Walker kneeled with one knee on Alex’s bed and bent over her sleeping form, one hand on either side of her body. “Alex,” he whispered.

When she didn’t stir, he tried again. This time he leaned down and kissed her softly, his lips lingering on hers until he felt her eyes flutter open. “Alex, get up.”

“Walker,” Alex whined in response. “Five more minutes,” she requested, pulling the covers up over her head.

Walker was undaunted. He peeled the covers back, “No, now… I want you to come with me.”

With a groan Alex sat up. “But it’s still dark outside.”

“I know.” He smiled, for he so loved ‘Cranky Morning Alex’. She wasn’t a morning person…at least, not until she’d downed at least two cups of coffee. “I have a surprise for you and we need to leave soon.”

“Leave? As in, get up and get in the car leave?” She was incredulous. First he wanted her to get up before dawn, and then he wanted her to, quite obviously, get dressed to go out!

“Yeah,” he replied, as if it was nothing for them to get up before dawn to go to some unknown place. “Except it’s get up and get on the horse and leave.  I put some clothes for you to wear right here on the end of the bed.”

Alex eyed the clothes, a pair of blue panties, jeans, white tank top, and his grey Cowboys sweatshirt. Her gaze shifted to Walker’s face and as always, she melted. “Okay…but this better be good,” she said good naturedly.

“It is…I promise.” He planted a quick kiss to her lips then stood back so she could get up and get dressed.

He watched her climb out of the bed, slip on the panties and jeans, and then pull the tank top over her head. He held out his sweatshirt and helped her slip it over her head.

After Alex settled the sweatshirt on her body she looked up and found Walker handing her a hairbrush and a hair band. A smile curved her lips. “Thought of everything, haven’t you?”

He merely winked in reply.

A short while later Walker guided the horse they rode together to a stop at the top of a small hill near a grove of oak trees. Transferring the reins to one hand, he reached up and softly ran the back of his fingers over Alex’s cheek to wake her up, chuckling at the fact that she’d dozed against his chest on their way over.

Alex startled, blinking as she opened her eyes; then relaxed as she remembered why she was on Walker’s horse. Yawning, she looked around and realized they were on a hill in the middle of nowhere. “Your surprise for me is here?”

“Mmmhmm, now come on,” he replied eagerly as he dismounted and reached up to help her down.

Walker retrieved a blanket, and a thermos and 2 styrofoam cups from a leather bag, and then taking Alex's hand, led her a few feet away. After setting the thermos and cups down, he spread out the blanket and motioned for Alex to take a seat in the middle.

Alex was now getting into it, anxious to see just what it was he had to show her. With a smile she sat down in the middle of the blanket and watched as he sat behind her, placing his bent legs on either side of her body. Loving it, she leaned back into his embrace, settling her head beneath his chin. She sighed audibly when he reached poured steaming hot coffee from the thermos into the two cups. “Oh bless you, Honey,” she breathed as she wrapped her fingers around the warm cup.

They sat in relative silence for a few minutes; Alex enjoying the cool breeze against her face, reaching up occasionally to tuck stray blonde strands blown by the breeze behind her ear, enjoying the soothing warmth of the coffee as it slid down her throat, and being in Walker’s warm embrace; Walker enjoying holding Alex in his arms, enjoying the quiet before the golden rays of the sun showed all that was seedy in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and they were both back to another day of work at the Tarrant County courthouse.

Alex broke the silence. “While I am thoroughly enjoying being here, what is it you wanted to show me?”

“Shhhh Honey…just wait,” he murmured, kissing her temple, his lips lingering as he breathed in the soft scent that was uniquely Alex.

A short while later Alex realized what it was he wanted her to see. Bright orange and red colors appeared over the horizon and continued to grow as the minutes ticked by.

At Alex’s long gasp and contented sigh Walker turned his head to watch her expression, completely enthralled at the emotions crossing her beautiful face. “I saw this last week when I took Ranger out for an early morning ride,” he murmured in her ear, loving the shiver that coursed through her when he did. “I’ve wanted to show it to you.”

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she whispered.

Walker watched her expression change from one of awe to one of absolute content, her golden hair glowing in the dawning light. She was so beautiful to him, but at this moment she was even more beautiful, looking as if life couldn’t get any better for her. His heart filled to overflowing with the love he felt for her, completely overwhelming him, bringing tears to his eyes. “Marry me,” he blurted in a whisper.

It took a moment for Alex to realize what he’d asked. She stopped lifting her cup of coffee an inch from her lips, her heart pounding in her ears, not sure she heard him correctly. She turned to look at him, eyes filling with tears. “What?” she whispered, breath caught.

There was no hesitation whatsoever in his response. “Marry me,” he immediately asked again, his eyes searching hers. He grabbed her hands, his voice choked with emotion, “I love you, Alex, and I promise you I will spend the rest of my life showing you just how much.”

Alex’s face lit up with the brightest smile he’d ever seen grace her face. She twisted in his arms, dropped her coffee cup in the grass and grabbed his face between her palms and exclaimed, “Yes!” before launching herself at him, kissing him soundly as they fell back onto the blanket.