By Katie 59
At work Trivette took Walker aside and told him "Walker, bad news Dalton is dead and the Rappaports are denying any involvement in Dalton's kidnapping of your son Ray."
"How did he die?" Walker asked him.
"I'm not sure, he just collapsed in his jail cell and was found dead by a guard. There's going to be an autopsy later today to determine the cause." Trivette answered.
"Well I'd better call Alex and let her know." Walker said and then went and called his wife "Alex, it's me. Dalton's dead and the Rappaports are denying any involvement in Dalton's kidnapping of our son." Shocked Alex asked her husband "How did Dalton die?"
"Nobody seems to know yet, there's going to be an autopsy to determine the cause later today." Walker said to Alex who told him "Okay, let me know if you find anything out later."
Puzzled by his wife's interest in what had killed the man who had kidnapped their son Walker asked her "Why do you care Alex?"
"Walker, what Dalton tried to do is nothing like the man that I remember. I just want to know why. Also with him dead that leaves the Rappaports free to do whatever they want. Walker what if they try to take Ray again?" Alex questioned her husband who vowed "Then they are dead."
"Okay, I'll see you at home later." Alex said and hung up the phone.
Later that night in their bedroom Walker asked Alex "Why do you care so much about what killed Dalton? After all he took our son."
"I know that Walker but like I told you earlier, his actions were not the actions of the man that I remembered." Alex tried to explain to her husband.
"Alex can't you just let it go? Maybe you didn't know him as well as you think that you did. Alex, I'm asking you to drop it." Walker demanded of Alex who responded "If it's upsetting you that much, of course I'll drop it."
"It's not upsetting me, I just think that it's better to let it go. After all Dalton's supposed to be part of your past, isn't he?" Walker questioned his wife.
"Walker you know that it's you and only you that I care about don't you?" Alex asked her husband who sounded almost jealous of a dead man. Walker got into bed and said "Yes, I know that, now how about we get some sleep?"
Alex also got into bed turned off her lamp and fell asleep fairly quickly while Walker laid there thinking about how he had almost let Alex slip through his fingers fearing for her safety if she became involved with him. That had been why he had taken so long to admit that he loved Alex and that even after he had admitted loving Alex her safety had been threatened on more than one occasion. Walker also thought that maybe he should have let her slip away because Alex's life would have been a lot less stressful and a whole lot safer. Walker fell asleep with those thoughts dominating his thinking.
The next morning as they were eating breakfast Walker asked Alex "Can you come to the reservation with me and the children on Friday? I want Angela and Ray to see where I come from, I want us to go there as a family." Alex answered "Of course I will, I also want the children to know where you come from. I have court on Friday but after that I'm all yours."
"Good make sure that you're home on time. We're leaving at six sharp." Walker said and left for work. Unfortunately Alex got stuck in court later than she expected to be and on Friday and when she made it home at quarter after six Alex was stunned to find that Walker had already taken the children to the reservation and had left her a note on the table stating 'since you were too busy in court I took the children to the reservation by myself. If you can find the time, how about joining your family?'
Getting more than a little mad Alex got in her car and drove to the reservation after her family. Once there she spotted Sam and asked him "Have you seen my husband? You know the one with rocks in his head instead of a brain?" Before Sam could answer Walker came out of the tribal council building and somewhat snidely said to Alex "Well, I see that you found the time to join your family after all."
Sam wisely realizing that Alex was mad at her husband hurried away to his house as Alex said to Walker "Why didn't you wait for me? I thought that we were supposed to come here as a family? I wanted to drive up here with my family, not have to drive up here after them because my husband couldn't be bothered to wait for me. I got home about quarter after six, it wouldn't have killed you to wait a little while longer."
Before Walker could answer Angela came running up and said to her mother "Mommy, Daddy has been teaching me to ride a pony." Smiling at her daughter Alex replied "That's nice honey." Then Alex turned her attention to Walker and questioned him "Where's my son and where are we sleeping at "
"I was just getting some supplies together, we're sleeping out in the field." Walker answered his wife who looked at him like he was crazy. Knowing that look Walker assured Alex "Sam and Sharona are watching Angela and Ray at their house. We'll be the ones sleeping out in the field. That is if you still want to be here with me?"
Ignoring the undertones to what Walker had just said Alex said "Lead on darling." after kissing the children goodbye Alex and Walker got into his truck and drove off.
After driving for about twenty minutes Walker stopped the truck and they got out and set up a campsite. After they had a fire going Alex asked her husband "Walker, I'm not trying to pry but are you all right? You seem upset by something lately, have I done anything to upset you?" After looking at the fire for several minutes Walker finally answered his wife "No, you haven't upset me Alex. I don't know what it is but lately I just feel as though you would have been better off without me in your life."
A very shocked Alex replied "You know that's not true by now, don't you?" Walker replied with a brutal honesty "That's just it, I don't know that. Alex you have been threatened and hurt so many times since I've known you and I feel as though most of it is my fault. So many people have come after you because of me, not to mention my letting Merilee hurt you several times. I feel as though I have failed to protect you like I should protect the woman that I'm supposed to love."
Scared that Walker was going to turn away from her Alex questioned him in a somewhat shaky voice "What do you mean by supposed to love? Walker, have you stopped loving me? You're not going to leave me are you?" Walker insisted "You'd be better off without me." This upset Alex even further.
"No, I wouldn't be and deep down inside you must know that." Alex said to him and when he didn't respond she added "Walker, we have two children to raise and like I told you before Angela was born I am not raising them by myself. So get that through your head right now. Cowboy, are you sure that you still love me because if you don't, tell me but you will stay for the children. I won't let them lose their father."
"No, I still love you and no I'm not planning on leaving you to raise our children by yourself. That's why we came up here because I need to spend some time with you here Alex so that.... I don't really know what I need to do anymore." Walker answered unsure about everything totally shocking his wife who had never seen him lack confidence in anything.
She tried to reassure Walker by saying to him "I'll be with you honey, every step of the way. No matter what you need to do, no matter where it leads us." Alex then pulled him closer and after hugging her husband she kissed Walker on the cheek and said to him "Here try to get some sleep. I'm not going anywhere without you, I promise you that my darling." Walker laid down and went to sleep but Alex laid there for a long while unable to sleep because she was worried about Walker.
Walker stood there and watched in disbelief as his wife Alex turned to Dalton Reed and said to him "Yes Dalton I'll go with you, even though it's Walker that I love. I'll go with you because Walker's never there for me, he'll just let me get hurt again." Then she picked Ray up and took Angela's saying to the children "Mommy has found a new Daddy for you guys, one who won't place you two in danger like Mommy's been placed in danger too many times. Dalton'll be my second cowboy and your second Daddy. Come on let's go with him now."
At first unable to move Walker just stood there as his family walked away from him. Finally forcing himself to move Walker went after them but lost track of his family in the thickening fog. Falling to his knees Walker pleaded "Alex please don't leave me, don't take my children away from me. I need my family, I'll quit my job so that you and the children are safer."
The fog cleared a little bit and Alex appeared before him and said "Walker you know that you will never place your family above your job. You'll always be a Ranger, you know that you silly man." Then she turned and walked away without looking back. Walker cried out "Don't leave me Alex. Don't take my family away from me. Alex!"
Alex shook his shoulder and said to her husband "Walker wake up, you're having a bad dream." Still half asleep he answered "You can leave me if you want to Alex but you are not taking my children and going to live with Dalton."
Stunned she replied "Walker, Dalton's dead and there is no way that I would ever leave you."
Hurriedly getting up Walker said to her "You should leave me, you deserve a man who won't place you in danger. I never should have married you, we should have remained friends. I'm sorry Alex and I hope that one day you will be able to forgive me for causing you to be hurt so much." Then he walked away from her without looking back. Alex went to follow her husband but White Eagle appeared seemingly out of nowhere and told her "Firewalker's mate, take your children and return to your home."
"No way mister, my husband is troubled by something and I have to find him to make sure that he'll be okay. He needs me and I have to help him." Alex answered White Eagle who placed his hand on her shoulder and said "Washo has lost his way and he must find it on his own. Mrs. Walker if you stay here he may not be able to find his way again. If your marriage is to survive Washo must do this on his own."
"You had better be right about this White Eagle." Alex said and then after taking a deep breath added "If my husband doesn't return home in a week, I'll come back here and search every inch of this reservation by myself for Walker no matter what you or anyone else tells me." Then Alex got in Walker's truck and drove it to Sam's house where she collected her children and returned home.
After Alex returned to work the following Monday Trivette called her up and asked where Walker was at. Alex told him that her husband had something that he needed to do at the reservation and would return to work the following Monday. After hanging the phone up Alex vowed to herself 'Walker, I will get you back.' Then she threw herself into work trying to forget how her husband had turned his back on her and just walked away without even a backwards glance.
On Wednesday evening there was a knock on her door and Alex answered it to find Dalton's sister Sally Carter standing there. Sally asked her "Alex, can I come in? I'll understand if you refuse to let me in after what Dalton did." Holding the door open Alex motioned for Sally Carter to enter the house. Alex then led her into the living room and after they were seated Alex questioned her "Sally, what brings you here?"
"Dalton. Alex I want you to know that he wasn't the same Dalton that you knew, the Dalton that both you and I knew never would have done something like what he did. Kidnapping your son Ray for money. I need to explain something about my brother, Alex after you sent him that letter telling him that you loved Walker and always would Dalton had a bad fall in the bull fighting ring. Dalton was in a coma for a week and the doctors weren't sure for awhile if he would wake up but he did. After Dalton came out of the coma it was like he was a different man. That was what killed my brother, weakened blood vessels in his brain from the fall in the ring. Alex I swear that I never knew about his plans to kidnap your son, if I had I would have warned you. I'm so sorry that he did that." Sally explained.
Getting up Alex went over and hugged Sally and said to her "Sally, I am sorry that your brother is dead. He was a good and decent man until recently. I'm also sorry that I told him in a letter that I loved Walker, I should have told him that face-to-face."
Wiping her tears away Sally responded "Oh Alex, Dalton realized that you loved Walker. He wrote you a letter freeing you from any obligation to him but he never mailed it because he received yours first. Both of the letters were in his personal belongings when he died, I thought that you might want them." Sally Carter said and handed Alex the letters and then left the ranch.
After her children were sleeping Alex opened Dalton's unmailed letter and read it.
I'm writing to tell you that I'm
setting you free. It's Walker that
you love. Hang in there, he may
Alex folded the letter up and placed in a book that she had been trying to read and went upstairs to a very lonely bed.
Back at the reservation Walker was having visions of what Alex's life would be like if she weren't married to him. At first the visions showed that she seemed to be happy with friends who cared for her but that she had never married or had children. Then Walker had a vision of Alex telling Dalton that she didn't love him Dalton that she was in love with Walker even though he, Walker didn't appear to feel the same way. Dalton mocked Alex by telling her "Alex, Walker will never admit that he loves you. Hell he even told you to give me another chance with you, that should tell you all you need to know about how Walker feels about you. He will never consider you anything other than a friend. Alex you must know by now that Walker will never consider loving you because he does not care for you the way that I do."
"That doesn't matter to me. If Walker never commits himself to me it's okay because I love him and I always will. Dalton, I don't love you and no matter what happens between Walker and me I never will." Alex answered and Dalton told her "Alex be sensible, what kind of life can he offer you other than one filled with danger? Walker will put whoever he's involved with in danger simply because he's a Texas Ranger. There will always be someone out to hurt him."
"Dalton, I love Walker. As for being in danger, I am a prosecuting attorney and I have made plenty of my own enemies. I don't expect a completely safe life but I do want a life that has Cordell Walker in it; however he wants to be in it. There will be no one else but him for me for the rest of my life." Alex firmly stated.
After that Walker had another vision where he was looking on at a funeral. Looking at the head stone Walker was stunned to see the name Alex Cahill on it. Spotting Walker, Gordon Cahill walked up to him and said "How dare you show your face here? You broke my daughter's heart when you threw her love for you away like it was nothing after you were temporarily blinded. So your pride was hurt when you thought that you would have to rely on others, so what. Did you have to destroy my daughter's love for you out of a false sense of male pride? You fool. Alex never wanted you to be her hero, she wanted you to be the man that loved her the way she loved you. Instead you turned your back on her and now my Alex is dead, are you happy now?"
Gordon turned and walked away as Trivette glared at Walker and told him "Leave Walker you have no business even being here. You caused Alex to leave town and now she's dead, are you happy now? Alex died a lonely heartbroken woman in another town because she could not bare to be in the same town as you after you demanded your engagement ring back after you were blinded. When you took back the symbol of what she thought was your love for each other and told Alex to her face that you didn't love her and never did you destroyed Alex. She left town because of the pain that she was in because of you. Now get lost."
Bolting awake Walker yelled "No Alex you can't be dead. I'm sorry Alex. I love you, don't leave me." White Eagle who had been watching over Walker said to him "Washo, do you understand now?"
"Yes, Alex's life is not in my hands. It's in the great spirits' hands. I'm just her husband not her guardian." Walker all but growled at White Eagle who calmly said "Your truck is at Sam's house. Take it and go get your children. Then you must return here with them tomorrow to get them ready for the ceremony. Have your mate join us Friday evening, not before then."
Walker replied "My mate may kill me as soon as I walk in our door." Smiling White Eagle answered "Washo you'll be fine."
Getting up Walker said "Thanks White Eagle." Then he broke camp and went to Sam's for his truck.
Alex was startled by a noise in her bedroom so she reached into her nightstand and quietly withdrew her gun and said "Stop whoever you are. I have a gun and I will shoot you." Turning his bedside lamp on Walker responded "Alex if you shoot me, you'll have to raise the children by yourself. I thought that was something that you weren't planning on doing?"
Ignoring what her husband had just said Alex questioned him with dread in her voice" Are you going to leave me and our children? Are you planning on divorcing me? Did you come back here to tell me that?" Then Alex got up with the gun still in her hand and looked Walker in the eyes.
Walker tried to pull Alex to him but she held him away with her free hand so he told her "Alex honey, you could shoot me with that gun you're holding and I won't leave you and our children. I love you and I'm sorry." Putting her gun away Alex got into her side of the bed without answering Walker.
"Alex, aren't you going to say anything? Are you going to at least yell at me or something? I know that you're upset with me right now and I don't blame you." Walker asked his wife who replied "I don't want to fight with you tonight and wake the children up. We can talk about things tomorrow." Walker nodded okay and got into his side of the bed turning his lamp off as he did so.
The next morning when Alex awoke Walker had already gotten out of bed. Going into the kitchen she found him there cooking breakfast with Angela and Ray watching him. As they were eating Walker said to Alex "I'm planning on taking Angela and Ray to the reservation with me this morning. There's something that I still need to do there. Can you drive up there Friday evening and join us?"
Alex asked him "What about our talk?" Getting up from the table Walker kissed her on the cheek and said "My visions helped me. I'll tell you about them on Friday, okay?"
Alex reluctantly replied "Okay, I guess." Then after they were done eating and Walker was getting things together for Angela and Ray Alex offered "Here let me help you pack some things for Angela and Ray." After they were packed and ready to go Alex kissed both of her children goodbye before Walker placed them into his truck. Angela then said to her mother "Mommy, you have to kiss Daddy goodbye too."
Alex gave Walker a light kiss on his cheek but he said to his wife "We can do better than that." Then Walker pulled Alex into a deep kiss, almost as though he was claiming her. Alex then watched as her family drove away still troubled by her husband just turning and walking away from her at the reservation.
Friday evening when Alex went to start her car to go to the reservation it wouldn't start so she called Trivette up and asked him "Jimmy, is there any way that I can borrow your car? Mine won't start and I need to drive to the reservation and meet Walker and the children there like I promised him that I would." Trivette suggested to her "Hey Alex, how about I drive you there myself? Now before you object, I need a nice long drive to relax after the day that I just had."
"Are you sure Trivette? It would make things easier for me because that way I could come back with my family instead of having to drive my car back." Alex asked Trivette who assured Alex that it was fine and that he would be there in a little while to pick her up. While she was waiting for Trivette Alex grabbed the book that she had been trying to read and put it in her things.
Once they got to the reservation Trivette said to Alex "There are your children over there playing." Alex replied "I'll just go and see Angela and Ray while you talk shop with their father." Then she went to where the children were playing as Trivette said to Walker "Hey Walker, bad news. Michael Rappaport has returned to town by himself and the rumor is that he's been running his mouth about getting Alex for once and for all. Gage is looking into it and trying to find him to tabs on him. I didn't tell Alex about it and that's why I drove her up here. Her car breaking down this evening was a little too convenient in my opinion."
"Trivette thanks for driving my wife up here. As for that animal; if he ever comes near her again he's a dead man." Walker replied in a no nonsense tone of voice. Heading to his car Trivette said "I didn't hear that Walker but you are right about that scum. I'll see you back at Ranger headquarters on Monday." Trivette then drove away.
Later on that night as Walker was putting Alex's things away the letter from Dalton fell out and Walker picked it up and started to read it. As he was finishing reading the letter Alex entered the room and Walker asked her "I thought that you told me that you broke it off with Dalton? This letter says otherwise." Removing the letter from her husband's hand Alex replied "He never mailed it to me. Dalton's sister Sally Carter gave it to me on Wednesday along with the one that I had written Dalton to tell him that it was you that I loved. Sally said that after Dalton received my letter he had a bad fall while bull-riding and was in a coma for a week. That after Dalton came out of it he was a different man than what she remembered. That was what killed him, weakened blood vessels in his brain from the fall. Now since you obviously like reading my private letters, I suggest that you read the one that I sent Dalton and then tell me that you're sorry. Although I don't know if I should forgive you for going through my things."
Taking the letter Walker read it aloud:
I'm sorry for writing you this in a letter,
but I can't wait for you. That would be wrong.
I love Walker and even though he may never
love me, he is the man that I want a life
with. Again I'm sorry for saying this in a
letter but it's better this way. You would just
tell me that Walker will never love me, but
that doesn't matter to me. What matters to
me is that Walker owns my heart, he has
for several years now. Goodbye Dalton.
Folding the letter back up Walker said to his wife in a voice full of love "Alex you own my heart too. You have for far longer than you've known about. Also I promise you that I won't read your private letters in the future."
"Okay cowboy." Alex answered and Walker then said as he pulled her to him "Now that you're speaking to me again. Since the children are sleeping, how about we get some sleep ourselves?"
Unable to resist the thought of making love with her husband Alex teased him by saying "But I'm not tired enough to sleep just yet." Walker answered "Don't worry Alex when we're done you will be tired enough to fall asleep."
Smiling she asked "Is that a threat or a promise?" Walker didn't answer in words instead he removed first her clothing and then his. Walker then placed Alex into bed where he proceeded to make her tired. When they were done Alex purred "You do know how to make a lady sleepy Cordell John Walker."
"Just you Alex." Walker replied as he held his wife in his arms as they drifted off to sleep.
The next morning after they were up and dressed for the day Alex asked her husband "Walker are you okay now?" He answered "I'm okay now."
"I thought that we were going to have our talk last night, why didn't we? You didn't instigate lovemaking as a way to avoid talking about what happened, did you?" Alex questioned him because while she had enjoyed making love with her husband they still needed to get a few things straightened out between them.
"No I didn't make love with you to avoid talking about things. I made love with you because I can't keep my hands off of you and you know that. Alex after the ceremony for Angela and Ray I promise that we will have that talk." Walker assured Alex who then asked him "What ceremony for our children "
"The one to make them official members of this tribe, that one. They will be given their tribal names then." Walker answered his wife.
At the ceremony Judge Fivekills said "It is with great honor that we welcome the two newest members to our tribe. Their names from now on will be Spirit Sent Firewalker and Red Crow Firewalker. Now as their parents; do you Firewalker and Alex Cahill-Walker promise the people that you will raise these two to respect the ways of their ancestors?" Walker replied first "I Firewalker promise the people that my mate and I will raise our children to respect the ways of the people. Spirit Sent and Red Crow will be raised to honor their ancestors, as I was." When he was done Walker turned to Alex who stated "As Firewalker’s mate I make the same vow."
After the ceremony was over White Eagle said "I will watch the little ones for awhile, Washo take your wife for a walk." White Eagle then led the children away as Alex said to Walker "Honey the ceremony was so beautiful, thank you for letting me be a part of it." Smiling he said "Alex you're my wife and as the children's mother you had to be a part of it. I'm just glad that you actually came up here after what happened the last time that you were here with me."
"Does that mean that you're ready to talk about things?" Alex questioned Walker who took Alex's hand and led her to a secluded spot where they sat down on some logs. Still holding Alex's hand Walker said while looking in his wife's eyes "Alex I can't really explain my behavior last weekend, all I know is that at the time I felt as though you would have been better off without me being your husband."
"Do you still feel that way?" Alex asked. Kissing her hand he replied "Let me tell you about my visions. At first in my visions you were better off without me for a husband but then I had one of you telling Dalton that you loved me. That you wanted me and only me for the rest of your life whether or not I ever admitted loving you. Then I had a vision of being at your funeral and your father and Trivette berated me for showing my face at it. Apparently you had died all alone in another town because I had driven you away when I was blinded by that bomb blast. Alex my visions helped me to realize something, that I'm your husband not your guardian. That we were meant to be together for however long the great spirit grants us and I'm hoping that it's for the rest of my life. Alex, honey I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for turning my back on you that night. It's just that..."
Sighing Alex said "I understand now Walker but I didn't then. White Eagle told me that you had lost your way and that I had to return home with the children so that you could find it again." Half smiling he asked "What did you tell White Eagle when he told you that?"
"That he had better be right and that if you hadn't returned home in a week that I would come back and search this reservation by myself if need be. I'm glad that I listened to White Eagle because you did find your way back to me." Alex responded.
Kissing Alex on the cheek Walker said "Alex, I will always find my way back to you, but I am sorry for the way that I left you." Smiling she replied "It's okay cowboy you got a really good start on making up for it last night."
Sunday evening as they were pulling up to their ranch house the Walkers noticed Trivette was waiting for them on the front porch. After greeting them Trivette said to Angela and Ray "How about you two going into the house with Aunt Erica and little Jimmy?" Erica picked up Ray and took Angela's hand and led her into the house. Walker turned to Trivette and asked him "Okay, what's going on?"
"Erica and Sydney were out here yesterday morning so that Sydney could ride her horse when Michael Rappaport tried to attack Erica. Sydney saw what was happening and was forced to shoot and kill Rappaport when he pulled a gun on them. I. A. says that the shooting appears to be a case of self defense." Trivette explained to them.
Alex then asked him "Oh my god. Is Erica okay? What about Sydney?" Trivette assured her "Erica's just fine and so is Sydney. Sydney stopped him before he could harm anyone."
"What was that animal doing here? I thought that he had left town with his parents. Did he have anything to do with my car breaking down Friday evening?" Alex asked her friend and Trivette replied "I'm afraid so. Apparently he put something into your gas tank Friday and then returned Saturday to hurt you. Gage had been trying to locate Rappaport because several snitches had told him that Rappaport had returned to town and was running his mouth about taking care of you for once and for all."
"That's why Trivette drove me to the reservation on Friday, right Walker?" Alex asked and Walker answered "Alex, Trivette had heard the same rumors and when your car broke down drove you to the reservation to make sure that you were okay."
"You should have told about that rapist coming after me Walker." Alex pointed out and he said "I know Alex but I didn't want you worrying about that scum hurting you again." Then Walker asked in an attempt to change the subject "Trivette would you like to stay for dinner?"
Smiling he answered "Thanks but I think that I'll just take my family home now." Trivette then left with his family.
Later on that night after the children were sleeping the Walkers were sitting on the couch when Walker said "I'm glad that animal is dead." Alex agreed by saying "So am I as long as they don't blame me for it and try suing us again." Then wanting the evening to end on a happier note she asked her husband "Can I make you sleepy tonight cowboy?"
Walker teased "I don't know Alex, do you know how to do that?"
"Well let's see, first I undress you than I undress myself." Alex said and then did exactly that. When they were naked Walker pulled her to him and said "You're very good when it comes to making me sleepy, as a matter of fact I think that I'll go to sleep right now."
"Not yet cowboy, not until I give you something that makes you tired enough to fall asleep." Then Alex straddled her husband and gave him something that eventually made both him and her fall asleep on the couch.