Devotion

By 59 Katie 59

 

Chapter One

 

     Alex Cahill awoke to her unborn twin babies kicking her. Moaning a little because of the pain in her lower back Alex attempted to get out of bed but failed in her attempt because of weight she was carrying due to being in the late stages of pregnancy with twins. In frustration Alex then called out “Walker can you come in here and help me up?" Instead of Walker answering her Ranger Sydney Cooke did as she entered Alex's bedroom “I’ll help you up Alex. Walker, Trivette and Gage are setting things up. And before you ask me if they know what to do I handed Walker your wedding planner and stressed to him that you wanted everything done as you have it written down in the planner. Walker said that he would make sure things were set up the way you wanted them to be." Sydney then grabbed ahold of Alex's arm and tried to help her up from the bed but didn't succeed. Sydney tried a few more times but still wasn't able to assist Alex out of bed. On the verge of tears Alex told her “Sydney I know that you mean well but please stop. I'll just lay here for a while until I feel up to getting up then maybe I will."

 

            “Are you sure Alex that you want me to stop trying to help you up from your bed? Don't you want to get out of bed so that you can check on how the guys are setting things up for your wedding to Walker?" Sydney questioned Alex who answered “They might as well just stop because I'm not up to getting married today or any other day for that matter." Thinking that Alex was just getting a minor case of cold feet Sydney decided to try and tease Alex out of the mood she was in and did so by saying "come Alex you've already roped Walker. Don't you want to go all the way and hog tie him? So what do you say? Can I help you up or not? We have a lot to do to get you ready to get married."

 

            Alex replied “As far as I'm concerned Cordell John Walker can go hog tie himself. And furthermore I am not getting out of this bed until I'm good and ready to. I don't think that I want to get married either." Sydney backed off saying “Okay. I'll go downstairs and help your father keep an eye on Angela and Ray then."

 

            As Sydney was leaving the bedroom Alex softly said “I’m sorry for being mean to you Sydney. I know that you were trying to help me but right now I feel that there is no reason for me to get out of this bed because once Walker sees me in that tent of a wedding gown he's going to run the other way. Oh Sydney what am I going to do? I want to marry Walker but I can't bear the thought of wearing that hideous wedding gown and I don't have time to get a new one. It was the only one that Clarice the owner of the wedding boutique said that would fit me given how fat I've become." Sydney went over to the bed and assured Alex “You are not fat and you know it. No one looking at you could tell that you're going to be giving births to twins real soon. You only look like you're about six or seven months along at the most. Besides Alex you know that Walker is not going to care in the least what you wear to get married in just so long as you marry him. He may never say it out loud but everyone can tell that Walker is madly in love with you. And that you feel the same way about him. If you don't want to wear that really ugly wedding gown, then don't. I'm sure that you have something a lot nicer looking in your closet to wear instead. How about I go through your closet and bring over some of your dresses for you to look at?"

 

            Alex swung her feet to the floor as she replied “here give me a hand up and we can go over my clothes together. And by the way since I'm not wearing my wedding gown you don't have to wear that horrible bridesmaid’s dress that supposedly matched it. Since when does a canary yellow dress trimmed with red match what was sold to me sight unseen  as an off white wedding gown? I was so desperate that I took Clarice's word that it was a nice off white wedding gown. Did she ever lie to me because I really don't think that a lilac background with what looks to be overly pink demonic looking cupids prancing about is off white. And the bridal veil, for god's sake it's more blue than anything, although there are lilac and pink harpies on it." After breathing a sigh of relief for getting out of wearing the bridesmaid’s dress which was indeed a sight to behold Sydney managed to help Alex up from the bed and they went over to Alex's closet. As they were looking through Alex's things Sydney asked her “do you want me to tell your father, Walker and Trivette that they don't have to get dressed up either?"

 

            Alex smiled and stated “oh no they are going to get dressed up. If you tell Trivette that he doesn’t have to get dressed up then Walker won't either. As for my father even if you tell him not to get dressed up he's going to anyhow because there is no way my father would ever walk me down the aisle without a suit and tie on. I'll pick out another outfit for Cord to wear during the wedding ceremony. And come hell or high water Cordell Walker is going to be dressed in a tux when we get married. It's the least that Walker can do for me since he alone is responsible for my current state." Sydney teased her friend “and you had nothing to do with it?" Alex firmly answered “it was all Walker's idea. It's not my fault that he's so handsome that I can't resist him. I mean the man can literally go.." Sydney placed her hands over her ears as she objected “I don't want to hear this. I have to work with the man on a daily basis."

 

            Alex smiled as she said “okay I get the idea. Therefor I'll just say that Walker is the love of my life but it's still his fault that I'm in this condition. And if you even try to suggest again that I had anything to do with it I can tell you some things about Walker that you really, really don't want to hear." At the shocked look on Sydney's face Alex teasingly added “okay I'll start with the fact that Cordell Walker is a neat freak when it comes to his barn and where he keeps things at in there. Anything else you want me to tell you about my cowboy?" Without answering her friend Sydney wisely took out some maternity dresses from Alex's clothes' closet and laid them on the bed where they started sorting through them. Alex reached for a dress at the same time Sydney did so seeing that they were in agreement about the dress Sydney went over to where Alex's shoes were but the only ones that were close in color were a pair of deck shoes. Seeing the hesitant look in Sydney's eyes about the shoes Alex firmly stated “I’ll wear those deck shoes you're holding since they actually still fit my feet and if anyone even thinks about saying anything to me about my choice in shoes I'll remind them that it's my wedding day and I can wear what I want to." Sydney said “all I know is that I don't have to wear that bridesmaid's dress and I'm grateful for that. Alex would it bother you if I wore the outfit I bought from the shop next door to the wedding boutique? It should fit in with the dress you're going to be married in. I already have it here with me." Alex nodded her agreement.

 

            In the yard as they were setting things up according to Alex's wedding planner Trivette asked his partner “so tell me Walker where did you sleep at last night? Was it with your soon to be wife or did she make you sleep in the guest bedroom?" Walker didn't answer his partner but his son Cord said “when I went downstairs this morning Daddy was sleeping on the couch. When I asked him why he was sleeping there and not in his room with Miss Alex Daddy told me that Miss Alex didn't want to jinx things so she made him sleep on the couch." Trivette thought that was funny and started laughing but cut it short when Walker glared at him then suggested that Trivette and Gage finish setting up the chairs while he Walker checked to see if Gordon was okay in the house with the twins. Walker handed Trivette Alex's wedding planner. Walker then stated that they had better have the seating done by the time he came back outside.

 

            After Walker and Cord went into the house Gage remembering the way Sydney had described her bridesmaid's dress told Trivette “man I hope Alex's wedding gown is a lot nicer looking than the dress she bought for Sydney to wear. Syd said it was canary yellow trimmed in red." Trivette replied “god I really hope that's so and if Alex's wedding dress is as bad as Cooke's dress is, it's all my fault. I've already been warned by Walker that if I did anything to upset Alex on her wedding day I would have to deal with her and then him. I should never have suggested that Alex shop at an ex-girlfriend's wedding boutique and also tell Alex to tell Clarice that I sent her there. Clarice did tell me when we broke up that she would get back at me."

 

            Gage responded “you do know that you're a dead man. Don't you? Man what were you thinking? Alex has waited two years longer than she was supposed to marry Walker and you send her to get her wedding gown from someone who vowed revenge on you. One good thing though if you don't live to see the sun set I can get your bigger desk at Ranger headquarters. So I really should thank you for that one Trivette." Trivette muttered “we haven't seen the wedding dress yet so I still have a chance at living through this day. In the meantime how about we get busy doing what Walker wants us to do because if we aren't done by the time he comes back out you as the younger Ranger gets to explain to him why we are not done yet." Gage realizing that Trivette had a point hurried to get things where Walker said that Alex wanted them at. In their haste they didn't consult Alex's wedding planner so some of the things were where they were supposed to be and some of them weren't.

 

            In the house Gordon was trying to keep Angela and Ray from tearing up the morning paper he had just placed on the end table. Gordon looked at his grandchildren as he said to the pair “why couldn't the two of you have ended up sweet like your mother instead of mule headed like your father?" Walker took the paper away from the twins as he said “they are just as stubborn as Alex is. See the way Angela is looking at me? That's the way Alex looks at me when she's about to insist on having things done her way. Same thing with Ray."

 

            “Now Walker I know for a fact that my daughter was the sweetest little baby you would ever want to see. If she's stubborn now it's because you have rubbed off on her." Gordon objected to Walker's way of thinking.  Walker then offered “I’ve got them. Why don't you go see how Alex is doing? She seemed nervous about something but denied that she was when I asked her." Gordon replied “of course Alex is upset about something. You and she were supposed to get married two years ago but that never happened. Now that you're supposed to get married again my daughter is worried sick that something will go wrong and she'll end up having your children out of wedlock, yet again."

 

            “Alex and I are getting married today and nothing is going to go wrong." Walker vowed to Gordon who told him “you have no idea how lucky you are that Alex is so devoted to you that she will never even think about giving up on you no matter what you put her through. Mark my words, Walker if you ever hurt my daughter again like you did two years ago I will make you pay." Gordon then left the living room.

 

Chapter Two

 

            Gordon knocked on the door to his daughter's bedroom as he called out “can I talk with you Alex?" Alex replied as she opened the door “you sure can Dad. Sydney was just going downstairs. Weren't you?" Sydney took the hint and left Alex's bedroom. Alex then suggested to her father as she showed him into the hallway “how about we go to the nursery to talk?" Gordon followed his daughter to the nursery then once they were in there said to her only half teasingly “you know you still have time to change your mind about marrying that fellow. Just give me the word and I'll spirit you out of here without him ever knowing."

 

            Alex took what her father had said to be his attempt to make her think twice about marrying Walker and sternly answered him "Dad for the last time, I love Cordell Walker and I can't wait to be his wife. Yes I do know that we were supposed to get married two years ago but didn't because of Walker deciding to marry that woman so that his son could have his last name. And yes my carrying Walker's twins while he was married to another woman was hard for me to bear but I've made my peace with it. If Walker hadn't married her then I wouldn't now have an oldest son named after the love of my life, Cordell Walker. Dad please try to understand that I love Walker's son Cord as much as I love Angela and Ray and the two that are going to be born soon, Sydney and James. So if you for whatever reason can't accept the fact that I will become Mrs. Cordell Walker today I'll just have to ask C.D. to give me away. I only want you to give me away at my wedding if you can accept Walker as my husband."

 

            “Alex I never said that I couldn't accept Walker as my son in law. Honey I know how much you love him and how much you love your three oldest children along with my two soon to be born grandbabies. I was just doing what fathers have always done when their baby girls are about to get married and that is to make sure they want to get married to the fellow waiting for them at the altar. So that means I will be giving you away today. Okay?" Gordon responded.

“Thank you Dad. I know that it wasn't easy for you to accept Walker and I living here together while he was still married to Summers and that you only kept quiet about it to make me happy. You and mother raised me with proper values and ethics and it was wrong in your eyes for me to have children out of wedlock and even wronger for your only daughter to shack up with a man, no matter how much she loves him. I'm glad that you didn't turn your back on me when it became clear to you that I was living here with Walker even though he was a married man. Dad I love Walker so much that I had to be with him under any circumstances that I could be. And Walker does know that we both went about things the wrong way but that we are going to make things right for our family when we become a married couple later on today. I am happy to be here with Walker and our children and when we're pronounced man and wife I will have the life that I've dreamed of ever since Walker and I met." An emotional Alex said to her father who pulled her into a hug as he vowed “I would never turn my back on my daughter or her family no matter how she went about things. You and Walker deserve to be happy and spend the rest of your lives with each other."

 

            Alex then told her father in an effort to lighten the mood “but you know Dad I am going to make Walker and Trivette wear their tuxes even though I'm not going to wear a wedding gown. And Cord isn't going to wear his tux either."

 

            “Why aren't you wearing a wedding gown?" Gordon asked his daughter who answered “because it's hideous. Once he looked that poor excuse for a wedding gown Walker would then spend the rest of the ceremony with his hands over his eyes trying not to see that rag. Sydney isn't wearing her bridesmaid's dress either because it's just as bad if not worse than the gown. So that means Dad that if you don't want to you don't have to get all dressed up to give me away."

 

“Of course I'm going to be dressed up when I give my baby girl away. I'm a Cahill after all." Gordon playfully huffed causing Alex to laugh. As they were leaving the nursery they ran into Cord who asked “Miss Alex do I really have to wear what Uncle Jimmy called a monkey suit to watch you and my Daddy get married?"

 

            “I’ll make a deal with you Cord. And that deal is that you can wear an outfit I pick out for you but only if you don't let your Daddy or Uncle Jimmy know that you don't have to wear your monkey suit. Because your Daddy and Uncle Jimmy are still going to wear their tuxes. Whether or not they like it. You also have to at least wash yourself up before you get dressed for the wedding. And yes before you ask you can wear your cowboy boots to the wedding. So is it a deal young man?" Cord replied as he held out his hand “It’s a deal Miss Alex."

 

            Cord then followed Alex into his room where she picked out the outfit she wanted him to wear and showed it to her stepson. Cord looked at the outfit and nodded his approval. Alex then hung it up on the outside of his closet door and told him that she would let him know when he had to get cleaned up and change into the outfit that for now he could do what he wanted to.

 

            When Alex went into the living room she found Sydney watching the twins. Sitting herself on the couch she asked her friend "where's my soon to be husband at?" Sydney replied “he said that he had to do something in his den so I said that I would watch Angela and Ray until you came down. Now that you're here I'll go outside and help Trivette and Gage finish setting things up for your wedding."

 

            “Why don't you see if my wedding planner is out there with them? That way you can look at it and see to it that things are set up right. And if they object just tell them I'll have their heads if they mess up my wedding day." Alex suggested to Sydney who replied that she would go outside and supervise the other two Rangers.

 

            Once Sydney looked over the wedding planner she informed the two other Rangers that some things were out of place and would have to be put where Alex wanted them to go. Gage objected “Shorty we really don't need to move things around. Do we? All Alex is going to be thinking about is Walker waiting to marry her. Not where the seats are."

 

            “All I know Gage is that Alex firmly suggested that I use her wedding planner and make sure that things are arranged the way she wants them arranged. Alex told me that if you two didn't do things the way she wanted them done she would have your heads. Now if you don't think things should be rearranged we can go into the house right now and you can tell Alex to her face that she's just being silly. And when you're done doing that you can then explain to Walker why you ignored Alex's wishes and ruined her wedding day. So what do you say Francis?" Sydney rebutted her partner who shrugged his shoulders and headed to the house.

 

            Trivette called out “Gage if you like living you'll get back here right this minute and help me rearrange things so that they will be the way Alex wants them. I for one like breathing and you know that if you upset Alex on her wedding day Walker will kill you." Gage returned and help Trivette rearrange things while Sydney called out instructions for them from Alex's wedding planner.

 

            Back in the house Gordon said to his daughter “Alex I took it upon myself to hire a woman to come out here today and keep an eye on Angela and Ray during the wedding ceremony. Yes I know that you planned for them to be napping then but they may not be so to be on the safe side there needs to be someone watching them in this house." Alex replied “what was I thinking? Of course there has to be someone in the house to watch my first set of twins during the ceremony whether or not they are napping. What time will she be here and what's her name?"

 

            “Her name is Janette Parsons and she'll be here in at one o'clock. Josie Wells at the Hope Center suggested her to me when I asked her if she knew anyone who could watch a set of twins on short notice." Gordon informed his daughter who answered him “thanks Dad. That way I can talk to her before I let her watch my babies. I have no idea what I'm going to do if she doesn't work out." Gordon then did his best to assure his daughter that everything would be okay with the babysitter.

 

            A short time later the three Texas Rangers came into the house causing Alex to question them “is everything as it should be?" Trivette answered for the threesome “yes Alex, everything is set up according to your wedding planner. Now where's the food at? I'm starving." Alex pointed to the dining room leading the two men to hurry in there. Alex called after them “Sandwiches and chips are on the table, drinks on the counter. And save some of it for the rest of us." Hungry herself Sydney followed the men into the dining room where they helped themselves to the food.

 

Chapter Three

 

            Walker sat in his den holding a picture of Ellen as he drifted into memories of the times he had spent with her. He remembered the good times they had shared and then the day that he thought was going to be the happiest day of his life. Walker recalled that even though he had been tongue tied when it came to his asking Ellen to marry him she had realized what he had wanted to ask her and had said yes Cord she would marry him. An elated Walker went to pull the woman that he loved into his arms at the same moment Pikes' men opened fire on the pair. As Walker fell to the ground all he could think of was it didn't matter if he died just as long as Ellen was okay. The next memory for Walker was his coming to in a hospital room with C.D. by his bedside. Walker had quickly asked his then partner about Ellen only to see his partner struggle to tell him that Ellen hadn't made it. Then Walker's memories shifted to Alex and he recalled their first stormy meeting in a courtroom where he was a witness and she was the prosecutor. Walker then thought about everything they went through leading up to the day Kim and Phil were married and how he was going to ask Alex to marry him after the ceremony. Walker recalled that he had told Alex before the wedding that there was something he wanted to ask her. Alex had tried to get Walker to tell her what he wanted to ask her but Walker firmly told Alex that it had to wait until after the wedding. After the ceremony was over with Alex neared Walker but before he could say anything to her gunfire broke out. After it seemed like the gunfire was over with Alex went to Walker and asked him “What is it that you wanted to ask me?"

 

Walker reached for the little box in his pants pocket when the sound of a gunshot rang out. As Walker told Alex to get down he realized that she had been hit by the bullet. Walker gathered her to him and felt Alex's blood on his hands. Still shaken by that last memory Walker replaced Ellen's picture in his safe where he kept it then went and sat back down on his chair as he thought about that the fact that the two women he had loved had both been shot when he in the process of asking each one of them to marry him. That maybe his having married Merilee instead of Alex two years ago was a sign that he wasn't meant to ever be married to the woman that he loved. That the only way to keep Alex safe was for him not to put her in harm's way by making her his wife. Walker then thought that even Merilee was now dead so it seemed to Walker that for any woman to become a part of his life made them a target for an early death. Walker knew that he couldn't live with himself if anything were to happen to Alex because of him so he thought to himself that maybe he ought to call the wedding off for Alex's sake.

 

            Ellen's voice then questioned his sanity “what on earth are you thinking Cord? How could you even think about leaving her at the altar? Is that how you repay someone's total devotion to you? That woman has stood by you when even I would have told you to take a hike. For goodness sake you went and married that singer when you were engaged to Alex. And in spite of that she presented you a set of twins and has been the mother to your son that he truly never had until Alex and the babies moved in here. Now Alex is going to have your babies again and she's going to give the girl my name as a middle name. Listen to me Cord I know that in your heart you still remember me and I also know that Alex is okay with that because you are the love of her life. And you my Cord love her just as much. I never wanted you to live in the past with me, instead I've always wanted you to find love again and you have." Walker replied “I will always care for you Ellen."

 

            Ellen said to him “I know that Cord but the woman who is your soul mate is Alex Cahill and you will marry her today. Got that?" Walker answered “yes ma'am." Ellen then faded away as Walker thought about his future with Alex.

 

            In the living room Alex was waiting for her father to bring in the babysitter. When he went to introduce them Janette told him “don’t bother Mr. Cahill, Alex and I knew each other from high school." Alex then said “I remember that you went by Janette Wells-Parson then. How have you been?"

 

            Janette answered “I’ve been doing okay. I have some references on me that you can check if you'd like. My cousin Josie Wells told me that her word would be good enough for you but I thought I'd better bring them anyhow. So these two are your children? And I'm to watch them during a wedding that's taking place here? Alex if you don't mind me asking, are you a member of the wedding party?" Alex responded “these two are my first set of twins, Angela and Ray. And I guess you can say that I'm a member of the wedding party since I'm the bride to be. Cordell John Walker is the father of both sets of my twins and the man that I'm marrying today. And this handsome young man is his son Cordell Summers Walker. And I don't need to see any references; Josie's word is good enough for me."

 

            Janette then said to her “whatever happened to you becoming a prosecutor? All the time we knew each other you would always tell me how that you were going to become a lawyer but that you would only put the  criminals in jail who couldn't or wouldn't try to straighten up or who were such a danger to society they had to be locked up. You were always looking out for the underdog as it were. You took me under your wing when Melanie and her friends started bothering me. I can still see the look on your face when you verbally put them into their places. And if that wasn't enough you somehow convinced a sitting judge to take up my cousin Jolene Harrid's cause resulting in her conviction being overturned on appeal. I was never able to thank you for that."

 

            Alex replied “I did what I did because it was the right thing to do. I'm glad to hear that things went well for your cousins. I had wondered about what happened to her. And I was a prosecutor for a number of years. As a matter of fact that's how I met Walker. He was the Texas Ranger who was testifying in a case that I had to take over at the last minute." Janette then said to her “after your babies get older will you go back to being a prosecutor? I think the county really needs one who will do right by the victim but not always throw the book at someone who ends up in trouble. Don't get me wrong there are those that will never turn their lives around but there are others that just need a break."

 

            Walker who had quietly come into the living room did the answering by stating “yes Alex will return to the D.A.'s office even if I have to pay the D.A. a visit myself. And her Hope Center does help the ones who want to turn their lives around. The unrepentant ones go to prison for a good long time." Alex told him “I can and will handle my own battles Walker." Then Alex introduced them "Walker this is Janette Parsons, we knew each other in high school but we lost touch with each other. Dad hired her to watch your stubborn children during the wedding."

 

            Alex then said "Janette this is Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, my soon to be husband." After they shook hands Gordon took Janette upstairs to show her the nursery. Walker teased Alex “I don't think I should go to all the trouble of putting my tux on just to get married in. How about I wear a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt instead?" Alex replied “Let me put it this way Cordell, if you don't wear your tux to our wedding there won't be one. You are going to be dressed in a tux when we get married. Besides it the least you can do for me after making me wait another two years to marry you."

 

            “I was just teasing you Alex. I told you that I would wear a tux when we were married and I will. Trivette will be wearing his too, okay? Cord can come with us to the cabin to get ready." Walker told Alex who informed him “Cord and my Dad are going to get dressed here. That way I can make sure that Cord is dressed like he should be." Walker nodded okay then went outside to help C.D. unload the food he brought for the reception.

 

Chapter Four

 

            As Alex was getting into the dress she was going to wear for the wedding she felt a tearing pain in her back and unable to stop herself winced. Sydney who was helping Alex get dressed questioned her friend “Are you okay Alex? Should I call an ambulance for you?" Alex suspecting that she was in the first stages of labor answered “I’m okay and I'm a long way away from needing an ambulance." Alex then changed the subject by asking “Is everyone here? Because if they are and Walker is ready we can just go ahead and start the ceremony."

 

            “Are you in labor Alex? And if you are don't you think that we should call an ambulance for you? You don't want to chance anything at this point. Do you?" Sydney again questioned her friend who replied “Sydney I am only in the first stage of labor and I don't need an ambulance quite yet. Before you say anything else I'll remind you that I've given birth before and I do know what to expect and more importantly how long it will be until my babies are here. I have at least six or seven hours before I need to worry about calling an ambulance. If I were to call one now they wouldn't take me to the hospital anyhow because I'm not far enough along in my labor. So relax will you? This is my wedding day and I'm going to get married to Cordell Walker, come hell or high water. So that means you are not to breathe a word to Walker about what I just told you. Sydney please try to understand that I've given birth to Walker's children out of wedlock before and I will not do that again. After the wedding is over with and I do mean after it's over with if you want to you can call an ambulance for me. Okay?" Sydney agreed to what Alex wanted but she had misgivings about it. Alex then asked Sydney to give her a moment to herself so Sydney went downstairs.

 

            When they got downstairs Gordon and Cord were waiting for Alex along with C.D. who told Alex “honey you are the prettiest bride that I have ever seen. Ranger Cooke is out of the front porch ready to go." Alex responded “C.D. thank you for your kind words. I know all too well what I look like at this stage of my pregnancy. But I do need to ask a favor of you and that is will you help my Dad walk me down the aisle? My feet are so badly swollen right now that I need my father on one side of me and you on the other to keep me steady. Dad you wouldn't mind. Would you?" Gordon quickly assured his daughter “I wouldn't mind and I'm sure that C.D. would be honored to assist in walking you down the aisle. I do however insist that I be the one to hand you over to that fellow of yours."

 

            “It would be my honor to escort you down the aisle Alex along with your father. Once there I'll take my seat as Gordon hands you over to Cordell. Now Cordell and Trivette are waiting with the pastor so we can start whenever you're ready." C.D. answered. Alex then stated “I’m ready. Cord you go ahead outside and tell everyone to take their places. Once you've done that you can take your seat in the first row. Also tell Ranger Gage to come onto the front porch to escort Ranger Cooke down the aisle ahead of me. Okay Sweetheart?" Alex then kissed the child on his cheek. Cord wiped it off as he told her “Miss Alex you promised me that you wouldn't call me sweetheart any more now that I'm going to be a big brother to two sets of twins." Cord then left the house.

 

            Walker watched as his son came out of the house and told everyone to take their seats and for Gage to go and escort Ranger Cooke. After the boy was seated Trivette noted “Cord isn't wearing his tux Walker." Walker answered "I can see that Trivette."

 

            Trivette then complained “It isn't right that he doesn't have to wear a tux and we have to. Aren't you going to tell him about ruining Alex's wedding day?" Walker replied “Alex knows what Cord is wearing because she had him get dressed in the house with her father. So she approved of it otherwise Cord wouldn't have left the house dressed in that suit."

 

            Trivette then said “Speaking of the way someone is dressed. Walker I need to tell you now that the wedding dress I had Alex get from my ex-girlfriend's Clarice wedding boutique is kind of, well from what I heard it's pretty ugly as is Sydney's maid of honor dress. Listen I'm just warning you ahead of time so that once you see the dress you don't react badly and upset Alex who is just waiting for something to go wrong. You know like it did two years ago." Walker nodded okay.

 

            When Cooke and Gage appeared from the corner of the house Trivette remarked “thank God, Sydney seems to be wearing a different dress. Maybe Alex found another dress to wear also." Walker said nothing as he waited for Alex to appear with her father. When he saw Alex appear with both her father and C.D. escorting her Walker knew that something was up and started towards her but Sydney held her hand up in a stopping gesture so Walker stopped and resumed his place at the altar. When Sydney was closer she whispered to Walker that Alex was in the first stage of labor. Walker quietly answered that they still had time before the babies got there but that once the ceremony was over with he wanted her to call an ambulance to be on the safe side. Sydney nodded okay then turned and watched as Alex came to her future husband.

 

            C.D. stepped away from Alex and took his seat as Gordon kissed his daughter on her cheek then placed her hand in Walker's. Gordon then moved back a bit. Walker whispered to Alex “are you okay to go through with this?" Alex whispered back “yes I am." Then in a louder voice she told the pastor “we’re ready."

 

            The pastor nodded okay and started the wedding ceremony. Halfway through it Alex was unable to keep from moaning as a sharp pain hit her. The pastor asked “would you like me to stop the wedding? Are you in some sort of pain?"

 

            Alex replied “the babies are kicking me right now and there is no way on the face of this earth that I'm going to let you stop the wedding until they stop kicking me. So if you would please continue." The pastor looked at Walker who told him “she’s fine. Now where were we?"

            The pastor finished the ceremony. After Walker and Alex kissed as man and wife Alex asked the pastor “Are we now legally married?"

 

            “You will be legally married just as soon as the two of you and your two witnesses sign these papers." The pastor answered while producing papers to be signed. After they were signed them he informed the happy pair “you are now legally husband and wife. Here's your temporary marriage certificate. You should be getting the permanent one in the mail in several weeks." Walker took the marriage certificate and handed it to Alex who in turn handed it to her father for safe keeping. Sydney then told Walker that she would go make that phone call he wanted her to make, but Alex firmly said that the phone call could wait, that she had a few more hours yet and wanted to enjoy herself at her wedding. Walker went along with his new wife's wishes.

 

Alex and Walker hand in hand then turned and faced the few friends that they had invited to the wedding. After they had the first dance as a married couple Josie impishly asked Alex “when are you going to throw your bouquet?" Alex replied “just as soon as the ladies who would like to catch it line up over there by the roses." The eligible women quickly headed there. Josie managed to get herself into position to be able to catch the bouquet if it ended up near her and she did so. Alex teased her “you know what that means. Don't you Josie? It means that whoever catches the garter is going to become your husband." Josie laughed but Trivette who was standing with the unmarried men tried to step away but Gage got a grip on his fellow Texas Ranger as he told him "Trivette if I have to stand here waiting for Walker to throw the garter so do you. Besides if you don't want to catch it you can step aside at the last second if it's headed in your direction."

 

            Alex in the meantime had whispered to Walker that Josie was sweet on Trivette and that maybe Walker could help things along by seeing to it that Trivette ended up with the garter. Walker smiled in agreement and was able to throw the garter in such a manner that it was heading straight for Trivette's eyes and he instinctively caught it. Seeing the stunned look on his partner's face Walker said “according to my wife you have to dance with Josie who caught the bouquet."

 

            Trivette objected “but my feet hurt me from my new shoes." Alex glared at him as she stated “you will dance with Josie as custom dictates. If I can walk down an aisle with my feet so badly swollen that I had to wear deck shoes you most certainly can wear your new shoes a little while longer. And Josie if I were you I would think twice about making your own objection because no one is going to jinx things for me by going against custom. Do we all understand each other?" The pair headed to the dancing area as Walker asked Alex “would you like to dance again wife of mine?"

 

            “I’d love to but I think that your babies have other ideas so I think you'd better get me into the house before my water breaks. Things are going a lot faster than I thought they would." Walker picked up his wife and went into the house where he placed her on the bed in the guest bedroom. No sooner had he done that than Alex's water broke. Walker quickly called for an ambulance. With the pain becoming unbearable Alex let loose a loud scream of pain. A short time later her father entered the guest bedroom asking if Alex was all right.

 

            Alex replied “no I'm not all right. I'm in labor and it hurts like hell." Gordon then switched his attention to Walker to ask if there was anything he could do for him. Alex snapped “I’m the one in pain and you ask the man who's responsible for it if he needs anything? What kind of father are you?"

 

            As Gordon stood there in shock Walker told him "it's the pain speaking. Why don't you tell the guests that Alex isn't up to opening the gifts right now?" Gordon answered that he would then go outside to tell the guest that the bride wasn't up to opening the gifts. When one of the woman suggested that she go into the house and check on Alex herself Gordon firmly replied that Walker had things under control. Gordon then thanked everyone for coming hoping they'd get the hint and leave which most of them did. C.D. then had Trivette and Gage help him pack the food up while Sydney took Cord aside to tell him that Alex was going to have the babies pretty soon. Cord then ran into the house before Sydney could stop him. Josie stayed because she still had to drive Janette back home.

 

            Cord heard Alex screaming and hurried into where she was at and asked his father "Dad can't you make Miss Alex feel better?" Alex did the answering “no he can't. Now Cord it looks like the babies are going to be born soon. Now when a woman has a baby it hurts so she screams from the pain and she says things that she doesn't mean. So if I say anything bad to your father I will not mean it, it will be the pain talking. Understand?"

 

            “Yes Miss Alex but since I don't want to hear you scream in pain can I wait outside until the babies are here?" Cord asked and Walker told him that was okay. Cord left the house as another contraction hit Alex.

 

            Once Cord came back outside Trivette decided that maybe he and Gage should keep Cord occupied while Sydney went into the house and kept an eye on things. Sydney muttered that her fellow Texas Rangers were babies themselves but she did go into the house to see if either Alex or Walker needed her assistance.

 

Chapter Five

 

            As Sydney entered the house she heard Alex threatening to unman Walker if he so much as thought about coming near her again with that special glint in his eyes. Because two times were more than enough for her, thank you very much. Instead of just barging into the room Sydney wisely called out “Alex is there anything that I can do for you?" Alex replied “check on that ambulance." Sydney went into the living room and placed a call to 911 asking when the ambulance would be there. The operator told her that there had been a major pileup on one of the interstates along with a gang shootout so it would be awhile until they could get an ambulance there. That if it was at all possible they should take the mother to the hospital themselves. Preferably before the babies arrived, if not they could still take them afterwards. That there was at least a three hour wait as it was for an ambulance, if not longer.

 

            Sydney knocked on the doorframe to the guest bedroom and after Walker told her to come in she informed him about the ambulance not coming anytime soon. Walker nodded okay so Sydney then suggested “how about I watch Angela and Ray for the two of you while we're waiting for their siblings to get here?" Alex responded “please could you? But maybe you should take them outside." Sydney answered that she would take the twins outside then left the room. In the living room Sydney told Janette that she would take over watching the children. Janette answered that she would get Josie to drive her back home since she had come there with her.

 

            Back in the guest bedroom Alex started moaning so Walker held out his hand for her to squeeze and she clamped down on it to the point where Walker had to bite back a yelp of pain. After the contraction had passed Alex told him that he had better check to see if the babies were coming because it felt like to her that they were. Walker moved down so that he could check on the progress of Alex's labor and was surprised to see that one of the babies was already crowning. Walker told his wife “I can see one of them. You need to bear down now."

 

            Alex bored down and a baby slid into Walker's hands. After cleaning the baby up he laid it besides Alex as he said to her “Sydney is here and she's beautiful like her mother." Alex questioned her husband “what about James? Do you see him yet?" After making sure that their newborn baby Sydney was securely placed on the bed Walker looked to see if he could see his son crowning yet. Walker saw the infant's head in the birth canal but he also saw the cord wrapped around the baby's neck. Even though he thought that the baby was in danger of being strangled by its own umbilical cord Walker calmly informed his wife “the cord is holding the baby up so I have to cut it. Don't push until I tell you to. Okay?"

 

Alex knowing that there was something very wrong by the look on Walker's face nodded okay. After he cut the cord with Walker said “push now Alex, as hard as you can." Alex pushed as hard as she was able to but it was at least twenty minutes before James arrived. In a state of shock because the baby wasn't breathing Walker mechanically cleaned the infant up then laid him on the bed besides Alex. Walker then mumbled “I’m sorry Alex. I couldn't save him." As Walker left the room a panic stricken Alex reached for her infant son.

 

            Seeing Walker come outside the others went to him and asked about the babies but he went right by the group as though he hadn't seen them. Walker picked up both Angela and Ray and went into the barn with the toddlers. Just then the group heard a loud scream from inside of the house and they hurried to it. As they entered the house they heard Alex sobbing as she said to her newborn son “No. Oh god no. Please no. Come on Little Jimmy breath for Mommy." Gage took Cord back outside as Gordon, Trivette and Sydney went into the guest bedroom where Gordon picked up the newborn baby girl as he suggested to his daughter who had her infant son pressed to her chest "honey how about we let Ranger Cooke take the boy into another room?"

 

            Alex shook her head no and clutched her baby boy even closer to her. Sydney then gently said “Alex please let me try a new C.P.R. technique that I learned for newborns. There is still time and since he's not blue he might be getting a little bit of air through his nose. But his throat needs to be cleared if he's to live. At least let me try to save him." Alex reluctantly handed her baby boy over. Sydney took him over to the window to where there was better light and opened the infants mouth to see if there was something blocking his airway. There was better light there so Sydney then placed her mouth over the infant's and was able to draw the blockage from the infant's throat using suction. Sydney then very lightly pressed on the infant's chest to get his lungs to start working. Newborn James then let out a soft gasping sound as his lungs labored to get air into his body. Not to be out done his sister let out a scream.

 

            Trivette then said “thank God you were here Cooke. I'd better go tell Walker that he owes his son's life to you." Sydney answered “also tell him Trivette that instead of waiting for an ambulance to get here that he should take Alex and the babies to the hospital. James will need looked at since he wasn't breathing at birth and he seems to still be having some trouble with his breathing."

 

            Trivette went to the barn where he told Walker "Walker man your youngest son is not stillborn. Cooke performed some sort of infant C.P.R. on my namesake and he's breathing, but not as good as his sister. Walker, Sydney and I think that you need to take Alex and the babies to the hospital in your truck. All of them need to be looked at by doctors and you'll need to know if young Jimmy has any lasting effects from not breathing when he was born." Walker replied “thanks Trivette." He then hurried into the house still carrying the oldest set of twins followed by his partner. Once Walker was inside of the house Gordon took the oldest set of twins from him and went into the living room where he placed them down to play then secured the gates.

 

            Walker picked up his youngest son and checked for himself to see that he was indeed breathing but Little Jimmy was gasping for air instead of breathing easy like his sister. Walker then said to Cooke “thank you for saving my son's life." Sydney answered “I was happy to help Walker. Now how about you take Alex and the babies to the hospital? Gage and I will watch Cord, Angela and Ray until you get back." Walker nodded okay and set about getting his newborns ready to go. After putting the babies into receiving blankets Walker then wrapped Alex up in a cover and carried her to the truck where placed her into the front seat then returned to the house for the babies. Trivette and Gordon each had one of the infants in their arms and told Walker that they were going with him to carry the babies while in his truck. Sydney said that her and Gage could stay at the ranch and watch Angela, Ray and Cord as long as Walker needed them to and to not worry about hurrying back.

 

            After everyone was in his truck Walker turned on the sirens and the lights and sped off in the truck. Alex moaned so Gordon told Walker to stop so that they could check on Alex but she said “I’m fine. Go faster Cordell, a lot faster. I'm worried sick about our Jimmy." Alex then slumped into her seat so Walker went faster. Back at the house Sydney went into the kitchen and she called Dr. Bates' office where she informed the doctor what had happened during the delivery and that Walker was on his way to the hospital with his wife and newborn babies. Dr. Bates thanked Cooke then told her she would get to the hospital to see to Alex and also arrange for a doctor who specialized in birth traumas to look over baby James and see what could be done for him, if anything could be done at this point.

 

Chapter Six

 

            Trivette who was holding his namesake in the backseat of the speeding truck lowered the infant onto his lap because he thought it would be better for the newborn and besides Gordon had already done the same thing with infant Sydney. Baby James began to struggle with his breathing and Trivette called out “Walker he's having trouble with his breathing again. What should I do?" Alex quickly looked into the backseat and seeing that Trivette had her baby son lying on his back on Trivette's lap snapped at him “for starters you can hold him properly. Now pick my son up and hold him to your chest. Got that?"

 

            Trivette hurriedly did as Alex had told him to do and was surprised when his namesake's breathing seemed to be getting better. As he was doing that Alex reached for the mike in the truck and called dispatch to inform them of the situation. Dispatch told Alex that they would do their best to see it that Ranger Walker had clear sailing to the hospital. After she replaced the mike Alex asked Trivette “Jimmy how is Little Jimmy doing?"

 

            Trivette answered “he seems to breathing better when I hold him like this so I'll hold him this way all the way to the hospital. And as you can tell Shorty Sydney's lungs are working just fine. But what about you? Are you doing okay Alex?" Alex replied “thank God that Little Jimmy is doing better. As for baby Sydney from the sound of it she is already as stubborn as that father of hers is."

 

            Gordon who was holding the baby responded “she does have a very healthy set of lungs. Who knows maybe she'll be a lawyer too. And speaking of lawyers, how is my daughter the lawyer really doing? And don't tell me that you're okay if you're not." Alex told her father “Dad I'm doing about as good as could be expected considering that I just gave birth to a set of twins for the second time away from a hospital. Yes my head is killing me right now but that's probably from my blood pressure being a little high. And that's only natural given everything that happened today." Walker glanced over at his wife to see that she was even paler than before and he silently wondered if she was going to be all right. Seeing an opening ahead in traffic Walker floored the truck and just managed to avoid getting into a wreck. Gordon started to object but kept quiet when Walker pleaded with a now slumping Alex "hang in there lady of mine. Please just hang in there, your family needs you." In the back seat both Trivette and Gordon silently began to pray for both Alex and Little Jimmy.

 

            Dr. Bates was waiting at the E.R. for the Walkers' arrival along with a birth trauma doctor who quickly took baby Jimmy from Trivette and hustled him into a cubicle. Dr. Bates directed Walker to place a now out of it Alex on a gurney which was then quickly wheeled away to a waiting elevator. The doctor on call then had a nurse take baby Sydney to be checked out. Gordon volunteered to fill out the paperwork and was directed to the clerk for the E.R.

 

            Walker went to the cubicle where his son had been taken to but was informed by the birth trauma doctor that he was in the way and that he had to leave. Trivette who had followed Walker into the cubicle suggested in an effort to head off trouble “how about we go to Shorty Sydney's cubicle? Alex will want to know how she's doing too." Without a word Walker went to his newborn daughter's cubicle. The nurse who was in there informed Walker that his daughter was just fine and a matter of fact had a very high score on the newborn baby tests. They were going to be taking her to the nursery ward shortly and that he could wait with his daughter until she was taken upstairs. Walker nodded okay so the nurse left the cubicle. A short time later the nurse returned to tell Walker that he was needed in his son's cubicle. Trivette who was also in the cubicle told Walker that he would keep an eye on Shorty Sydney for him.

 

            In his son's cubicle the birth trauma doctor told Walker “your son is breathing on his own and will continue to do so but that isn't what concerns me. What concerns me is how long he went before he drew his first breath and the amount of lasting damage that may have occurred. Now Ranger Walker after a baby is born they undergo a set of tests to determine if they have anything wrong with them. In your son's case he tested in the middle range. Which means that he seems to have ended up with the possibly of some brain damage due to the lack of oxygen at birth. The level of damage has yet to be determined. As he grows how much damage he suffered will become more apparent. The brain damage can be anywhere from the child being severely retarded to just a little slow. Only time will tell. Any questions?" Walker asked “is there anything that can be done now for my son to lessen the damage?"

 

            “No not now but if he is indeed retarded there are all sort of agencies that are set up to deal with children like that. After your son is settled into the nursery you can ask one of the nurses from the maternity ward for more information. She'll give you the list of agencies that deal with retarded children and their parents." The doctor answered Walker then left the cubicle.

 

            Hours later the babies had been settled into the nursery and the three men were looking at them though the glass when a nurse came to Walker and told him that Alex was now in her room and that Dr. Bates was there also and needed to speak with him. Walker went to his wife's room where Dr. Bates who was waiting in the corridor to speak with him and she said "Ranger Walker your wife's blood pressure was extremely high when she was admitted to the hospital but it has since come down. However another couple of hours of elevated blood pressure and she may have very well suffered permanent damage because of it. What I'm saying Ranger Walker is that Mrs. Walker had toxemia, high blood pressure is a sign of it. If Mrs. Walker were to get pregnant again she would be risking her life. Once a woman has toxemia during a pregnancy she is more likely to get it again during future pregnancies. Toxemia can lead to strokes and in some cases death. Ranger Walker I urge you and Mrs. Walker to think twice about having any more children due to the potential risk to her health. Now I've told my patient all of this so she is aware of what's going on. Also I think it best if my patient doesn't breast feed this time due to her weakened state. She needs time to recover from the birth without any additional demands on her body. Any questions?"

 

            “Does Alex know about our son and possible brain damage?" Walker asked Dr. Bates who answered “No she hasn't been informed yet. Do you want me to tell her?"

 

            “I’ll tell her." Walker replied then went into his wife's room where he told her about her not being able to nurse the twins and that they shouldn't have any more children and that he could have a vasectomy to prevent future pregnancies. Alex told her husband that she would be the one to get operated on and not him. After Alex told her husband that she wasn't about to take a chance on a surgeon's scalpel slipping during a vasectomy and damaging her husband in a delicate area Walker agreed that Alex would be the one to get operated on to prevent future pregnancies. Alex then asked about the health of the babies. Walker replied that baby Shorty Sydney as Trivette was calling the infant was doing great and tried to change the subject. Alex wouldn't let Walker change the subject and insisted on hearing about what the doctor had told him about their son James. Walker answered by saying what the doctor had told him about Little Jimmy possibly being retarded. Alex said to her husband “we will do everything that we can for our youngest child to see to it that he has a happy and full life no matter what. If he ends up being severely retarded we will deal with it. If not that's good but no matter what we will love him unconditionally just like we do with our other children Cord, Angela, Raymond and Sydney."

 

            Walker responded “that we will Mrs. Walker." A short time later the newborns were brought into the room and Alex was able to hold both of her babies for the first time. Sydney did indeed have a good set of lungs and let it be known that she wanted fed. The nurse who had overseen the babies being brought into Alex's room produced bottles for both of the infants and the Walkers fed their babies. Although baby James at first had some trouble with choking when he tried to swallow the formula. The nurse had Alex who was holding the infant change the way she was holding her baby boy and baby James began to drink the formula easier. Alex thanked the nurse who told Alex that until James was older he needed to be held like that whenever he was fed a bottle.

 

            After the babies had been returned to the nursery Gordon and Trivette came into Alex's room. She said to the pair “our son may have suffered some brain damage due to the lack of oxygen when he was born. The brain damage can be anywhere from him being slower to do things than his twin sister to his being retarded. Now if having a possibly retarded child named after either one of you bothers you tell me now and we'll change his name. Both names if need be because I won't have either one of you resenting having a disabled child named after you and taking it out on the child. I'm not saying that either one of you feels that way but if you do I want to know now." Both Gordon and Trivette quickly assured Alex that there were fine with the baby being named after them no matter what his mental I.Q. turned out to be and that they would always be there for their namesake. Alex nodded okay then asked her husband's partner “So Ranger Trivette does Ranger Cooke know that you're running around calling her namesake 'Shorty Sidney'?"

 

            Trivette replied “it was a couple of times and I think that I'll call the baby Syd from now on. That is if it's okay with you?" Walker answered "that's fine Trivette and Alex says that our baby boy will be called Jimmy most times and not James. You okay with that? Because if you're not talk to my wife. She's in charge of their names."

 

            Gordon suggested “if Ranger Trivette objects we can always address the child by his middle name Gordon, Gordie for short." Trivette responded “oh no you don't. His name is Jimmy and it's going to stay that way. So there. Come on Grandpa Gordon we'd better go call a cab and go back to the ranch so that we can get our cars."

 

            After the pair left Alex said to her husband “I love you so very much Cordell." Walker replied “I love you lady with everything that I am. Now you try to get some rest. I'll be back later after I've seen to our oldest two." Alex pulled Walker to her for a kiss then he left the hospital.