Revenge

By Sissy (sissy@svs.net) & Chris (ckline-usa@foreverliving.com)

A hand on his shoulder awakens Walker.  Looking up, he sees a man dressed in black with a finger to his lips signifying silence. The finger leaves the man’s lips and points to Alex lying at Walker’s side.  Then the finger crooks, motioning him to follow then returns to his lips.

Walker gently raises her arm from his stomach, quietly slips out of bed, being careful not to wake her.  He watches as they pick up his clothes then he and his visitors move noiselessly out of the bedroom softly closing the door behind them.  The men at his side silently motion him toward the stairs.

At the foot of the stairs, he is taken into the living room and allowed to put his clothes on. When they move up with handcuffs, he turns quickly, throwing a kick into one man’s stomach and backhanding another.  He drops to his hands and knees after receiving a blow to the back of his head.  He fights to stay conscious.  As he staggers to his feet, his hands are quickly cuffed behind his back and his ankles are tethered with just enough slack to allow him to walk.

******

Alex wakes when a small beam of sunlight falls across her eyes.  She rolls to her back from her stomach, reaches over to touch her husband only to find an empty bed.  Thinking that he is already in the bathroom, she smiles, stretches, then slips out of bed and sleepily meanders into the bathroom.  A minute later, she comes out with a puzzled expression on her face.  Now wide-awake, she glances around the room and notices that Walker’s clothes are gone, but not his boots.  Maybe he’s downstairs.  She opens the bedroom door and listens, but hears absolutely nothing.  As a chill ripples down her back, she quietly descends the stairs and goes to the kitchen.  Not finding him in the kitchen, she begins searching the rest of the house.  As she enters the living room, she notices that the coffee table has been moved over in front of the fireplace and the coat tree is turned over.  She hurries to the front door and pulls it open.  The Ram is still parked in the driveway where he had left it the night before right behind her car.  Terrified, she runs to the barn.   All the horses greet her when she opens the door but there is no sign of Walker.  Fear now grips her.  As she runs back to the house, she realizes that the door was unlocked when she had opened it a few minutes before.  She enters the house, grabs the phone and dials Jimmy’s home number.

After several rings, a very groggy, “Yeah.”

JIMMY, WALKER’S GONE.  Oh God, Jimmy, he’s not here.  He’s just … just disappeared!”

Now wide awake, “Alex, hon, just take it easy.  I’ll be right there.  Okay?   I’m on my way.”

Trivette hangs up the phone, dresses and is on his way to Walker’s ranch in just minutes. On the drive out, he calls C.D. and tells him about Alex’s frantic call. “When I find out more, I’ll let you know, okay?”

He pulls up to the house, screeching to a halt behind Walker’s truck and rushes up the steps just as Alex gets up from the swing.  She is still wearing one of Walker’s shirts that she uses for a nightshirt.

Trivette takes her in his arms and holds her shivering body close, trying to calm her down. “Come on, Alex, sit down here and tell me everything from the beginning, okay?”

“When … when I woke up this morning, he wasn’t in bed.  I checked the bathroom, down here and then I went to the barn.  Jimmy, where could he be?  He would never leave without telling me.” The tears begin running down her cheeks again as Jimmy pulls her close.

“Is anything missing?”

“The clothes that he wore yesterday are gone but his boots are still here.  Nothing else is missing that I know of.” She sniffs and wipes her eyes with her hand, “Oh…I forgot … it looks like there might have been a scuffle in the living room.”

“Come on, Alex, show me.” Jimmy stands and helps her up.  With his arm around her, they enter the house.  Jimmy checks out the living room where indeed it does look like a slight scuffle took place. “This is it, huh.”

“Oh, Jimmy, who could do this?”

“Well, it’s hard for me to believe someone could sneak in on Walker like this. He might have heard something and came down here and this is where they took him. There must have been several of them or he would have taken them out.”

Alex is leaning in the doorway, eyes red from crying, “Jimmy, are you two working on anything that would cause someone to come after either of you?”

“Alex, I don’t know. This bunch we’re after now doesn’t seem to be smart enough to pull off something like this.” Trivette picks up the phone, “I’m calling in a forensics team.  I want to sweep this place for prints or any other evidence, okay?” Getting a nod from Alex, he places the call to Ranger Headquarters.  After receiving assurance that a team is on the way, he dials again, “C.D.?  He’s gone.  Looks like someone broke in and took him.” … “Yeah, he did put up a fight,” … “I’ve already got a team coming out,” … “Okay, I’ll let you know. Bye.”

“Alex, the crime team will be here in a few minutes…um…maybe you should get dressed before they get here.”

She looks down at what she has on, smiles weakly, “Yeah, I guess I should,” and starts upstairs.

“Don’t touch anything except your clothes.  Since we’re not sure where they were in the house, it might be better if you didn’t touch anything, okay.”

She turns and stares at him, then lets go of the railing and continues up the stairs.

*****

Sitting on the swing with her head in her hands, worried sick and at a complete loss as to what has happened or why, Alex feels like she has been dumped into a nightmare. She stands up quickly when she sees Trivette coming toward the house. “Jimmy, did you find anything?”

“We found where they parked their vehicle.  From the tracks, it looks like there were at least six men.  Two stayed at the vehicle and four came after Walker.  One of them smoked.  We found foreign made cigarette butts so we’re getting them analyzed.  We’ve also located the tracks where they led Walker back to the vehicle.  He was barefoot, just like you thought.  He was also evidently shackled because he was shuffling his feet.  At least we know he was all right when he left here.  We followed the tire tracks back to the highway, but…that’s it, Alex.”

She sits back down after listening to what Jimmy had found.  He watches her for several minutes, then softly murmurs, “Alex … we’ll find him.”

She looks up at him and sees the worry etched into his face, “I know you will, Jimmy.” Alex stands then, “and I intend to help you,” she says with a fierce determination. “I’m going back to town with you.  I can’t stay here.  I’ve got to do something.” She steps inside the house long enough to get her purse and car keys then goes to her car and follows Jimmy back to Dallas.

*****

Alex and C.D. are leaning over Jimmy’s shoulder as he works on the computer to bring up information on the make of the cigarette that was found by the vehicle. “This is not a well-known brand here in the States so, hopefully, we can run down the seller pretty easy.” He watches the screen intently as he scrolls down the list of names.

“Where was the brand made, Jimmy.”

“Well, it’s made in South Africa but it looks like there’s only one place in Texas that imports it and that’s in Ft. Worth, C.D.  That’s a break for us, anyway. I’m going to go on over there and see what I can come up with.”

“You let me know if you come up with anything, Jimmy. I’m going back to my place now but you let me know if you need my help, you hear?”

“I hear you Big Dog.” Gives him a light pat on the back as he turns to leave.

Jimmy watches as C.D. goes out through the door, “He sure isn’t looking very good, Alex. I think this is really getting him down.”

Alex walks up behind Jimmy and places her hand on his shoulder, “You know C.D., Jimmy. He takes it personally when one of his ‘children’ is hurt or missing.”

“Yeah, I know.  And it seems that lately at least one of his ‘children’ is always in trouble.  I don’t think he’s really back up to par yet after that beating he took a few months ago.”

“Well, I agree with you there, Jimmy, but he keeps saying he’s fine. We’re just going to have to keep a closer eye on him, that’s all.” She squeezes his shoulder then moves around in front of him, “Jimmy, I’ve got to go down to my office and see what needs to be done and what I can reschedule.  Keep me informed on what you come up with, okay?” She turns to walk away then turns back to face him again. “Jimmy, be real careful, okay, I don’t want you disappearing, too.”

*****

Coming out of the retail store, Jimmy stops, writes in his little notebook, then gets in his car and starts back to Dallas.  When he gets on the interstate, he notices a black GMC 4x4 truck coming up fast behind him. When the truck gets close, Jimmy changes lanes but the truck stays right on his tail. “Oh, oh. Looks like trouble.” The truck moves up fast and taps his bumper.  Jimmy pushes the pedal to the floor and leaves the truck in his dust.  Not seeing the truck anymore, he slows down as he gets to his off ramp.  He works his way back through Dallas to Ranger Headquarters reasoning that the little altercation on the interstate was just someone’s idea of a power play. ‘Big truck … little sports car.’  The event is nearly forgotten until, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the same vehicle race out of a nearby side street and head straight for him.  With heavy traffic in front, he is unable to speed away. Casting a quick glance in his rear view mirror, he stands on the brake, shoves the car into reverse and hits the gas at the same time, backing out of the path of the truck with just inches to spare. By the time he gets stopped and moving forward again, the truck has disappeared.

He realizes now that someone is trying to kill him. Not really sure if it ties in with Walker’s disappearance, but not willing to take that chance, he calls Alex and tells her to meet him at C.D.’s.

When he walks in the door, he sees Alex sitting with C.D. in a booth and immediately walks up to them and sits down.

“Jimmy, what going on? Did you find out anything?”

“I got the names of two men who smoke that brand but haven’t had a chance to go check them out yet. Something else has come up that I think you both should know about.”

“What’s that Jimmy?”

“Someone tried to ram my car on the way back from Ft. Worth.  When that failed, they tried again here in Dallas.”

“Oh, God, Jimmy. Do you think that it’s tied in with Walker’s disappearance?”

“I don’t know Alex, but after what happened to all of us about eight months ago, I think we had better be on the alert.  C.D., I don’t suppose you would consider going out of town for awhile, would you?”

“Why in tarnation would I want to do that?  Cordell is missing and I intend to stay here and help you find him, anyway I can, you got that?”

“Yeah, I got it, Big Dog. I just don’t want to see you get hurt again, that’s all.”

“Well, you just worry about finding Cordell,” he stands and turns away mumbling, “ain’t nothing gonna happen to me.”

“I didn’t mean to upset him, Alex. I just don’t think I could stand to see him hurt again.”

“I know, Jimmy and I think he knows it, too.  Truthfully, I think he’s a little scared, too, and just trying hard not to show it.”

“Alex, do you think you could talk him into letting me put someone in here, to kinda keep an eye on him? You know, like a bodyguard? Maybe make him think I can’t do my best to find Walker, if I’m worried about him?”

Alex smiles at him, “I’ll talk to him, Jimmy, and see what I can do. But you know C.D.”

“Yeah, I know.” He slides out of the booth and starts for the door, then turns back, “Alex, you need to be careful, too. They could come after you as well.”

“I will, Jimmy, believe me. I’ll see you at the courthouse, later?”

Jimmy nods and continues out the door. Alex rises and walks over to where C.D. is standing behind the bar. “C.D., don’t be upset with Jimmy. He cares a great deal about you. We all do and we don’t want to see you hurt again.”

“Alex, I’m not leaving town, so you can forget that.” C.D. says defensively.

“Okay, but would you let Jimmy put someone in here to maybe help if anything does come up? That way if 4 or 5 gang up on you again, at least the odds would be more even.”

C.D. stares off into space for several minutes before turning to her, “Well, I guess I could put up with that. As long as they stay out of my way, now, mind you.”

Alex smiles then leans over and gives him a hug, “Thanks, C.D. I know Jimmy will breathe a lot easier. I’ve got to get back now and see what he’s come up with. I’ll call you later, okay?”

****

Alex checks in at her office to find everything running smoothly then goes to Ranger Headquarters to find Jimmy.  Pushing open the door, she sees him hunched over the monitor, glancing several times at his fax machine. He finally tears a page off the machine and leans back in his chair, starring at it closely as Alex comes up behind him and places a hand on his shoulder. “Oh, hi Alex.” Turns to face her, “Did you get anywhere with C.D.?”

“Yes, he finally agreed to someone staying there with him, quote, ‘as long as they stay out of my way,’ unquote.  So if you have anyone in mind, you might want to send them on over before he changes his mind.”

Jimmy turns and picks up the phone, dials a number, says a few words then hangs up. “I kinda had it all arranged.  I was just waiting for the okay.”

“What have you found out about that cigarette, Jimmy, anything helpful?”

“Now, that’s a puzzle. The guy seemed reluctant to say anything but with a little persuasion he finally gave me a name.” He picks up the fax he had just received and handed it to Alex. “Alex does that guy look familiar to you.” He watches as she stares intently at the picture for several minutes then a look of pure terror covers her face. Barely able to get the words out, “Jimmy, that can’t be…!”

“No, Alex, it isn’t. It’s his father!”

*****

Walker paces around the room like a caged animal unable to rest and at a loss as to what is going on.  He hasn’t seen anyone since he was unceremoniously dumped in this small room early this morning. The room is not much bigger than a walk-in closet.  One small window near the high ceiling lets in the only illumination. There is no furniture except for a cotton mattress on the floor.  The door is solid steel with an 8x10 window and a slot to pass a food tray through. A toilet and a sink are in one corner.  His hands are free but his legs are shackled which makes him believe that his captors are well aware of his martial arts skills. In one corner of the ceiling is a small camera and in the other corner is what he believes to be a television.

Not one of his captors has said one word from the time he woke up in bed till they left him here. The fact that they managed to get into his house without him knowing suggests to him that they are well-trained in infiltration tactics.  Suddenly the TV screen lights up and he sees a car driving down a highway, ‘no wait … that’s interstate 30 between Dallas and Ft. Worth.’ As the camera closes the distance to the car, he realizes that it’s Trivette’s black Mustang. The camera must be mounted on a vehicle.  As he watches, he grins when he sees Trivette change lanes.  The grin fades when he notices the jiggling of the camera.  It tells him the vehicle had bumped Trivette’s car.   His grin returns when Trivette’s car takes off like a shot, disappearing in the distance. The screen goes dark. 

He sits down on the mattress, taking a deep breath, thankful that his partner got away safely.   He is startled awake, unaware that he had dozed off, by the sound of a motor.  He sits up looking at the TV screen, aware that sound now accompanies the picture.  As he watches, he sees a camera shot of a familiar intersection in Dallas. Suddenly the camera speeds toward the intersection.  Then he sees Trivette’s black Mustang coming into the intersection with traffic almost solid in front of him. Walker jumps up when he realizes that the vehicle is going to ram Trivette’s little sports car. His eyes go wide as fear fills his heart, but miraculously Trivette’s Mustang disappears and the camera shoots straight across the intersection.  He hears “Dammit!” before the screen goes black.

Walker sits down heavily on the mattress, releasing the breath that he didn’t know he was holding. ‘I don’t know how he did it but they missed him!’  As he sits on the mattress trying to digest what he has seen.  Suddenly he jumps up off the floor, shouting directly at the camera in the corner. “I know what you’re doing! Just tell me why!  I’m the one you want.  Why take it out on them. You bastards!”

The silence is deafening as Walker turns and slams his fist into the wall. Knowing there is nothing he can do to stop what is going to happen. But why!!!

“Why? Because you wiped out my family and there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop you. Now I’m going to destroy yours and you’re going to watch as each one dies right before your eyes.  You’ll be helpless to stop it.”

*****

“Oh, God, Jimmy, not again! What has he done with Walker?” She starts shaking and tears are glistening in her eyes.

Trivette looks at her with worry showing in his eyes and softly says, “I don’t know Alex, but we’re not quitting.  We’re all just gong to have to be a little more careful while we try to find him. And we will find him, we’ve got to believe that.”

Alex sits down in a chair and drops her head into her hands, sobbing quietly, then looks up at Jimmy, “It’s not fair, it’s just not fair. Our life is just getting started. I guess I thought after we were married, life would get better for us. It’s just not fair!” Dropping her head back into her hands, her shoulders shake with emotion.

Jimmy stands, moves over and kneels down in front of her. Placing his hands on hers and gently pulling them down, “Alex … I know … I know, but we’ve got to keep our minds focused on finding him. Okay?”

She slowly straightens up and looks at Jimmy, “You’re right. I’m sorry, Jimmy. I’m alright now.” She wipes her eyes and a slight smile appears, “So, what do we do now?”

Just then the phone rings, “Trivette.”

“Jimmy, you had better get over here and bring some help with you.”

“C.D., what’s wrong? Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, Jimmy, but these punks probably need a doctor. Hurry up and get over here, will you?

“I’m on my way, C.D. Just hang in there, okay?” He hangs up the phone and grabs his hat, looks at Alex, “Come on, I want you to stay with me!”

*****

When they walk in the door, they see five men lying on the floor with their hands tied behind their backs. Trivette smiles and walks up to C.D., “What in the world happened, Big Dog?”

“These punks were waiting for me out in the alley when I took the garbage out, but thanks to some of my friends and Jerry over here, they’re the ones that ended up in the garbage.” C.D. gives a little chuckle, walks up to Alex and gives her a warm hug, “And I’m fine, honey, just fine. Never felt better in my life.”

Jimmy glances around and sees about ten of C.D.’s regular patrons standing around watching, all in a little disarray. Evidently from what Jerry, the bodyguard, had told him, when they heard the noise outside, they all went out and made it clear to the thugs that no one was going to mess with their friend again.  Then, with Jerry’s help, they had proceeded to pound them senseless.

After the potential ‘killers’ are taken away, “Thanks a lot, my friends. Drinks are on the house!”

“Did any get away, Jerry?”

“Yeah, the driver of the vehicle that brought them here.  A large black 4x4.”

“Well, at least now we have five to interrogate. Maybe we can get at least one of them to talk. I appreciate you being here, Jerry. Don’t leave him alone for one minute in case the driver brings back reinforcements.”

“Don’t worry. He won’t like it but I’ll stay with him everywhere he goes.”

*****

Walker has been sitting in the darkened room for quite awhile, knowing the room would be dark long before night descended which was fine with him.  At least the camera wouldn’t be watching him.

He turns quickly when he hears the gruff voice of his former partner, “What do you punks want.” As he looks up at the screen, he sees five men moving up on C.D. who had just come out the back door of his bar with a full garbage bag. He threw the bag of trash at the men about the same time that another man followed C.D. out the door.  The other man Walker recognizes as Jerry Wilson, a karate student of his for the past ten years. He smiles as he watches Jerry work over the thugs.  Then the back door flies open and about ten patrons of the bar rush out and get into the melee, too.  It doesn’t take long for them to get the five invaders down then Walker watches as they march them back inside the bar.  He hears “Where in the hell did they all come from?” then the screen goes black.

He sinks down on the mattress, a worried look on his face. They have now tried to take down his two best friends.  He knows that Alex is probably next on the list. ‘God, not Alex. Not now.’  His eyes take on a shiny look as he turns and looks up into the camera in the corner. “If you have a grudge against me, then fight me, dammit.”  He stands staring at the camera, clenching and unclenching his fists, “whoever you are. Face me and leave them alone.” He turns away and sits down on the mattress, leaning up against the wall and closing his eyes, grateful that the room is dark and they can not watch him.

*****

Alex and Jimmy have been interrogating the five men that were taken into custody at C.D.’s for the past four hours.  So far none of them have said anything. Since the five men were separated when they were brought in, none of them knows what the others might have said.  Jimmy is determined to make them think that one is getting nervous and is ready to talk. After taking a break and devising a plan, He and Alex walk into the interrogation room, chatting amiably, “Well, Jimmy, I think we’re about done. That last guy was pretty nervous.  If he talks, then he gets the deal.” She stops and turns to face Jimmy, “I don’t even know why we came back in here. We should go back and sweeten the pot.  I’m sure he’ll come through.”

“Ah, come on Alex. We have to be fair. Gotta give this guy a chance. Although, we’re probably wasting our time on this one.” They both turn and look at the gent sitting in the chair.

“Well, okay, Jimmy, but if he doesn’t start giving up some information in the next five minutes, we go back to the other one and he gets the deal. Okay?”

“Yeah, that sounds good.” He turns to face the guy dressed in jungle fatigues, “Alright, we need to know where they have Walker and, like the lady said, you’ve got five minutes or we go get the information from your buddy in the other room.”

He squints his eyes as he looks up at Alex and Jimmy then shakes his head, “Ain’t nobody talkin’ and you know it. This is all a trick.”

“A trick, huh? The last guy we talked to told us who is behind Walker’s kidnapping so I don’t think we’ll have any trouble getting the rest out of him.”

“Bull! He didn’t tell you squat!”

Jimmy leans down and whispers into the man’s ear. Alex watches as the thug’s eyes get big and as he turns to look at Jimmy, “You’re just guessin!”

“Come on, Jimmy, his five minutes are up.” She turns toward the door and Jimmy starts around the table to follow her.

“Wait a minute, wait a minute. I know more than any of them.  I know where he is and I can tell you that we’ve been video taping everything so that Walker sees it when it happens. Really making him sweat.”

Jimmy looks at Alex, shrugs his shoulders, “Your buddy already told us that so I guess he’s the one that gets the deal.”

“Wait, that’s not all. I can tell you which one of you is going to be next.”

“Well, Jimmy, that is more than the last one offered.  I guess if he can come through with all of the details, he should get the deal. Don’t you think?”

“Before I decide on that, I want to hear the details,” he turns to face the hoodlum, “and you’d better make it good.”

*****

“God, Jimmy, I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull it off in there.”

“You did just fine, Alex. But now, we got some planning to do. And only three hours to get ready for your ‘ambush’.”

“Jimmy, we’ve got to be careful how we do this because we know that Walker will be watching.”

“I know Alex. We’ll think of something.”

*****

Walker sits up quickly when he hears the motor of a truck, turns to look at the television screen and sees the back of the courthouse.  Off to the side, he sees Alex’s car and Trivette’s black car and feels the fear starting to flood his senses.  They are going to go after Alex.  His screams vibrate through the small room, “No …no …leave her alone!” His legs give and he sinks down to the floor, staring at the screen, unable to take his eyes away from it. He watches as the truck moves closer to the back entrance, then all goes dark.  He hears Alex talking to Jimmy, “We can’t stay here all night, Jimmy. We have to go home sometime.  I’ve got Angel due to deliver, and Amigo is running loose in the house.  Since we’ve gotten rid of all the rats, I guess I can put him back outside, now.  Do you think C.D. has any rats left, Jimmy?  Maybe he’d like to use Amigo’s services?”

“I don’t think so Alex. We cleared the rats out of his place yesterday. He doesn’t need Amigo. But I know a place where they still have rats.  We could go see if they want him.” Walker listens to them talk and it slowly cuts through the fear that has a grip on him.  A puzzled look comes on his face. ‘Amigo in the house? Gotten rid of the rats? C.D. has rats? An address that has rats?”  Then he realizes that they are sending him a message.  He watches with renewed interest as the screen suddenly lights up.  He sees Trivette and Alex turn toward the camera as the lights come back on. Fear shows on their faces as two shots ring out and they both fall to the ground as blood forms a puddle under them. The camera focuses on them lying still.  Walker’s heart is in his mouth until he sees Alex wink.  At least he thinks he saw it.  It happened so fast.  He hears a nasty laugh then the screen goes dark.  Walker lets out a scream that reverberates around the room then collapses on the mattress.

Several minutes later, he hears someone at the door.  He turns over quickly and sits up. His eyes are glued to the door but with the only light being on the other side of the door, all he sees is the bulk of a man silhouetted in the doorway.

“Well, Walker, how does it feel to lose someone you love?” The voice sounds a little familiar, but he can’t put a face to it.

Walker stands and lunges for the dark bulk in the doorway only to fall short because of the shackles on his legs. He tries to get up but the shadow shoves him backward, then turns and walks out of the room. “You want me Walker? Come out here and get me.”

Walker stands and shuffles out of the room. As he clears the doorway, he looks around making sure where everyone is before he moves toward a man dressed in jungle fatigues. As he gets closer, the man turns around.  Walker’s eyes grow wide as he sees the face. A face that bears a strong resemblance to Caleb Hooks, but a lot older.

“Do you know who I am Walker?”

“I know who you look like, but he’s dead.” As he looks at the man whose eyes are full of hate, he knows who he is.

“That’s right. He’s dead because you killed him. Just like you killed my youngest son.  Now your friends are dead and soon you will be, too.” He swings at Walker, who falls backward onto the floor. When the swing misses, his momentum carries him forward and Walker shoves both feet up, catching him in the stomach, knocking Hooks off his feet. Walker quickly gets to his hands and knees and leaps on top of the older Hooks.  He begins pummeling him with his fists. The other two men in the room are taken totally by surprise. Finally snapping out of their trance they start forward to pull Walker off of Hooks. 

A shout from the back of the room causes them to change direction as five Texas Rangers storm through the door.  The two men are quickly handcuffed as Trivette assists Walker to his feet and Hooks is led away.

Trivette brings a chair up for Walker to sit on and begins taking the shackles off of his legs. “Are you all right, man?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Is Alex all right? She isn’t …” He hesitates looking into Trivette’s eyes for an answer.

“She’s fine, Walker. Just worried about you.” Just then he hears running steps outside the door, and looking up, sees Alex enter the room. “There. See for yourself.” He steps back and turns to leave as Alex runs into Walker’s arms. He turns back just long enough to see them both wound tightly in each other’s arms, then walks out and closes the door.

They hold each other for a long time, then slowly loosen their hold just enough to look into each other’s eyes. “Oh, darling, I was so worried about you. Especially after we found out who took you.” She leans in and touches her lips to his then lays her head against his.

As he holds her against his chest, he clears his throat, and in a soft whisper, “I’m glad it’s over. I think I got your hidden meaning but when I saw you and Trivette fall, and all that blood…it looked so real, I almost lost it.”

“I’m so sorry, darling.  We knew you were watching but we had to make it look real to give us time to get to you.”

“I kinda got that point, but it sure didn’t make it any easier.”  He leans back and kisses her softly, “Let’s go home, Alex.” He turns and with his arm around her waist, they leave the room.

*****

Sitting in a booth at C.D.’s the four friends quietly discuss what had happened to each of them, and how they managed to survive.

“Cordell, I don’t think there’s a lot we can do to prevent something like this except to be more alert to what’s going on around us.”

“Your right, Big Dog. Stay alert and be aware. I guess that should be our motto, huh?”

“You two are right. But we’re going one step further.” Turning to look at Walker, “Darling I’d like to get an alarm system put in the house.”

“I’ll go along with that. But you realize that it won’t be a total deterrent to keeping the unwanted out.”

“I know, hon, but it’ll make me feel better, especially at night.”

“Well, guys, I’m heading home.  This has been one week I’d like to forget. See you tomorrow, Walker?” Trivette stands and looks at his partner.

“I’ll be there, Trivette. And … thanks for taking care of Alex for me.”

“No problem, man. It was my pleasure.” He smiles at Alex, winks at Walker, then walks out the door.

“Well, kids, I see a friend I need to thank. I’ll see you two tomorrow, okay?”

They watch as C.D. goes over to Jerry Wilson, his bodyguard, throws an arm around his shoulder, and talks quietly for several minutes. Then Jerry sits down at the bar, and C.D. goes behind the bar and gets him a beer.

“Come on, Alex, let’s go home.” He stands and as Alex joins him, they wave goodnight to C.D. and leave the bar.

“Darling, do you think there will ever be a time when we can stop looking over our shoulders?”

“Yeah, I think there will be. When we get to heaven.”

THE END