Walker who answered "C. D. the last thing I remember before waking up here was Ellen getting upset with me about that undercover assignment I was taking in Houston."

"Well now Cordell maybe it's for the best that you don't remember what happened during the last four months. Maybe it's the spirits way of letting you know that you and Ellen were meant to be. That nothing can come between the two of you. Not even a silly disagreement about you being a Texas Ranger. Listen we'll be going now so that you can get some rest." C.D. replied then left the room followed by a reluctant Trivette who wanted to say something to Walker about what C.D. had just said about Walker and Ellen but wasn't sure what to say. It just seemed to Trivette that C.D. was trying a little too hard to make his partner think that he and Ellen were some sort of soul mates.

As soon as Walker was out of the hospital Ellen met him at his ranch house where she told him "now that you have a partner Cord I can live with you being a Texas Ranger for the next five years." Walker asked Ellen not understanding what she meant "what do you mean, the next five years?"

"Yes silly, the next five years. Our agreement is that you keep being a Texas Ranger for the next five five years then after that we start our family. When we do that I'll cut back on the number of courses that I teach at the university and I'm sure by then you'll be ready to retire from the Texas Rangers. You agreed with me about this my Cord. Are you going to break your promise to me?" Ellen said to Walker who then asked her "what else did we agree on?"

"That we love each other very much and that we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together. I do want to become your wife and give birth to your children when the time is right." Ellen responded causing Walker to tell her "I do care for you Ellen, more than I ever thought possible. How long of a engagement are you thinking of?"

"How about two years? That will give us both time to get to know each other better and I believe that it's very important for a couple to know everything about each other before they're married. Is that okay with you?" Ellen answered. Walker then pulled Ellen into his arms kissed her then suggested "how about we go upstairs?"

Ellen pulled away as she told him "I'm sorry Cord as much as I'd like to do that with you the fact is that you're still recovering from being shot twice. I don't want to do anything that would cause you to have a set back." Walker tried again by saying to her "I'm fine Ellen. Let me show you how fine I am."

Ellen again resisted Walker's efforts to be with her "Cord just as soon as you're cleared to return to work we'll talk about whether or not we will be intimate before we married. Please go along with me on this one like I'm going along with you remaining a Texas Ranger. And if five years from now you've changed your mind about retiring we can rethink things. I do want you to be as happy as I'm going to be my love." Walker then suggested that they could for a horse ride but Ellen rejected that idea too and instead said "how about we go shopping for a new engagement ring and wedding bands while we're at it? While I was happy to wear this one right after we got engaged I want my wedding band and engagement rings to match. I love you so much my Cord."

"How about we go shopping for another engagement ring for you this saturday?" Walker answered Ellen who kissed him then said as she took off her engagement ring "here why don't you put this back where you got it from? Oh I'm so sorry that didn't come out right. What I meant was that you should keep it as a keepsake of your mother. Maybe when we have a son you can pass it on to him. Now Cord I'll meet you at the jeweler's on Smithfield Street at three, you know the one that specializes in engagement and wedding rings. They have some really classy rings we can pick from. We'll pick out my engagement ring then and also choose the wedding bands. Once they have my engagement ring done you can put it on my finger. It will take them longer to do the wedding bands. How does that sound to you?" Ellen then left the ranch house before Walker could answer her.

Uncle Ray came into the house and seeing that Walker was holding his mother's engagement ring in his hand asked him "Washoo have you and Ellen broken up?" Walker answered "no we haven't Uncle Ray. Ellen wants her engagement to match our wedding band."

"Any woman that was worthy of you would be honored to wear your mother's engagement ring." Ray told his nephew who snapped at him "do not talk like that about Ellen."

"I just pointed out something that you should think about but knowing how stubborn you are nephew I don't think you will. What you will do is to dig your feet in and marry Ellen. Don't get me wrong I think she is a sweet lady, just too sweet for you. So when are you finally going to bring Ellen to the reservation to meet White Eagle?" Ray said to Walker who replied "when Ellen has the time to come."

Ray then changed the subject by informing Walker that he was relocating to the reservation in an effort to help some of the younger members of the tribe. Walker didn't try to talk his uncle out of it because he knew that Ellen wasn't that interested in going to the reservation any time soon. Also for some reason she seemed to be uncomfortable around his uncle. But he was sure that after he and Ellen were married she would come around and accept his Cherokee heritage and that she would grow to love his uncle.

Three months later at C.D.'s Ellen was showing off her new engagement ring to everyone who was there for her and Cord's engagement party which was being thrown by C.D. when the phone rang. He answered it to hear a woman asking him "can you get a message to Bill Dano for me?"

"A message for Bill Dano." C.D. answered her stalling for time because he thought it might be that woman Alex on the phone. C.D. looked over and saw Ellen kiss Cordell. The woman on the phone said to him "please Mister I need you to tell Bill Dano that I need to speak with him. It's very important that he gets in touch with me. So can you get in touch with him or not?"

"Sugar I'm sorry but I can't do that." C.D. replied causing the woman to ask him "why can't you?" C.D. wanting nothing to interfere with Ellen marrying Cordell lied to the woman and told her "I'm so sorry Miss but Bill Dano died three months ago."

The woman then said "oh my god. That explains why he didn't come back to Houston for me. We were going to plan our future together but I guess that's not going to happen now." As C.D. was starting to feel guilty about lying to her the woman began sobbing then hung up the phone. Trivette came over to the bar and told C.D. "I haven't known Walker long but don't you think that Ellen is a little too sweet for him?"

C.D. angrily replied "That's enough Jimmy, Walker is going to marry Ellen and you had better accept that if you're going to remain his partner." Trivette said "I've accepted it C.D. I was just pointing out how sweet Ellen is but it is Walker's life to live, not mine so I'll keep my mouth shut from now on about the two of them. Besides I'm more interested in my love life than Walker's engagement. As a matter of fact there's a pretty woman sitting right there I want to say hi to."

Walker and Ellen were sitting on the porch swing at the ranch when they started kissing. Ellen pulled away but Walker pulled her back into his arms and urged her "stay here with me tonight." Ellen kissed him back causing Walker to pick her up and carry her into his house where he took her into the downstairs' guest bedroom. When they were done Ellen started crying so Walker asked her "honey what's the matter?"

Ellen sniffing back her tears answered "you were too rough. Listen Cord I love you with everything inside of me but you are going to have to be more gentle with me after we're married. Cord when I'm wife I will be glad to be with you but please not until then. Okay?" Walker upset that he had hurt Ellen silently vowed to be more gentle with her after they were married as he replied "okay."

Chapter Six

Two and a half years later Trivette came into C.D.'s and asked him "hey C.D, how come when ever Walker's Uncle Ray comes to town he stays at a motel instead of staying with Walker? I can understand him doing that now that they're married. I can't understand why didn't stay with Walker before he married Ellen." C.D. replied "you'd have to ask Ray that one yourself but I think that he was just trying to give Cordell and Ellen time alone to come to a deeper understanding in their relationship." Trivette then questioned C.D. further "that's another thing C.D. why do Walker and Ellen need so much time together to come to a deeper understanding? Don't you think that if they are such soul mates like you think they are that they would already have a much deep understanding as you put it?"

"Jimmy haven't we had this talk before?" C.D. asked the younger Texas Ranger who replied "yes we have and they're married now so whatever I think about whether or not they should be married doesn't matter anymore. Walker is my partner and as such it's my job to back him and the choices he makes all the way. But it still doesn't make any sense about Ray not staying with Walker when he's in town. He checked into a motel again. Didn't he?" C.D. didn't answer because he too had wondered why once Ellen and Cordell's engagement had been announced Ray had kept his distance from his nephew who he had raised after the murder of the boy's parents right in front of him when Cordell was twelve.

Uncle Ray came into C.D.'s shortly after that and told the pair "if either one of you see Washoo please tell him that White Eagle would like him to come to the reservation this weekend and that he's to bring his wife." C.D. answered that he would tell Walker as did Trivette who then added "some day soon can I come to the reservation with Walker? I'd like to know more about my partner's Cherokee heritage."

"You are welcomed there any time Washoo visits. The woman who is meant for Washoo can come there whenever she wants to." Ray responded causing C. D. to defend Ellen to him "Ellen has just been too busy to visit the reservation when Cordell goes there. Now that they're married I'm sure that Ellen will find the time to visit there, with or without Cordell."

Ray stated "who said that I was speaking of Ellen? She may come with Washoo when he visits there as may Ranger Trivette." C.D. got mad about that and started to say something to Ray when a blonde woman entered the bar. Spotting her Ray went to her and led her to a booth. Once they were seated the woman got to the point "I don't know if I'm the right person for the job but I promise you that I will do everything that I can do to help you out. Now to start with we can file the paperwork asking for an injunction then hopefully we can get things delayed long enough for you to find a lawyer who knows what they are doing. I've only been practicing law for a couple of years and that's been in the criminal justice system. You really need someone more experienced than me to help you. You need someone who knows the civil side of the law like the back of their hand."

"Miss Cahill we know that you're the attorney for the job and we'd like it if you came to the reservation this weekend to meet with White Eagle and the tribal council. Can you make it?" Ray said to Alex who replied "I'd like to but I'd have to bring my children with me. If you're willing to have my children at your reservation then I'm willing to go there this weekend."

"Yes Miss Cahill you can bring your children this weekend. Sharona can watch them for you while you're meeting with White Eagle and the tribal council." Ray assured Alex who said "I'd have to meet with this Sharona in person before I'll agree to her watching my soon to be two year old twins. Listen we can talk later on this evening but right now I have to get to work. D.A. Clark just called me and told me that I have to fill in at the last minute for A.D.A. Belle who's sick."

After Alex left C.D.'s Trivette went over to Ray and asked him about the blonde that had been with him. Ray explained that her name was Alex Cahill and that she was helping the tribe out with a legal matter and that she would be at the reservation that weekend. Trivette then said that he'd get Walker to take him to the reservation that weekend too. Trivette then glanced at his watch and told Ray that he had better be going because he wanted to see how the newest A.D.A. dealt with Walker as a witness for the prosecution.

Walker was sitting on the witness stand waiting for the replacement A.D.A. to stop going over the notes she had been given about the trial and ask him questions. When she finally looked up at him Walker thought she had the most beautiful blue eyes that he had ever seen. Alex looked up at her witness Texas Ranger Cordell Walker and got the shock of her life because there sitting on the witness stand was none other than Bill Dano the man she still loved. The man who had evidently lied over and over again to her... The man who... Alex stopped her line of thinking as the judge slammed down his gavel to get her attention.

Walker bristled as the A.D.A. grilled him about his account of the arrest and when she told him that maybe he may have unintentionally overstated his actions during the arrest of the five defendants Walker furiously asked them "who arrested you?" All five men said that Walker did as the judge slammed his gavel down and told Walker not to question the defendants again. After that Alex led Walker through the rest of his testimony without any problems. Walker then answered some questions from the defense attorney who when he was done with Walker asked the judge for a dismissal of the charges since the main prosecution witness had been caught lying by the prosecutor herself. Alex quickly refuted that by saying that she had simply been making sure the Texas Ranger was telling the truth about his arresting the five defendants by himself by being stern with her questions. Furthermore all five of the defendants had admitted that Ranger Walker had indeed arrested them by himself. The motion to dismiss the charges was rejected by the judge who then said that the trial would be delayed until A.D.A. Belle was recovered from his sudden illness if the defense attorneys had no objections. The lead defense attorney replied that they had no objections. Then he thought to himself that the newest A.D.A. seemed to have a lot more than her good looks going for her and he wasn't interested in finding whether or not that was true the hard way.

Once in the hallway a still irate Walker caught up to the A.D.A. and started in on her and the way she had questioned him. Walker ended up by asking her "exactly what is your problem with me?" Still upset because of the way Dano had led her on in Houston a little less than three years ago Alex replied with an icy fire in her voice "my problem with you is that you are without a doubt the biggest liar that I have ever met in my life."

With anger running through him Walker grabbed Alex's arm and she slapped him across the face as hard as she could. Alex then told him "don't ever touch me again. You bastard." Walker objected "lady you don't even know me so where do you get off calling me a bastard?"

"I knew you in Houston Bill Dano." Alex replied causing Walker to ask her "who in the hell is Bill Dano?" Alex scoffed "you know very well who Bill Dano is. You know that because of your undercover assigment in Houston three years ago. Now get out of my way Ranger Walker because I want nothing to do with a liar like you."

As Alex stormed off Trivette who had watched the entire incident neared his partner and asked him "what did you do to her when you were undercover in Houston?" Walker answered "I wish I knew." Trivette then joked "well since she hates you and you're also a married man I just might have a shot with Miss Cahill. By the way can I go to the reservation with you and Ellen this weekend?" Walker answered that Trivette could go with him and Ellen.

Trivette entered A.D.A. Cahill's outer office and asked if she was in. The secretary showed him into Alex's private office where she was packing up her things to go home. He introduced himself "hi there. My name is James Trivette and I'm a Texas Ranger. If you're interested I can show you around town this evening." Alex rejected Trivette's advances by telling him that she was on her way home and that she would be busy the rest of the week and the weekend too. Trivette accepted the rejection with good grace.