The mall was crowded, shoppers hurried up and down the escalators, elevators and stairs, carrying their newly discovered treasures.
Texas Ranger Cordell Walker has never liked shopping but he does enjoy spending time with his bride of 7 months.
They have known each other for over seven years and he knew she absolutely loved Christmas. As they entered the mall he held her hand. The excitement she felt seemed to bubble out. She practically pulled him from store to store. She looked at everything with the wide eyes of a child.
“Hold on, Alex!” Walker said “You can’t continue like this for long, or you’ll burn yourself out before lunch,” he laughed.
She gave him a mischievous look then said, “Where is your holiday enthusiasm?”
“I don’t need any, you have enough for the both of us,” he said smiling.
“Oh you” she said, playfully slapping his arm.
They never agreed on gifts but it sure was fun teasing her anyway.
“Well I’m glad we ordered a few things so we don’t have to spend too much time here,” he said as he looked at the crowds. “There sure are a lot of people here.”
Through a supplier they found on the internet they’d found some books for Sam Coyote, Walker’s childhood friend from the reservation. Sam was a member of the reservation police on the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma. He was always interested in new police techniques but his department budget did not allow much new reading material. So they knew he would love the books.
Walker had met a man who did excellent leather crafting, and since his old friend, Billy Gray Wolf, also from his childhood days on the reservation, had just been elected a representative to the tribal council for the Cherokee Nation; Walker and Alex decided to have a special brief case made for him, with Native American designs tooled into the leather and his name engraved on the latching
Jimmy, who was usually their major gift problem was easy this year. Ever since the family reunion they had attended with him in Baltimore, he had been talking about getting some cookbooks and steamware to do his own seafood. They had contacted Jimmy’s older brother Simon, who worked in Washington for the FBI. He was able to send them everything Jimmy would need.
As they walked past a sporting good shop, Walker pulled Alex in. “Look at this, Gage would love it,” he said as he pointed to a shoulder holster.
“Gage doesn’t wear a shoulder holster,” she told him.
“That’s only because he doesn’t have one,” he retorted, back.”
Then she pointed to a store across the hall, “Now that is perfect,” she said, pulling him through the crowd. “Oh, Walker, this is a gorgeous sweater! Gage would look terrific!” She held a sweater up for him to see.
“Walker literally groaned. Alex, not a sweater. I told you before, men like to pick out their own clothes.”
“We’ll look some more,” she said.
They continued strolling through the mall, when suddenly Walker stopped cold, causing Alex to slam dunk right into her husband. He was standing perfectly still, staring at a painting of three Native American boys hiding behind a bush, with a 12 point buck grazing, oblivious, near by. As Walker looked at the picture his mind drifted back to the past. He turned to Alex and started telling her about three young boys, no older that 10 or 11, so eager to prove they were tribal braves, that they went hunting deer alone. A young Sam Coyote, Billy Gray Wolf and Washo Firewalker. They had been taught the tribal way of hunting, although none of them had ever killed an animal. After tracking the deer, they hid behind a bush and watched this 12-point Buck grazing peacefully.
He laughed as he returned to the present day. “None of us had the heart to kill that buck,” he shook his head. “We all traipsed back home with our “tails” between our legs. Boy, that painting sure brings back memories.”
Alex smiled; she never got tired of the stories of Walker’s youth on the reservation.
They continued walking and looking. When they went past a women’s clothing store, Alex was the one to stop, without warning, this time. He got the idea when his nose suddenly encountered the back of Alex’s head Alex had seen what she thought was the perfect gift for Sydney. Walker didn’t want to look in there but she dragged him in anyway. “Aww, look Walker, this is stunning?” She held up a lacy camisole top.
Walker blushed and said “Alex,..” as he looked away. “This is women’s underwear”.
Alex laughed, “Well, guess what, cowboy, Sydney is a woman.” “I guess you want to get her a shoulder holster too?” She asked him.
“Well, it would be more like the Sydney I know, than that is” he blurted, pointing at the sheer negligee Alex was holding.
“OK let’s compromise. You go to the sporting goods store and get Gage the shoulder holster and I’ll stay here and get Sydney this and a new work out suit. How does that sound?” She suggested.
“Whew…, bye, I’ll meet you at the food court in fifteen minutes.” Then he got “the heck outta’ Dodge” before she changed her mind.
Alex just laughed.
During lunch, Alex made the excuse that she needed to go to the ladies room, but instead called the store where they had seen the painting and bought it for her husband, arranging for it’s delivery to the ranch, so Walker wouldn’t see it before Christmas.
After lunch they went to pick up Billy’s briefcase and then they needed to get White Eagle his gift. Walker and Alex went into an herb shop. White Eagle used many herbs and plants in his healing ceremonies; Walker was able to find quite a few of the ones he needed there. Before they left the mall there was one more stop to make.
“It would not be Christmas if White Eagle did not get 2 pounds of licorice, 2 pounds of peppermint sticks and a pound of Jaw breakers.” He told Alex. Alex shot back, “sounds like White Eagle is going to need a Dental Eagle!” Walker chuckled, appreciatively, wrapped his arm around Alex’s shoulders and pointed her in the direction of the candy store.
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