Rudeness

By 59 Katie 59

 

Chapter One

 

            Walker was waiting at the airport along with his oldest son Cordell Summers Walker for the arrival of Cord's grandparents who had come to Texas for their daughter Merilee Summers' funeral. Spotting his grandparents Cord said to his father “There they are." Then he called out “Grandma and Poppy over here." The couple looked over and saw their grandson standing there so they went to him. Young Cord then did the introductions by saying “Dad this is my Grandma Molly Summers and my Poppy Jasper Summers. Grandma and Poppy this is my father Texas Ranger Cordell Walker."

            Walker held out his hand to Jasper but he ignored the gesture so Walker told them “There’s a guest room at the ranch if the two of you would like to stay there during your visit with Cord." Jasper sniped “Will that woman stealer Cahill be there?"

            “Alex Cahill owns the ranch so yes she will be there." Walker bluntly answered his dead wife Merilee Summers' father who then said “We will be getting a hotel room to stay in while we're here seeing to our grandson's needs." Molly quickly attempted to smooth things over by suggesting to her husband “How about just for tonight we stay at our Grandson's home? You know how much Cord has been wanting to show us where he lives. Please Jasper we just got off of a plane that we were on for hours and I'm tired. I really don't feel up to finding a hotel room for us. I don't even know where to call for a decent one that we can afford." Jasper answered his wife “We’ll go to out the ranch with him but we'll only stay over tonight. Tomorrow we will get a hotel room to stay in while we're here visiting our grandson."

            When they went into the ranch house the oldest set of Walker's twins came walking towards Cord as best as they were able to given that their first birthday was a few weeks away. After saying hi to the toddlers Cord proudly told his grandparents “These are my little siblings. Their names are Angela and Raymond. Miss Alex here is their mother. She is also going to have another set of twins soon and when they get here I'll be their big brother just like I am to these two." Jasper rudely said to his grandson “Why are you calling them your little siblings? Their last name is Cahill not Walker like yours is because your mother and your father were married to each other. As for that other set of twins she's carrying it's the same thing in my book. No marriage, no right to the father's last name."

            Alex drew a breath to say something but bit back her retort when young Cord answered his grandfather “the twins' last name is Walker just like mine is because we have the same father. I'm their older brother and they adore me. Isn't that so Miss Alex?" Alex looked at Walker wondering why he hadn't said anything to Jasper Summers before answering the child “of course their last name is Walker because the three of you do indeed have the same father. As do the set of twins that I'm now carrying. All five of you are Cordell Walker's children. Sweetheart the twins adore their big brother Cord because he's the best big brother in the world."

            “Daddy can I show grandma and poppy my horse?" Cord asked his father who replied “How about after dinner? I'm sure that your grandparents would like to unpack first."

            Jasper again did the answering for the couple by saying “No point in us unpacking if we're only going to spend one night here." Alex quickly offered “you two can spend as long as you want to here. I'm sure that Cord would love that. He's missed you two. He talks about you two all the time and what it was like when he lived with you in Ohio."

            Jasper ignored what Alex had just said and headed into the guest bedroom. Molly Summers stayed behind to say to her grandson “we’d love to see your horse after we've rested for a bit and gotten something to eat." Alex then told her “I already have dinner started; it should be done in about an hour. It's beef stew with homemade bread and brownies for desert." Molly nodded okay and went into the guest bedroom shutting the door behind herself. Alex glared at Walker then went into the kitchen to check on the dinner.

            Cord excitedly told his father “I’m glad that Grandma and Poppy are here to see me. I've missed them Daddy." Walker answered “I know that you have and next summer I will take you to Ohio to visit with them."

            Cord then changed the subject by asking his father “am I ever going to see my Mommy again?" Walker replied as he drew the child to him to comfort him “You will see your mother again in heaven."

            “That’s what Miss Alex told me. She also said that Mommy was now an angel in heaven and that she was watching over me. Just like her mother and your parents are in heaven and that they are watching over all of us. Is that true Daddy?" Cord said to Walker who assured him “its true son. Your mother is in heaven watching over you right now."

            Still a little puzzled about his mother's not being there anymore Cord questioned his father further “if Mommy is in heaven why do we have to go to say good bye to her? I mean I'm going to see her again when I get to heaven, aren't I? And what did Miss Alex mean when she told me that only Mommy's soul went to heaven? Where is the rest of her at now?" Walker then explained “you seeing your Mommy again in heaven is going to be a long time from now Cordell so we are just going to say goodbye to your mother for now. As for your mother's soul, that is the spiritual part of her that gets to go to heaven. Your mother's body is going to be buried, that's what a funeral is."

            Cord then said “Okay Daddy. Can I read my book now?" Walker nodded his consent so Cord picked up his book and started reading it. Walker went into the kitchen where he found out that Alex still upset with him. Walker told her “I didn't say anything because I don't want my son getting upset by me fighting with his grandparents." Alex replied “okay for now Cordell but if it keeps up I won't just sit there and take it. Maybe Jasper will realize that in spite of everything I do love Cordell as much as I love the twins, both sets of them. And speaking of twin’s maybe you'd better go back into the living room and keep an eye on them. They are pretty good at making a big mess in a very short period of time." Walker pulled Alex to him kissed her soundly then returned to the living room where the twins were indeed making a mess. Walker put a stop to it then cleaned up the mess.

            During dinner whenever Cord would say something to Alex his grandfather Jasper would jump in with a cutting remark aimed at Alex. Having had just about enough with the way Jasper was talking about her Alex glared at Walker which was noticed by Jasper who then said to her "you have some nerve to sit there and act like you're the injured party when my daughter ended up dead because you wouldn't stay away from her husband."

            Alex replied “Mr. Summers I am truly sorry that your daughter is dead. With everything inside of me I wish that she were still alive for Cord's sake. He loved her dearly."

            Jasper then snorted at Alex “don’t try that line of B.S. with me. Not when you and I both know that you did everything in your power to destroy my daughter's marriage. If it wasn't for you chasing after her husband and him giving into your charms as it were my daughter would never have resumed her singing career. She was content to stay at home with her son while her husband provided for his family. When you convinced him to betray my daughter she needed something to take her mind away from what was done to her, so of course Merilee revived her singing career. It was while she was touring that Merilee met that Jonas character and ended up dying when he wrecked his car heading away from this here ranch. So spare me your phony concern for my grandson." Walker entered the conversation by saying to Jasper “Alex would never lie about anything that concerns Cord. Jasper not everything was the way you thought it was. Both Alex and I are deeply sorry for your loss." Jasper didn't respond to that. Walker then asked his son “after we're done eating how about we go show your grandparents your horse?"

            Outside in the barn Cord led his grandparents to a stall where his horse was and told them “This is Starfire." Jasper looked over the horse then said “That’s a fine looking horse son. Your mother picked out a real good looking horse for you to ride." Cord answered his grandfather “Starfire is Angel's foal. That's her in the stall over there by Daddy's horse Thunder. After I came here to live Mommy wanted Daddy to sell Angel but he told her no because she was going to foal and that when the foal was born it would be mine."

            Molly replied "she's real pretty honey. Will somebody be riding her now? A horse needs ridden from time to time." Cord answered “Miss Alex will ride Angel after the babies are born. Angel was her horse before Mommy and Daddy got married. Daddy told me that one time when I asked him about Angel and why he wouldn't let anyone ride her. Daddy said that he had presented her to Miss Alex and that Miss Alex accepted the mare from him. Miss Alex told me that she had another horse by the name of Cookie but that there was an accident at the stable where she was being kept while Miss Alex lived in San Antonio and she had to put her down."

            “What do you mean that he presented the horse to Cahill? How could he when Angel always belonged to Merilee?" Jasper addressed the questions to his grandson but Walker answered them “in the Cherokee culture when a man wishes a woman for a mate he presents her with a mare. If she accepts the mare she accepts the man as her mate for the rest of their lives. Several years ago after Alex and I were engaged I presented her with Angel and she accepted her. Angel has always belonged to Alex. My father and his brother, my Uncle Ray who raised me after my parents died were full blooded Cherokee. I'm half Cherokee."

            Molly said “so that means that my grandson is part Native-American. Neither one of you look like it. Not that it's a bad thing to look like you are part Cherokee. What's on the inside is what really matters about a person." She then told her grandson “how about we go back into the house and have some of Miss Alex's brownies? From the way her stew tasted her brownies have to be pretty good."

            Cord answered “they are Grandma. Miss Alex cooks a lot better than Daddy does, although he still is in charge of dinner one night of the week. But Daddy calls for pizza that night. Don't you Daddy?" Walker replied “I sure do son." They headed back into the house where they had some brownies.

 

Chapter Two

            Back in the house while they were eating their brownies Cord asked his grandparents “why did Mommy leave me behind?" Jasper answered the child "your mother didn't mean to leave you behind but when she was driven away from her home here and took up with that Jonas character her path in life was altered. That fool wrecked his car and she died."

            “No Poppy I meant when she went back to singing. Mommy told me that she had sold the ranch and that it was up to Daddy to look after me, that I was no longer her concern. Then she took me to Grandpa C.D.'s and left me there. After Daddy came there with Uncle Jimmy he brought me back to the ranch and told me that he had to meet with the new owner. I told him to tell the new owner that we weren't leaving the ranch but Daddy said that Mommy had sold the ranch and that he would talk to the new owner to see if we could stay on here." Cord explained to his grandfather who responded “that’s enough of that kind of talk young man. I will not have you repeating those lies to me that others have told you about your mother."

            Cord replied “but Poppy it was what Mommy told me herself. She said that even though she had managed to get my father to marry her she hadn't managed to make him forget that... but she said a bad word that I'm not allowed to say. Then Mommy told me that it was about time my father had to pay the piper. She packed up all of her things but told me to only pack a suitcase for myself because I wouldn't need a lot where I was going. When I said that I wanted to stay here Mommy blistered my backside then when I cried because it hurt she told me that I had better toughen up if I knew what was good for me. Poppy are you going to blister my backside now whenever I say something that you don't like?" Jasper answered “your mother has never ever abused you and you had better stop saying that she did. Look Cord I know that you want to stay on here with your father but you have to stop believing Cahill when she lies about your mother. Understand me son?"

            Cord looked at Alex who in turn looked at Walker who told Jasper “Cord is not lying about his backside having been blistered by his mother. He has the scars to prove it." Jasper refuted what Walker told him by stating “like you wouldn't lie about my daughter too. Hell all the time you were married to my baby girl you were cheating on her with Cahill. How else did she end up pregnant to you twice?"

            Alex snapped at Jasper “not that it's any of your business but I found out that I was carrying Walker's children shortly after he and Merilee ran off to Las Vegas and got married. At the time they were married Walker and I were engaged to be married and as a matter of fact we were only a month away from getting married ourselves. Right after I found out that I was pregnant I got an offer to prosecute a case in San Antonio so I took it. The trial lasted six months during which time I never left San Antonio. At no time did I ever attempt to get Walker away from Merilee because his son deserved to have both of his parents with him. As the trial was winding down I won some money in a lottery and had my father see if there was a small ranch for sale around here. It turns out that there was and it was this one so I bought it. I came back here to live because Walker had a right to know about the fact that I was carrying his babies. And my children had a right to know their father. It was wrong of me to have waited so long to tell him about the twins but what's done is done. And just so you know Mr. and Mrs. Summers I was prepared to stand by and watch as Walker and Merilee raised their son together. My children were going to have to settle for what scant time their father could spare for them. I did not then nor will I ever go after a happily married man. I had no plans back then to ever get involved with Walker again but Merilee went on tour and here we are. And furthermore just so we are very clear on this, no one in this room will ever blister Cord's backside again. Anyone even thinks about doing something like that to the oldest child in my household and they will answer to me first then to Walker."

            Molly said “dear neither Jasper nor I have ever blistered Cord's backside and we hadn't known that our daughter had done such a thing. If we had we would have put a stop to it. Now not to change the subject but is it all right if Cord shows us his room?" Alex replied “that’s fine by me. Cord honey go ahead and show your grandparents your room." Cord took his grandparents upstairs.

            In Cord's room his grandfather questioned him “son exactly how often did your mother blister your backside as you put it? And what were you doing to make her mad enough to spank you?" Cord answered his grandfather “Mommy started hitting me when we were living with you in Ohio. At first it was just a spank on my bottom but one time I asked her about who my father was and she told me that he was her hero Cordell Walker. I then asked her why they weren't married and Mommy said that a witch named Cahill had come between them and that's why they weren't married. When I asked her why she didn't tell my father about a witch coming between them Mommy said that Daddy didn't even know that I was around. I then told Mommy that she should tell Daddy about me and that way we would be a family. She then yelled at me that I was just a little brat who didn't know when to shut up. She bent me over her knee and hit me on my butt. After that I got up and told Mommy that I would never ask her about my Daddy again but Mommy threw me on the bed then she kept spanking me on my bottom while screaming that she should have had an abortion until sissy pulled her off of me. After Mommy left my room sissy told me to keep my mouth shut about Mommy beating me like that because Mommy wasn't in right mind because of the booze. Mommy told me later that she was sorry she had done that to me and that it would never happen again. Mommy didn't hit me like that again while we lived with you."

  `Downstairs Walker bitterly said to Alex “how could I have not known that she had abused my son? Hell it was C.D. who took Cord to the hospital to get his bruises treated." Alex tried to assure him “Walker from what I understand you were putting a lot of overtime in on that complicated drug smuggling case and that was before that undercover assignment you and Trivette took out of town. Would it have ever occur to you that Merilee would abuse your son when if you knew about it you would have thrown her out on the spot? Cord was the only hold Merilee had over you and she knew that in order for her not to lose you completely she had to make sure that you never found out about her abusing her son. When she gave up on getting you to care about her Merilee then decided to make you pay and the easiest way to do that was to hurt what you cared about. She sold your ranch and beat your son out of spite and all we can do now is let our oldest know that something like that will never happen to him again."

            Walker wasn't appeased by what Alex had told him and he said to her “he’s my son and I should have known." Alex laid her head on Walker's shoulder as she told him “Walker you can't change the past no matter how much you want to. All you can do is to make sure that you do your best by Cord from here on out. Okay?" Walker nodded okay then went to the twins who were again making a mess. He said to the pair “you guys are so mule headed, just like your mother is." Alex responded “I heard that Cordell Walker and your children are hard headed just like their stubborn cowboy of a father is."

            Back upstairs Jasper asked his grandson “Cord how many times did your mother blister your backside here? And please tell me the truth son." Cord replied “it was three times Poppy. The first time was right after Daddy and Mommy fought about Daddy not selling Angel and giving me the foal for my very own horse. Daddy had to work late one night and I told Mommy how happy that I was that I was going to have my own horse. She screamed at me that I was an ungrateful little brat and hit me a lot on my backside. Then she cried and told how sorry that she was and that I shouldn't tell my Daddy about it. The second time was shortly after Starfire was born and Daddy again refused to sell Angel. That night Daddy was again working late and Mommy was drinking this nasty smelling stuff all evening. When I took too long getting ready for bed she blistered my backside then told me that I wasn't to tell my Daddy and that it had been my fault anyway for wanting a horse. The last time I told you about. I guess I was a bad boy those times. But I don't know what I did wrong because Mommy told Daddy that she agreed that I could have Angel's foal."

            Molly exclaimed “sweetheart you weren't a bad boy those times. Your mother was upset about your father and took it out on you and that was wrong." Cord replied "that's was what grandpa C.D. told me when he took me to the hospital to get my bruises treated." Molly hugged her grandson then said to her husband “can we please stay here until we leave town? Our grandson needs us to be here for him."

            “We’ll stay for our grandson's sake but Cahill had better watch her step around me." Jasper answered his wife. The threesome then went into the hallway where Cord showed them the nursery as he told his grandparents "the new babies are going to be in here too until they get older. Daddy is going to add on to the house so that when the twins are old enough not to be in a nursery the boys will have their own room while the girls stay in here. Daddy said that I get to keep my room and Miss Alex said that if I wanted to I could redo it."

            “Where does Miss Alex sleep at?" Molly asked Cord who answered “in Daddy's room but Mommy never did. This room was Mommy's room before Miss Alex and the babies came here to live with Daddy and me." Jasper muttered “nothing like being loose with your morals."

            Molly rebuked him "Jasper please not in front of Cord. He's going to have to live here with her for a number of years yet." Jasper answered “maybe Cord's father will see that woman for what she is and get rid of her. Hopefully then Cord will end up with a decent mother figure in his life."

            They went back downstairs where Molly told Walker and Alex that she and Jasper were going to stay in the guest bedroom as long as they were in town. That is if it were all right with Miss Cahill. Alex replied that she was glad that Cord's grandparents would be around to help him when he most needed them.

 

Chapter Three

 

            That night in their bedroom after the children were in bed Walker questioned Alex “what really happened to Cookie when you were in San Antonio? Did she have an accident or did you get rid of her because you were mad at me?" Getting mad at what Walker was really saying by the questions he was asking her Alex retorted “that’s quite enough Cordell John Walker. When I told you about Cookie you took my word for it and now you're acting like I'm some sort of liar. I wonder why that is? Is it because you want to distance yourself from me, yet again?"

            Walker sternly answered her “I do not want to distance myself from you Alex. That will never happen again. Lady when you told me about Cookie I got the impression there was more to the story than what you told me at the time. Alex you know that you can tell me if you sold her. Right?" Alex replied “fine I'll tell you but I want your word that you won't yell at me when I'm done. Okay? But let me get comfortable first. My back is really killing me right now." Alex then lowered herself onto the bed where she reached for pillows to place behind her aching back. Walker took the pillows and arranged them behind Alex's back then he sat down on the bed facing her.

            Alex explained to him what had happened to Cookie “yes Cookie did have something happen to her which resulted in me having to be put her down. But it wasn't the result of an accident. During the trial I was sent threatening letters which said that if I didn't walk away from the trial I would regret it. My security was beefed up and I thought that was enough. It wasn't because when this person couldn't get at me they did the next best thing and that was to harm Cookie. Walker he damaged her legs to the point where she couldn't even stand up and he also broke some of her ribs. It was a stable hand who did it and he pleaded guilty to all charges but wouldn't say who hired him. Anyhow when I got to the stable that day and saw Cookie I knew that she was in so much pain that it was better for her for me to release her from the pain. After I signed the papers to have her put down I went back to my place. Once I got to my place I began to have some cramps. Scared to death I called my father and told him about the babies and that I thought I was going to lose them. My father was shocked needless to say about my being pregnant to you but he insisted that I call an ambulance for myself, which I did. It turned out the cramps were from something that I ate, that I wasn't losing the babies. That was why my father knew about the twins before you did. I'm sorry Walker I should have told you all of this sooner."

            Walker assured her “lady its okay. Here why don't I help you remove your clothes and get you into something more comfortable?" Alex replied “I need to get something more comfortable on but I thought I told you that I was past the having sex point?" Walker turned a little red as he told her “yes you did Alex and all I'm planning on doing is to help you get into something comfortable. Okay?" Alex nodded okay so Walker undressed her then got a pair of maternity panties and the largest t-shirt that he had and helped Alex into them. After rearranging the pillows so that Alex could now lay down Walker pulled the covers up over her then left the master bedroom.

            When Walker went back downstairs Jasper and Molly were sitting in the living room. Walker said to them “after the funeral if the two of you want to you can go through Merilee's things. Right now they are in my den. After she died C.D. and Trivette packed them up and brought them here in case you would want any of your daughter's things." Molly answered him “we would like some of our daughter's things to keep as mementoes of her but what about you? Don't you want anything of hers?"

            Walker answered “I would like Cord to have something of his mother, that's it." This answer upset Jasper who angrily said to Walker “your little mistress just can't wait to get rid of everything that reminds you of my daughter. Tell me mister is my grandson the next thing to be gotten rid of? Because let me tell you right now if I so much as think you're going to go along with Cahill when it comes to removing my grandson from his home I will get custody of him even though Molly and I are both in our early 80's."

            “Alex loves Cord as much as she loves the twins and there's no way in hell that my son will ever leave his home here. Not as long as Alex and I are still breathing. We will raise our children here at this ranch, all five of them. Cord, Angela, Ray and the two not yet born, Sydney and James." Walker snapped back. Molly quickly entered the conversation to defuse the tension “all we want is to know is that our grandson has a loving home. If you can honestly tell me that Miss Cahill cares about Cord we'll breathe a lot easier when we return to Ohio. Given that she and our daughter were fighting over you does seem hard for us to believe. It would seem to me that after you and Merilee were married that Miss Cahill would have told you about the babies in order to get you interested in her again but she didn't according to her. Are you telling me that never happened? That she didn't use the babies to get you away from our daughter? Furthermore does Miss Cahill really care for Cord or are you just hoping that it's so?"

            “Alex and Merilee were not fighting over me. Within a month of Merilee and I getting married Alex moved to San Antonio. She didn't return to town until after your daughter sold my ranch without my say so and starting touring again. I found about the twins when I went to the cabin to meet with the person who had bought my ranch when it was sold. That person turned out to be Alex, it was then I learned about the twins. As for Alex's feelings for Cord, she told me that once she saw him for the first time she knew that she would move heaven and earth to make sure that he was okay. That she loved Cord because he was my son. Alex loves Cord as much as she does the other children." Walker responded causing Molly to ask him “how does Miss Cahill feel about the fact that we intend to still be Cord's grandparents for as long as we live?"

            “Alex and I insist on it. Cord loves the two of you." Walker answered Molly who then told him “well it's getting late. Jasper and I will be turning in now." They left the living room. Walker then locked up and after checking on his children went into his bedroom where he stripped then got into bed with Alex who sensing that Walker was there snuggled close to him.

            When they were getting ready to leave the ranch to attend Merilee's funeral Cord asked Alex “Miss Alex aren't you coming to my Mommy's funeral?" Alex replied “no honey, I'm not. You are going with your Daddy and your grandparents to say goodbye to your mother. I'll stay here with the twins."

            Cord then asked her “will you be here when we get back?" Alex said to him “yes I will sweetheart. Now you go ahead and go. I'll see you later."

            After the funeral they went to C.D.'s where the wake was held. C.D. had a framed publicity shot that had been signed by Merilee placed where everyone entering the bar could see it. Cord saw it and he asked “Grandpa C.D. can I have that picture of my Mommy?" C.D. answered “you sure can. Remind me later to wrap it up in something so that you can take it with you." A short time later the lawyer who had been representing Merilee in her divorce and custody suits against Walker came in and introduced himself to the Summers. Tanner Glasnow then told them as he held out his card “as you know I was representing your daughter in her divorce and custody suits against Ranger Walker. Now I know that you told the judge who was presiding over the custody case that you weren't interested in raising your grandson and thought he should stay in Texas with his father until your daughter won custody of him. That you were also open to his father having partial custody of the child. Now that your daughter has died I was wondering if you've changed your mind about Cord remaining in Texas. If you have and want me to represent you when you sue Walker for custody I will be glad to do so. But here's not the time or place to discuss this. We can do it when you stop by my office to sign the paperwork for your daughter's estate." Glasnow then said to Cord “don’t worry buddy I can have you living with your grandparents in Ohio in no time at all."

            Cord objected “I don't want to go live in Ohio." As Glasnow left Walker told his son “you will always live at the ranch with me and your siblings. It's where you belong son."

            When they got back to the ranch house Cord went to where Alex was sitting on the couch and practically flung himself into her arms as he tearfully asked her “Miss Alex will you let me still stay here after the new babies are born?" Alex replied as she hugged the child “Cord honey you will always have a home here with us. No matter who else lives here."

            “That’s what Daddy told me but that lawyer said that I was going to live with my grandparents in Ohio. I love Grandma and Poppy but I don't want to go back to Ohio with them. I want to stay here with my Daddy and all the babies and Starfire." Cord answered Alex who pulled the child closer to comfort him. Molly then said “Cord your grandfather and I have no intentions of taking you back to Ohio with us. We want you to live here too. Now how about we go and hang your mother's picture in your room?"

            Feeling better about things Cord went up to his room with his grandparents as Walker explained to Alex why Cord had thought he was going to leave the ranch. Alex vowed to Walker “no matter what that child will always know that I love him as much as I love his siblings." Walker then said to her “that’s one of the many reasons why I love you lady of mine."

 

Chapter Four

            Walker drove the Summer’s to meet with Tanner Glasnow because he had been informed by Glasnow that he was named in the will and needed to be there. Walker was also informed that he could have his lawyer present but that it wasn't really necessary. Once Gordon heard that he insisted that Walker get in touch with his lawyer Edels. Since Edels who had been representing Walker during the custody case and divorce suit was tied up in court Gordon Cahill decided that he would meet Walker at Glasnow's office and wasn't taking no for an answer. After they were shown in to Glasnow’s private office by the secretary Glasnow questioned Gordon then Walker “What are you doing here Cahill? Ranger Walker didn't I tell you that you didn't really need a lawyer at this time?" Gordon replied “Edels is tied up in court and couldn't be here. I'm here in his place as Cordell Walker's attorney. Now can you please tell me why my client had to be here today?"

            Glasnow replied “your client needed to be here because he's the father of Cordell Summers Walker who is the primary heir to Miss Summers' estate which as it stands now isn't worth much. Nor is it likely to be so in the future. But be that as it may right now it is my duty to read Miss Summers' will to her heirs. The secondary heirs are Jasper and Molly Summers. Miss Summers made no provisions for her daughter because at the time she had her will drawn up Miss Summers said that her daughter was estranged from her family." Glasnow then formally read the will and it stated that her son Cordell Summers Walker was to receive the monies from her estate on his twenty-first birthday. The will named Cordell John Walker as the executor of her estate and that she wanted her parents to have whatever items of hers that they wanted for themselves and that whatever items they didn't want were to be donated to a local charity. But that they weren't to donate any of the items to Alex Cahill's H.O.P.E. Center.

            After he was done Molly asked “are you sure that Merilee didn't leave anything at all to her daughter?" Handing over a piece of paper he answered “very sure. Miss Summers left you this note for you to read after the will was read. So if you would please read it now then sign this paper that you read it we can get the other papers signed and you can be on your way." Molly read the note then folded it up and put it in her purse.

            Glasnow produced a stack of papers and pens then told them “you three are to sign where the checkmarks are at." Walker picked up a pen and went to sign the papers but Gordon grabbed his stack of papers and said to him “let me look at them first. Remember what happened the last time you signed papers without reading them first?" Walker nodded okay so Gordon went through them. In the meantime both Molly and Jasper held off signing their papers. Gordon laid down Walker's papers and demanded “what exactly are you trying to pull Glasnow? These aren't just papers to settle Miss Summers' estate. They are also papers signing away young Cord's rights to royalties from future sales of Miss Summer’s songs. Mr. and Mrs. Summers perhaps the two of you should have a lawyer look over your papers before you sign them."

            Knowing that he had been caught out Glasnow fessed up “all right I was trying to pull a slick one on Walker but Mr. and Mrs. Summers since the personal items of your daughter have no cash value I didn't sneak anything into the papers that you're signing. If you doubt that you can have Mr. Cahill look them over before you sign them. We don't really need to drag another lawyer into this. Do we?" Jasper answered for the pair “since he's here Cahill can look them over for us. We want this over and done with because Molly and I need to return home sometime soon."

            Gordon looked the papers over and told the Summers that they were okay and that they could now sign the papers. After that was done he said to Glasnow “I expect you to bring a proper set of papers to Ranger Walker's house no later than six this evening. And if you think you can try something with those ones think again because I will be there when you take them there." Glasnow knowing that if Walker or Gordon wanted to they could have him arrested for attempted fraud agreed to Gordon’s request.

            After they left Glasnow's office Gordon offered “Walker I'm going out to the ranch to see how my daughter is doing. I can ride the Summer's there. That is if it's okay with the two of you?" Jasper again did the answering by saying that he guessed that they could take a ride from Gordon Cahill.

            When they got to the ranch house Alex asked her father “Dad is there any way that you can get Cord from his bus stop? I'm having spasms in my back and I don't think that I should be driving my car when they're this bad." Jasper stated “if he's going to get my grandson from his bus stop so am I." Gordon replied that it was okay with him. After the two men left to get Cord Alex asked Molly “Mrs. Summers are you all right? Do you need me to do anything for you?"

            "Miss Cahill I know that you told me that you and Ranger Walker were engaged to be married when he married my daughter but I need to understand some things. Merilee always told me that Ranger Walker declared to her that she was the love of his live. But if that was the case and if he was also the love of her life, why did my daughter have a son to him and yet waited for years to tell him. Merilee was always going on and on about how she and her Cordell were meant to spend the rest of their lives together. When I questioned why they weren't married if that was so my daughter told me that a witch by the name of Cahill kept coming between them. After Cord was born I urged her to tell the child's father about him but Merilee said that her Cordell was still being deceived by that witch. That she wasn't about to tell him about his son while the witch still had a hold on him. That she Merilee wouldn't put her son in the path of a spiteful vindictive witch. But yet according to you it wasn't until you and Walker were to be married that Merilee told him about Cord. None of this makes any sense to me. Can you understand why I have a hard time believing you when you tell me that you love my grandson as much as you love your own children, given the past between my daughter and you? I need some answers to my questions before I go back to Ohio."

            Alex decided then that Molly needed to know more about the past that had occurred between Merilee, Walker and herself so she explained what had happened all those years ago to Molly. When Alex was done Molly asked her “but why didn't Walker marry my daughter then? From what my daughter told me it was just a matter of time until they got married. That Walker was just as madly in love with her as she was with him."

            “Back then Walker was still in love with Ellen. Walker had just proposed to her and they were gunned down. Walker barely survived but Ellen died at the scene. You have to understand Mrs. Summers that Ellen was the love of Walker's life and that there is still a part of him that loves her. At the time Walker was protecting Merilee from Wayland and they had their affair  Walker, was not ready to move forward with his life. I didn't know about Ellen then but I did know there was something in Walker's past that kept him from moving forward with his life. Walker was not capable of being madly in love with anyone at that time and that included me. However if Merilee had told Walker then that she was expecting his baby he would have married her on the spot. If that had happened I do believe that in time the two of them would have shared a full life together. Walker would do anything that he had to, to be a father to his child and to provide the child with a loving home. That was why after Walker married Merilee I moved to San Antonio. It was to give them a chance to have a real marriage and provide a loving home for their son. Mrs. Summers I didn't know that Merilee had resumed touring and left Cord behind until that morning when I met with Walker to see if he wanted to buy the ranch back from me and to tell him about the babies."

            Molly questioned Alex “and once you came back to town if you had found out that Ranger Walker wanted nothing to do with you then and was happy with my daughter would you have accepted that? Or would you have used your children to take him away from my daughter?" Alex replied “I would have accepted Walker being happy with Merilee just like I accepted it all those years ago. I loved Walker back then but he was with Merilee so I was glad that he had someone to be with even if that someone wasn't me. I love Walker so much that his happiness comes before mine. It has always been that way to me and it will always be that way for me. You see Cordell Walker is the love of my live. About Cord, I do admit there was a part of me that worried I would hold his mother against him but when I saw that child for the first time all I saw was the son of the man that I loved more than anything on the face of this earth. I knew at that moment that I would place myself in harm's way if I had to, to keep Walker's son safe. Just like I would do with our other children. I know that you may never believe me when I tell you this but I do consider Cord to be one of my children."

            “I think that I'm starting to understand that things were never the way that Merilee told me that they were. And having said that I now know that Jasper and I can return home assured that our grandson is in a home where he will always feel welcomed. Thank you Miss Cahill for at least caring about my grandson." Molly told Alex who said to her “there’s no need to thank me. Cord is an easy child to love and he will always have a home here with Walker and I."

            Seeing that his grandfather was waiting with Gordon Cahill to pick him up Cord ran to the pair and hugged his grandfather then asked “Mr. Cahill since you are Miss Alex's father and the babies' grandfather can you be my grandfather too?" Gordon carefully answered “tell you what son, how about you ask your grandfather how he feels about it?"

            Cord then asked “Poppy is it all right with you if I call Miss Alex's father Grandpa Gordon? Miss Alex told me that he was the baby’s grandpa Gordon. Please Poppy." Jasper answered Cord “I’ll always be your Poppy but I guess that it's okay if you call him Grandpa Gordon."

            “Thank you Poppy. Now I have a Poppy, a Grandmother, an Uncle Jimmy, a Grandpa C.D., a Grandpa Gordon and my Daddy and Miss Alex and her babies as my family." Cord said to his grandfather who then asked him " What about your sister? Isn't she your family too?"

            “When I told Sissy that I was coming here to live with my Daddy she told me that I wasn't really her brother anyhow because we had different fathers. Then she told me that she didn't care where I was or what I did. But Poppy I still miss Sissy sometimes." Cord answered his grandfather who replied “I know that you do son and when your father brings you to visit your grandmother and me in Ohio next summer I'm sure that your sister will tell you how much she misses you too. She loves her baby brother."

 

Chapter Five

            Glasnow brought a corrected set of papers out to the ranch for Walker to sign which he did after Gordon looked them over. After the papers were signed Alex suggested “there’s still time yet for you to take Cord on a horse ride Walker." Cord excitedly asked his father “Daddy can we?"

            “We sure can son. Gordon, Jasper and Molly, would any of you like to go for a ride?" Walker asked the others. Gordon replied that he was going to stay and visit with his daughter for a while. Jasper replied for the Summers “I’d like to go for a ride with you and my grandson but Molly would like to start going through Merilee's things."

            Walker said “do you want me to bring them out here into the living room for you to look them over?" Molly answered “I can look at them in your den while you fellows take your ride and Miss Cahill's father visits with his daughter." Walker went and unlocked the door to the den then told Cord and his grandfather that they could go for their ride now.

            A short time later Molly called out from the den “Miss Cahill can you come in here and help me with moving these boxes?" Gordon answered for his daughter “I’ll help you. Alex shouldn't be moving things as far along as she is now." When Gordon went into the den Molly said to him “maybe I should have told Ranger Walker to put them in the living room after all. This den is a little too small for me to go through everything in here." Gordon agreed about that and helped Molly move the things into the living room. When Angela attempted to get into a box Alex removed her as she told Molly “Mrs. Summers I'll take the twins up to the nursery so that you can go over your daughter's things in peace." Alex picked up Angela then told her father " Dad how about you getting Ray for me?" Gordon picked his grandson up and they went upstairs.

            After the twins starting getting fussy Alex with her father's help bathed them then got them to sleep. Gordon and Alex returned back downstairs. Gordon told Alex that he would be heading home now. Alex told her father goodbye and saw him off. Alex went to go back upstairs but feeling a strong twinge in her side she instead went and sat on the couch to wait for it to pass. Molly seeing Alex sitting there wincing questioned her “do I need to call an ambulance for you? Or can you wait until Ranger Walker gets back here to take you to the hospital?"

            After breathing deep several times to ease the pain Alex replied “I’m not in labor. The twins are just kicking me right now. I guess since their father is a martial arts expert it's to be expected that all of his children kick strongly when they are in the womb. Give me another minute to catch my breath then I'll get out of your way." Molly told her “I don't want to drive you out of your own living room."

            “You are not driving me out of my living room. I need lie down to ease some of the tension in my back. And you need to be able to go through your daughter's things without me being here. Would you mind telling Walker that he'll have to see to it that Cord gets a bath? He's so like his father at times when it comes to taking a bath." Alex responded to Molly who said okay then asked her “why do you call Ranger Walker by his last name and not Cord or Cordell?"

            “Right after I met Walker I called him Cord and he got very upset about it. I didn't know why that was at the time but later on C.D. told me that Ellen always called Walker Cord and after she was murdered Walker honored her memory by not allowing anyone else to call him Cord. It never seemed right to me to call him Cordell either so I called him Walker. After we got together it was easier for me to keep on calling him Walker. I've prosecuted a lot of cases that the Texas Rangers Company B. brought to the D.A.'s office and I had to keep things on a professional level then. He started off as Ranger Walker to me and now he's my Walker, my very own cowboy." Alex replied then managed to get herself up from the couch and left the living room. Molly went back to sorting through her daughter's things.

            When Walker, Cord and Jasper came in Molly told Walker that Alex was upstairs lying down and that she said that he would have to see to Cord's bath. Cord protested “do I have to? I didn't get that dirty today." Walker told his son “you have school tomorrow so yes you do have to take a bath. Now tell your grandparents goodnight." Cord did as he was told and they headed upstairs.

            Jasper sat down besides his wife and asked her “do you know what you want to take home on the plane with us?" Molly tearfully replied “there is so much I want to take but we can't fit it all in our carry-on luggage. Jasper look at this pile, it's the things I want to keep but it's too big and I can't decide what not to take with us. Cord and his sister might want some of this when they are older." Walker who had come back downstairs told them “I can send whatever you can't take on the plane to you in Ohio. Just let me know what you want mailed and to where. Okay?"

            “That would make it easier Ranger Walker." Molly answered causing Walker to tell her “It’s Walker. Everyone calls me that." Molly said “Okay Walker." Walker locked up then went upstairs where he found Cord heading to his bedroom. Walker questioned his son on whether or not he had taken a bath and Cord told him that he had just washed himself with a washcloth. Walker just pointed to the bathroom door so Cord knowing that he couldn't get out of taking his bath went and took a quick one. When he came back out into the hallway Cord said to his father “I took a bath." Walker answered “a quick one just like I used to when I was your age. Go ahead to your room and don't stay up too long reading your book."

            After checking on his sleeping twins Walker went into his bedroom where Alex was trying to rub her lower back while moaning so Walker took over rubbing her back as he asked her "are you okay lady?" Alex replied “I’m fine but your twins are really kicking me right now. Why did they have to take after you and kick so darn much? Angela and Ray kicked me all the time too."

            “Maybe they are kicking you so much because they want out." Walker answered Alex who informed him “they’d better not get here before Angela's and Ray's first birthday party. The invitations have been sent out already." Walker decided to change the subject and did so by undoing Alex's clothes as he told her “here let me help you get comfortable. What outfit do you want to wear to sleep in?"

            “I don't feel like trying to squeeze myself into something tonight and besides it's warm out so I'll just skip the clothes tonight." Alex said to Walker who semi teased her “I guess that means I'm going to take a cold shower tonight." Alex responded “fine if my wearing no clothes to sleep in is going to make you uncomfortable I guess that I could squeeze myself into that t-shirt of yours one more time."

            Walker quickly removed the rest of her clothes then his and got into bed with Alex. Walker pulled her close then told her “how about we get some sleep?" Without waiting for an answer Walker turned off Alex's bedside lamp.

            Back downstairs Molly was sorting through the last box when she came across what looked to be a diary. After reading a few pages Molly closed it placed it on the coffee table then said to her husband “this is Merilee's diary and I'm going to take it home with me. After we get back home I'm going to read it from front to back because I need to know what really happened. I'm going to take a few of the things from that keepsake pile home with me also and the rest Walker can ship to us. As for the clothes maybe Walker can donate them to Goodwill or a place like that." Jasper quickly said “just so long as Cahill's charity doesn't end up with them."

            “Jasper enough. Yes I know that she ended up with our daughter's husband but Cahill is not the only one at fault. Walker got our daughter pregnant and Merilee didn't tell him about his son until after he was engaged to Cahill. There were three people involved in everything that happened, not just Cahill. Our grandson lives with her and he will stay here with her and his father until he goes off to college. As hard as it is for me to say this, we have gotten too old to raise our grandson and you know that. Dear I have to believe that Cahill will always look out for Cord and do right by him." Molly stated. Jasper responded “I’ll try to keep that in mind."

            The next morning when Walker came back downstairs Molly was in the living room with her daughter's things. She told him “Walker we would like it if you were to mail that stack of boxes to us in Ohio. Those other things over there you can donate to Goodwill or something like it." Walker replied "I'll take the ones that I'm shipping to you into the den where they will be safe from the twins. These other things I'll take out to my truck so that I can donate them on my way to work." As Walker was returning some of the boxes to his den Molly wrote down where she wanted the things shipped to. Molly then handed the information to Walker who put it on top of the pile of things. After they left the den Walker locked the door.

 

Chapter Six

            Walker was taking the Summers' luggage out to his truck when Cord asked his father “can I go to the airport with you when you take my grandparents to get their plane back home?" Walker answered that he could so Cord ran into the house and told Alex “Miss Alex I get to go to the airport with my Daddy when he takes my grandparents there." Alex replied “that’s good honey. That way you can say your goodbyes there without the twins getting in the way."

            “Please Miss Alex don't call me honey anymore. Now that I'm going to be a big brother to two sets of twins it doesn't sound right." Cord told Alex who replied “how about I call you Cord or young man from now on? Is that okay with you?"

            Cord answered “its okay with me. About the twins, they don't really get in the way all that much. Poppy isn't used to two busy babies at the same time is all. Grandma always told me that I was a nice quiet baby who didn't get into things when I was little. She said it was because I was born early and had to build up my strength before I could get busy but that once I did I made up for lost time. My Poppy says that the twins get into everything all the time. Daddy told me that was because they are as hardheaded as their mother is." Cord informed Alex who told him "the twins are as mule headed as their father is. Now young man not to change the subject but why don't you go see if your grandparents are about ready to leave? They are going to have to leave soon if they want to make it to the airport in time to make their flight."

            Cord went to the guest bedroom where his grandparents were at and asked them if they were ready to go. Jasper told him “Cord can you please go and tell your father that we need to speak with him in private? It's important." Cord went outside and got his father who went into the guest bedroom. Jasper then told his grandson to please wait in the living room and to shut the door behind himself.

            After Cord left the room Walker asked “What did you want to talk about?" Jasper answered “our grandson and his future." Walker stated “Cord’s future is here with me and his siblings and that's final. I will bring him to visit the two of you in Ohio next summer like we agreed on but his home is here."

            A tearful Molly asked Walker “and what if it turns out that Cord isn't your biological son? What happens to him then?" Walker replied “Cord is my son and there's no way in hell that I'm going to let you or anyone else tell me otherwise. I don't know what you two are up to but make no mistake about it, Cord stays here. I am his father."

            Jasper said “Ranger Walker both Molly and I would like Cord to stay on here as your son because even though I dislike Cahill I do understand that she seems to have his best interest at heart. But right now you need to know that Molly read parts of Merilee's diary last night. In it Merilee wrote that Cord is really Merilee's ex-husband Waylon's biological son but that she was naming him after you and was going to tell everyone that he was yours. That she was going to tell us her baby was born early when he was really full term." That was as far as Jasper got because Walker all but growled at him “you are not taking my son away from me because of some diary. Got that? Cordell Summers Walker is my son and I will raise him. The only way that he leaves here will be over my dead body. Alex's too."

            Jasper told Walker “I was just telling you what the diary said. Cord considers you to be his father and we would like it to remain that way. Cord just lost his mother and he is going to need a father in his life. Waylon whom Merilee said in her diary was the father is also dead so that leaves you and only you as a suitable parent for Cord. Right now my grandson needs to be in a stable home with people who love him. And I do believe that you love him and that Cahill does care for him or at least pretends to for your sake. Molly and I aren't getting any younger and our grandson does want to stay here with you, the man he thinks is his father. That is if you're still willing to be his father. We love him but we don't want to take Cord back home with us when he would most likely live with us for only a few years given our ages. Then he would have no place to live. As for Miss Cahill we need your reassurance that should she find out about the diary and Cord not being your biological son she won't then insist that Cord leave here."

            “Alex loves Cord as much as she loves the twins, the diary won't make a difference to her. And it doesn't make a difference to me. For the final time Cord is my son no matter what." Walker assured the couple. Jasper nodded okay then suggested to his wife that she go freshen up so that they could leave for the airport. At the airport after they said goodbye to their grandson Molly took Walker aside and told him that she had forgotten Merilee's diary and could he please ship it to her with the other things. Walker said that he would. Molly then said that she would understand if Walker felt the need to read it.

            When Walker arrived home from the airport he went into the guest bedroom located Merilee's diary and put it in his den without reading it. The rest of the evening Walker seemed to be distracted about something so Alex did her best to not let on that she knew Walker was upset about something because she knew Walker would just deny being upset. When Ray and Angela yanked the papers off of the end stand yet again Walker loudly told them to stop it. Both of the twins started crying so Alex started trying to clean the mess up. Cord quickly joined her as he said to his father “Daddy please don't blister their backsides. They are too little to know that they are being bad." Alex said “Cord your father would never blister the twins' backsides. And he will never blister yours either. Your father just spoke a little too loudly to the twins is all."

            Walker knelt down and picked up the papers as he told his son “son I will never blister any of my children's backsides. Now after we get these picked up how about you help me with taking care of the horses in the barn?" Cord was all for helping Walker in the barn.

            Hours later after the children were asleep Alex came back downstairs to find Walker deep in thought so she asked him “Do you want to talk about whatever is bothering you?" Walker answered her “not right now. Right now I want to ask the woman that I love to marry me."

            Alex quickly replied “Yes I will. All we need is our marriage license and someone to marry us. We can go to the courthouse tomorrow to get the marriage license. I want us to be married before this next set of twins is born. We can get married here at the ranch if that's okay with you. I know a pastor who's also a Justice of the Peace who'll marry us whenever we want him to do." Walker teased her "you have it all planned out. Don't you?"

            Alex teased right back “I’ve gotten pretty good at the roping part now all I have to do is to learn the hog tying part." Walker responded “it’s settled then, we'll get married here in three days. It's a Saturday and we should have enough time to get everything done by then. That way you can have some of your friends here."

            “All I need to have here are you and all three of our children but since C.D., Jimmy, Sydney and Gage are our friends I'll invite out here to watch us exchange vows. I'll see if Sydney will be my maid of honor. My dad will give my away and Jimmy can be your best man. C.D. and Gage can be our witnesses. Also we can invite a few other people we know from the Hope Center, the D.A.'s office and Ranger headquarters." Alex told Walker who kissed her soundly then suggested that they turn in for the night.

            In the middle of the night Alex was awaken by Walker tossing and turning. Walker then muttered “Cord is my son, not his and he's not going anywhere." Alex turned on her bedside lamp as Walker awoke. Alex then said “Walker if the Summers told you something about Cord you can tell me whatever it is." Walker asked her “what do you think that they told me about my son?"

            “That just maybe Waylon was his biological father but Merilee told everyone including her parents that he was your son." Alex said to Walker who questioned her “did you read her diary while I was at the airport?" Alex replied “no I didn't but I've always suspected that Waylon might be the biological father. After I got that P.F.A. for Summers when you were protecting her from Waylon I was told by the judge that Miss Summers had filed P.F.A.'s against Waylon on three other occasions only to drop them when they got back together. And that each time it happened Merilee said that Waylon hadn't hurt her, that she had just said he did out of spite. Waylon himself told the judges that as soon as they had another baby everything would be okay. They both said to the judges that they needed the P.F.A. dropped so that they could get to work on having another baby. When Waylon realized that Merilee had fallen for you and wasn't taking him back he went crazy and we know what happened after that. Honey the past doesn't matter anymore. What matters now is that Cordell Summers Walker is our oldest child. He is my son just as much as the twins are my children. Nothing will ever make me stop loving Cord either. Walker I don't think that diary made any difference to you either. You are his father and some day in the future I hope that Cord will consider me to be his mother. I'm not saying that he should forget about Merilee because I would never ask any child to forget a parent. Whenever he asks us about her we will tell Cord that his mother loved him enough to make you his father."

            In a husky voice Walker said “and that's why I love you lady." Alex answered "I love you too cowboy but we'd better get some rest in while we can, after Sydney and James get here we aren't going to get any for a while."

            The next morning Walker packed up Merilee's things including the diary and shipped them to the Summers’ in Ohio. As far as Walker was concerned he had an oldest son named Cordell Summers Walker who would live at the ranch with his siblings and that someday Cord would call Alex his mother.