“Are you guys sure you want to go? This won’t be like going on a picnic, you know. This is the wilderness in the raw. No one will be out here but just the three of us. I’ve never even been in this area.”
“I think it will be fun, darling. Don’t you, Jimmy?”
“Yeah, Alex, the area will be new to all of us anyway. Walker, why do you go on these survival trips?”
“Well, Trivette, they help me stay in touch with nature and sharpen my survival skills. You never know when someday those skills might come in handy.”
“What are we going to be able to take with us? Have you got a list or something?”
“I’ll make up the backpacks, okay, Trivette? Mainly, all we take are sleeping bags, a compass, a map, and matches. We don’t take food, or weapons. Just the bare necessities. The whole idea is to live off the land.”
“Wow, that’s not much, Walker. Well, at least the backpacks won’t be heavy. Sounds like the biggest thing we’ll be carrying is the sleeping bag. So, when do we leave?"
“5:00 a.m. Saturday morning; think you can handle getting up that early? They’ll take us in by helicopter, and will pick us up at the pick up point, about 50 miles away, by 5:00 p.m. the following Friday.”
“What if one of us get hurt, seriously I mean?”
“We’ll have a radio in case of an emergency, Trivette.”
“Sounds good to me. Come on Jimmy, we can do it.”
“Lordy, I think you three are crazier than a hoot owl. How anyone can think that eating bugs and worms and sleeping on the ground is fun is beyond me. I’ll stay right here warm and cozy and have a nice meal ready for you when you get back.”
“You guys still have three days to change your mind.” Slides out of the booth, offers Alex his hand, “Come on, Alex, it’s time I took you home, tomorrow is still a work day.”
Taking his hand, she slides out of the booth and they walk hand in hand out the door.
“Jimmy, are you sure about this trip? You’re a city lad from Ball-t-more not a country boy.”
“Big Dog, Walker’s taught me a lot since we’ve been partners. This trip will show him how much I’ve learned. Besides, Walker’s right about never knowing when you might need these skills. If I ever get into a survival situation and Walker isn’t around, I want to make sure that I have what it takes to make it out alive.”
Standing in front of Alex’s apartment door, with his arms around her waist, “Alex, are you sure about this? It could get pretty rough. No indoor plumbing, no phones, and an awful lot of hiking over rough terrain!”
“I’m going Walker! Besides, you’ve already helped me pick out the proper clothes and boots. I think it’ll be fun. All alone in the wilderness with you.” She kisses him lightly on the lips then pulls him closer and kisses him again.
“You forget. Trivette will be with us. So you have to behave yourself.” He pulls her closer still, nibbling on her ear, then kissing her neck.
Murmuring softly, “Who’ll have to behave themselves?” Feels the fire igniting in her groin, “Honey, I think we’d better go inside.”
“I should go, Alex, you’ve got an early morning.” Finding her lips again, he kisses her deeply.
“Cough, cough.” They separate quickly, looking in the direction of the noise. Their audience, Alex’s next door neighbor, looks at them then begins unlocking his door.
Walker quickly unlocks the door. They silently slip inside and, shutting the door behind them, burst out laughing. “Well, that was embarrassing. I won’t be able to look that man in the face again.”
Taking her in his arms again, “Why, Alex, you don’t think he’s ever seen two people in love before?”
Putting her arms around his neck, “Probably not two people our age acting like two giddy teenagers.”
He whispers, “I feel like a giddy teenager when I’m around you.” Staring into her eyes, his firm, smooth lips move against hers, his tongue easing into her mouth, probing deeply, suggestively.
She moves her hips against his, feeling his arousal against her stomach. “Darling…?”
“I know,” Pulling back. Kisses her lightly, “See you in the morning at C.D.’s for breakfast?”
She nods, he backs toward the door. “Goodnight, Alex.”
The rest of the week is uneventful until Friday morning. Walker and Trivette are in high-speed pursuit of four men in a black Camaro who had just robbed a liquor store. Sliding around a corner, the Camaro loses control and, when the driver tires to correct the spin, he over compensates and the car careens wildly across the street and smashes into a utility pole. The four suspects come flying out of the car like ants trying to escape an anthill that’s just been stepped on. Pairing up, they take off in two different directions.
Walker brings two of the men down with a running jump into their backsides. This sends them sprawling into the dirt, face down. He puts them down for the count with a spinning back kick to the head. Rolling them over and cuffing them, he turns to see if Trivette has caught up with the other two or needs help. He sees the other two suspects face down on the ground, hands cuffed behind their backs. Trivette is sitting on the ground, leaning against the truck, holding his leg, which is bleeding profusely. Walker runs toward his partner, pulling his neckerchief from around his neck as he runs. “Trivette, what happened?” Using the neckerchief as a tourniquet, he wraps it around Trivette’s leg.
“Oh, when I jumped those two, we landed in that pile of garbage. I must have landed on some broken glass."
“Hold this. I’m going to call this in and get you some help out here.”
That evening at C.D.’s, Walker is telling Alex and C.D. about Trivette’s injury when Jimmy comes hobbling in on crutches.
“Oh, Jimmy, how are you doing? Does it hurt much?”
“No, not really, but they wouldn’t release me until I promised to use these crutches. They want me to keep the weight off this leg for a few days.”
“Well, Jimmy, I guess that’s one way of getting out of this trip tomorrow, huh?”
“Big Dog. I didn’t do this on purpose. I really wanted to go.” Looking at Walker, “I don’t suppose there’s anyway to postpone this trip till later, huh?”
“Fraid, not Trivette. This is the only week they had open. It’s now or never. Sorry, partner.”
“Well, I guess it’s just gonna be you and Alex, huh?” Jimmy looks at both of them with a sly grin.
“Unless she’s changed her mind, that’s the way it looks.” Gives Alex a questioning look.
“Uh huh, Cowboy, you’re not getting rid of me that easy. Besides this will give us a chance to see how well we work together.”
“Then lets get you home, we have to be at the chopper pad by 5:00 in the morning. I’ll be at your place by 4:00.” They slide out of the booth, turn and say, “Goodnight, you two. See you when we get back.”
“Darling, where’s the chopper pad? Here in Dallas?” She turns to Walker as they stop in front of her door.
“Yes, why?” He answers as he slides his arms around her waist.
“Well, I thought if it is here in town, you could just stay here tonight instead of driving to the ranch then back in the morning.”
“Actually, I was thinking the same thing so I packed all the gear in the truck before I came to pick you up tonight.”
She backs away as he starts kissing her ear, “Let’s go in, first, okay?”
He unlocks the door then stands aside to let her enter. He follows, shutting the door behind them, “What’s the matter Alex. Getting gun shy?”
Alex goes to the kitchen to make coffee, “Well, I don’t want to get caught again. You should’ve seen the look my neighbor gave me yesterday morning when he saw me in the hall.”
Walker sits on the couch, “What did you say to him?”
“I just said ‘Good Morning’, he said ‘good morning’ back but almost like he was embarrassed to say it.”
“Maybe he has a thing for you Alex.”
“Walker, he’s seventy-five years old for crying out loud.”
Alex brings the coffee in and sets it down on the table by the couch then sits beside Walker. “Well, I think I could have a thing for you when I’m seventy-five.” Pulling her into his arms, he kisses her with soft gentle touches to her lips and ears then gradually slides his lips down her neck. “You always smell so good.” As his hand moves down to her breast, cupping it gently. Alex moans with the pleasure it brings. As she brings her leg over his, immediately feeling his need for her, she whispers, “Darling, four o’clock comes awful early, we should get to bed.” Pulling his head up she takes his lips in her mouth, as their tongues duel for control.
Gasping, he pulls back, “You’re right,” He stands, picks her up in his arms and carries her quickly to the bedroom.
By 6:00 a.m. the helicopter is descending onto the only open area for as far as the eye can see. As it touches down, Walker and Alex get out. The pilot waves and says, “See you on Friday at 5:00 p.m. Have fun!” They run to the edge of the clearing and watch as the helicopter lifts off and flies out of sight. As the sound of the engine fads away, the sounds of the forest begin to grow, getting louder and louder until it’s at full volume.
“Walker, it’s so beautiful here.”
“I know. It always gets to me, too, when I first arrive at one of these places.” Leaning in, he kisses her gently on the lips. “Come on, let’s check the map and compass and get started. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover before Friday.” He spreads the map out on a tree trunk and locates the pick up point. Walker then takes the compass and plots the most direct route to their pick up point. “Alex, we’re going to need to travel at least seven miles a day to be at the pick up point by 5:00 on Friday. We should easily be able to do that. If things go really well, maybe we can have a day to just relax and do nothing. Think we can do it?”
“Darling, it’s going to be a piece of cake. Shall we get going?”
“I’m ready if you are.” He folds the map and puts it in his backpack along with the compass. “I’ll break trail.” He starts off into the bushes leaving the clearing behind.
They slog through assorted briars and vines for so long that Alex starts to get sick of them. Walker’s face is tense as he struggles through the thick underbrush; he’s good at trail breaking, instinctively choosing the better path. This area is thick with brambles and all kinds of annoying plants. Alex is so intent on where she is walking that she runs right into Walker’s back, not having noticed that he has stopped.
“Walker, what…” she mutters, then realizes how tense he is, and falls silent.
“Shhhh…Alex, don’t move.” He says this in a voice that terrifies her.
She peeks around him and sees a big snake curled up on the path directly in front of him, watching him closely. She backs up slowly, watching behind her as she puts each foot down.
Walker takes a step back, very slowly. Watching the snake carefully, he takes another slow step back. Then stops and watches the snake, which looks very agitated but finally turns and slithers off into the underbrush.
Walker turns and Alex practically throws herself into his arms. He holds her until she stops shaking, then kissing her softly on the lips, steps back, “Come on, lets go.” He turns and continues breaking trail.
About noon, Walker suggests they stop and see if they can come up with something for lunch. “I’ll go with whatever you find, Walker, this is right up your alley.”
Walker wanders around picking leaves from one plant, ignoring others, and then picking more from a different plant until he has a nice assortment of greens. Alex comes across some berries and, after checking with Walker to make sure they are okay to eat, picks some to add to their greens.
After a leisurely lunch, they start out on the trail again. The rest of the day passes uneventfully. Just before dark, they come to a stream and decide to set up camp for the night.
Walker gets the fishing gear, and finds a long pole-like branch and tying the line onto the branch and the hook onto the line, drops it into the water.
Alex gathers dry wood and twigs and starts a fire to cook the fish. While waiting for Walker to catch dinner, she looks around for something to sit on besides the ground. Spotting a short log at the edge of the little clearing, she decides to roll it up to the fire.
Walker feels the line tighten, he jerks the pole hard and yanks a fish up on the bank. A nice sized catfish. It will be more than enough for their supper. He picks it up and just as he reaches to take the hook out of its mouth, he hears Alex let out a yelp. Turning quickly to look for her, the catfish decides to flop, catching Walker’s thumb with its fin. This causes him to yelp, too.
In a concerned voice, he yells, “Alex, are you all right?”
“Yes, I’m fine. A frog jumped and startled me, that’s all. How about you, did I hear you yell?”
“Yeah. This dang fish just put a fin in my thumb.”
“Let me get the first aid kit. I hear those can be awfully painful.” She finds antiseptic ointment and gauze and bandages his thumb. She then takes the Swiss army knife from the backpack and cleans the fish. They both eat until they are full and are surprised that there is still quite a bit of fish left over. After their meal, they fasten their sleeping bags together, making one large sleeping bag, they crawl in, snuggle up into each other’s arms and instantly fall asleep.
They wake up the next morning to overcast skies. They have a quick breakfast of left over fish and berries. While Walker goes off to take care of his morning ritual, Alex rolls up the sleeping bags and packs the backpacks. Just as Walker is finishing up, Alex screams. He stands up quickly, forgetting that his pants are down around his ankles. He starts to fall forward, reaches out and grabs a tree branch, which gives under his weight. He spins around and sits down hard into some weeds. He hears, “It’s alright, Walker, it’s gone.” He grabs a handful of leaves to clean himself, stands and pulls his pants up. He then goes back to camp to see what caused Alex to scream.
“What was it, Alex? Why’d you scream?”
“I’m sorry, darling. When I picked up your sleeping bag, there was a snake under it, but fortunately, it took off. I just wasn’t expecting it. Did you get finished?”
“Yeah. Come on, let’s get started.” He wasn’t about to tell her what had happened.
By 10:00 a.m. the overcast skies produce a light steady rain that is drenching them. By noon, both are irritable and tired from tramping through the wet undergrowth, which is finally beginning to thin out about the time Walker decides it’s time to stop for lunch.
They find some berries and Walker has located some greens. The makeshift salad stops the hunger pangs but Alex would have given about anything for a bowl of C.D.’s chili. But she keeps that thought to herself, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of hearing her complain. Besides, she feels like she may be getting a blister on her heel to add to the aggravation. Walker scratches at his butt again, wondering if he has gotten a heat rash. But this feels different, kind of oozy, and the itching won’t let up.
They find the going easier when they resume their trek but after a couple of hours, Alex asks if they can rest for a few minutes and when Walker doesn’t argue, she is surprised. She watches as he immediately backs up to a rough barked tree and begins rubbing his backside against it. She had noticed that he had been scratching at his rear end a lot while they were walking and was wondering if his wet clothes had caused a rash.
After watching him for several minutes, “Walker, drop your pants.”
“Alex, this is not the place nor the time for…”
“Walker, just drop your pants, please? If you’ve picked up a rash, I’ve got some salve I can put on it to stop the itching.”
He slowly drops his pants and his briefs, too, after pulling them away from sticking to his skin. Ready to accept anything if it would give him relief from the itching.
“God, Walker, I didn’t know you were allergic to poison ivy. Where did you pick this up anyway?”
“I didn’t either. Must have gotten it this morning.”
She begins digging through her backpack and comes up with a tube of antibiotic salve. “Bend over.” He does and she begins rubbing the salve over his tush.
Walker gives a sigh of relief, “What is that stuff, Alex?”
“Its prescription strength antibiotic with hydrocortisone in it, that’s what stops the itching. I’m allergic to mosquito bites, so I don’t go anywhere without it.”
“Thanks, Alex,” he says as he pulls his pants up. “At least the itch has stopped. Come on, we’d better get moving. This rain has really slowed us down and we need to make up some time.”
They continue on their way until they come to a small clearing near the river. The set up camp and Walker fixes up a pole for Alex to fish while he scrounges around for something to go with it. He swears he can smell wild onions. He returns 20 minutes later with several wild onions and wild tubers. The tubers taste similar to potatoes and should provide them with more substance than just greens and berries. Alex brings up the little fish she had caught, “Will this be enough or should I try to catch another one?”
“No, that should be enough with what I have here.” After their meal, both are in a better frame of mind with each other. They spread their sleeping bags under the overhanging branches of a large cedar tree so that they can stay reasonably dry during the night.
The next morning, “Alex, I think we’d better change our route. This river is rising and I think we’d better get to higher ground since it doesn’t look like this rain is going to let up. According to the map, if we go this way, we’ll come to higher ground in a couple of hours. It will take us a little out of our way, but not too much if we go at it at an angle. We’re more than half way to the check point already so we still have plenty of time.” They quickly pack up everything and head off in the direction Walker had indicated. By noon they have been climbing steadily higher for more than two hours. When they came to a small cave, Walker suggests a rest for his own well being as much as for Alex’s. He has a feeling that she has acquired a blister on her foot by the way she is walking. Besides, his rear end is starting to itch again.
Walker turns on the flashlight and looks around as they drop their packs on the floor of the cave. It isn’t very big but at least they are able to get out of the rain for a little while.
Alex notices that Walker is starting to scratch again, “I think it’s time to drop you pants again, cowboy.” she smiles softly.
“You know, Alex, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were enjoying this.” He returns her smile.
“I could enjoy it a lot more if you didn’t have poison ivy. Now, bend over.” He turns around, drops his pants, bends over and she applies the salve again. This time, he feels her hands straying to a place where there isn’t any poison ivy.
“Alex…?” He turns around to look at her. She is starring at him with a look of total innocence.
“What?” She asked. When he turns back around, she smiles.
Walker swallows hard, “Nothing.” When she finishes applying the salve, he stands and pulls up his pants. “As much as I hate to go back out in the rain, I think we’d better get going. We can’t afford to lose any more time.” He picks up his backpack, moves out of the cave and starts back up the hill.
They move steadily higher all afternoon. The clouds get darker and the rain gets heavier with lightning flashes ever so often. Suddenly, Walker stops. “Alex look!” She peers through the rain and, as the lightning flashes above, she sees a dilapidated shack through the trees. “Come on.” He moves up to the shack and slides his hands across the walls. Finding the door he slips in, quickly pulling Alex in behind him. The inside is pitch black and when Walker turns the flashlight on, Alex jumps. “Well, it’s not much but at least it’s dry.” They drop their packs on the floor and spread out the sleeping bags. As Walker looks around the tiny shack he finds what looks like the makings of an old still in the corner, and a small oil lamp. He hopes against hope that it still has some oil left in it. Shining the light on it and seeing about an inch of oil left in the lamp, he exclaims, “All right!” As he sets a match to the wick, the cabin takes on an eerie glow.
“Oh, Walker that’s great. What else have you found?”
“There’s some things in the corner that looks like it came from an old still. Can you believe that?"
“Way up here in the hills, I guess I’m not surprised. I’m just thankful to be dry for a change. I’m going to get out of these wet clothes and see if they’ll dry out a little before morning. Is that all right?”
“That’s a good idea, Alex, I think I’ll do the same.”
As she undresses, Walker finds some cord in one corner of the shack and uses it to make a clothesline. Alex lays her clothes out, then crawls into the sleeping bag, and as she gets warm, drifts off to sleep.
While Alex sleeps, Walker uses some of the parts from the old still and before long has a fire going in the old cast iron tank. It isn’t much, but it might help to dry their clothes a little. Taking his clothes off and hanging them up with Alex’s he crawls into the sleeping bag, falling asleep in seconds.
Alex wakes and stretches, feeling warmer than she has in days. She feels Walker next to her and snuggles up close to him before realizing that both of them are naked.
As she feel his arms go around her and pull her closer, she gets an overwhelming urge to kiss him. Feeling the same, Walker’s lips seek then find hers, his tongue slipping between her lips, caressing hers. As the fire within them builds rapidly, she feels his erection against her legs. She moves her hands across his chest feeling his nipples harden as she rubs her thumbs across them. His hands move to her breasts, gently kneading the nipples into hardened peaks. He moves over on top of her and as she parts her legs, he enters her. They move together, body to body, need to need, heart to heart. The pace steadily increases until a brilliant burst of pleasure pulls them both into a warm cocoon of ecstasy. They lay still in each other’s arms, feeling at peace and content with the world.
Walker kisses her softly, pulls back, whispers, “I think I could get used to waking up like this. How about you?”
“Mmmmm….hmmmm. Did you sleep well?”
“Like a baby. In fact, I feel so good right now that I don’t even think it will bother me if it’s still raining.”
“You do feel pretty good.”
“You don’t feel so bad yourself, Cowboy. How’s the poison ivy?”
“It’s not nearly as itchy. The cream you have must have done the trick. How’s the blister on your foot?”
“How did you kno….?”
“I’ve seen they way you were walking. Is it very bad?”
“Not really. I’ve put some of the salve on it and I’ll wrap it before we leave.”
Kissing her lightly, “You know as much as I hate to, we really need to get going, or we’re going to miss our pickup time. Not that being stuck in the woods with you isn’t tempting.” He gently pulls back, rolls over and sits up. “I think we’re even going to have dry clothes if only for a little while.” He stands, offers his hand to her, and pulls her up to stand against him. She looks deep into his eyes, wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him passionately. He feels her press her body close to his. “Alex, I love you, but we really do need to go.”
“I know. To be continued?”
“Absolutely.” He kisses her tenderly then releases her and they both start getting dressed.
“You’re poison ivy does look a lot better. Let me put some salve on it before we go.”
He stops dressing, drops his pants and she gently rubs the salve on his bottom. They finish dressing, and are just finishing packing up the backpacks when he suddenly stops.
“Walker, what is it?” She whispers.
“Shhhh. Listen. I think it’s quit raining. Come on, maybe we can make up some time before it starts up again.” They reluctantly leave their little haven in the forest.
They continue to climb but head in the direction of the pickup point. Before long, they are soaked to the skin again from the wet underbrush and dripping trees. They move steadily for what seems like hours. They decide not to stop for lunch, in order to make up the time they lost by having to go into the hills. They could hear the river rushing below so knew they had made the right decision. As they plotted along, each was lost in their own thoughts of food. Alex is daydreaming of barbecued ribs, baked potatoes, and a hot cup of coffee while Walker’s mouth is watering with thoughts of a big juicy steak and fries. Alex is thinking of a large piece of chocolate cake when she realizes they are no longer alone in the forest. She gently elbows Walker. “What, Alex?”
“Look, isn’t he cute?” Alex is pointing off to the side of them.
“A bear?” Remembering their encounter with a baby bear in the Utah mountains, Walker immediately begins looking around for its mother. He sees her ambling up behind the cub. “Alex, run!” he shouts, then turns and takes off after her.
Alex almost makes it to the top of the ridge when she looses her footing in the mud and starts sliding back down the hill. Walker glances behind him and sees the mother bear coming up the slope at a fairly good pace and he takes a flying leap after her. The slide down the muddy hill is suddenly ended as he slams up against something that cracks and breaks, sending him spiraling through dark emptiness until he lands, WHUMP, knocking the wind out of himself.
As Alex begins sliding down the slope, she remembers how to fall from her skiing trips. She goes limp and lets herself roll, finally coming to a stop in a very large mud hole. She climbs out, covered with mud and dripping muddy water, wishing she were back in that little shack.
“Walkerrrrr! Walker!” As she slowly makes her way out of the mud, she hears him faintly calling from further down the slope. She moves cautiously towards the faint sounds not understanding why he sounds so far away.
“Alex! Alex, over here!” She lays down on the ground and crawls up to the edge of a hole, looking down, she hears him much louder now.
“Walker, are you hurt?”
“No, I’m not hurt. How about you Alex, are you alright?”
“I’m fine. I landed in a big mud puddle, and I’m covered in mud but I’m fine. Walker, how in the world are we going to get you out of there. What is this, anyway?”
“Looks like an abandoned mine shaft.”
“Walker, are you really okay?”
“Well, I’m probably going to have a black eye, I landed on something that smacked me pretty hard. Wait a minute, I think my backpack made the trip with me.”
Alex saw a thin shaft of light, “What’s down there, darling?”
“Alex, would you believe there is a rope down here?”
“A rope? Walker this mine has been closed for years! That rope has to be rotten by now.”
“I know. This rope is old but it looks like it would hold me. If I throw it up there can you find something to tie it to?”
“If you can get it up here, I’ll find something to tie it to.”
After several tries, Walker finally succeeds in getting the rope to Alex. She quickly ties it to the trunk of a tree and when she sees Walker’s head clear the edges of the hole, she grabs his arms and helps to pull him out of the hole.
“Walker, I thought…I thought…”
“I know, I did, too. Boy, my butt is really itching now.”
They pull each other close, and in spite of everything, they start laughing.
“Darling, let me see that eye.” She reaches up and kisses it tenderly. “You’re right, it’s already starting to turn black and blue.”
“That figures. Oh well, at least I didn’t break anything. Alex, did we lose anything?”
“No, I don’t think so. I’ve got my pack and sleeping bag, and you’ve got yours. Walker, maybe you ought to check the radio to make sure it didn’t get broken during the fall.
“You’re right, I forgot about that.” He pulls his pack around in front of him and pulls the radio out, or what’s left of it. “Well, I guess we can forget about this.” He puts it back in the pack. “We’ll just going to have to be extra careful until we reach the pick up point. Come on, it’s getting dark, we need to find someplace to make camp.”
They move out and up the slope until they are as high as they were before meeting up with the bear. As they move along, Walker stops ever so often and picks up leaves. By the time they get to a spot suitable for a camp, he has gathered quite a salad. As Alex searches for berries, he sees a snake curled up inside a log. With a swift blow to the head, he soon has their supper cooking over the fire. When Alex returns with a fair size bunch of berries, “Walker, what is that? It’s not fish and it doesn’t look like rabbit so what is it? Or don’t I want to know?”
“It’s snake, Alex. You’ve eaten snake before.”
“Yes, I have. Well, finally something a little more filling than a salad.” After eating their fill, they spread their sleeping bags out, crawl in and are soon asleep.
They wake to a light drizzle falling on their faces, “Oh, no, not again.” Alex moans and withdraws down into the sleeping bag.
“Come on, Alex, let’s go. Looks like we’re in for another day of rain.”
She slowly comes out of the bag, moaning softly, “I think I could take anything if it would just stop raining.”
They pack up everything and start on the trail again. Their movements are monotonous as their minds concentrate on placing one foot in front of the other. Suddenly Walker stops, “Shhh … don’t move.” Walker points to a place about fifty yards in front of them.
As Alex looks in the direction he is pointing, she sees a cabin with a 4-wheel drive jeep parked in front of it. “Hey, let’s see if they’ll let us get in out of the rain for a little while,” she whispers. He places his fingers across her lips, pointing off to the side of the cabin. As her eyes move in that direction, they grow wide with disbelief. There just to the side of the cabin is a large stand of marijuana.
Walker motions for her to back up. He follows her, carefully watching the cabin to make sure they aren’t seen. Once they have moved to a safe distance, they slip behind some bushes. “Alex, we can’t let them know we’re here. If they see us, they’ll hunt us down and they won’t quit till they have us. This looks like a big operation. We’ve got to find a way around them.”
“Walker it’s going to be dark soon; we can’t just go wondering around in the dark. They obviously know this area, we don’t.”
“You’re right. We need to find a place to hide until morning. I’d give anything to know how many are in that cabin. Maybe after dark I can sneak up and take a look around.”
“Darling, are you sure about that? You have no gun, no way to defend yourself if you get caught.”
He looks at her with disbelief in his eyes. “Alex, I don’t believe you just said that.”
She looks into his eyes, realizing what she had just said, her eyes grow wide, “I can’t believe I said that either. Guess that just shows you how tired I am. Forgive me?”
He kisses her softly and smiles at her, “Forgiven.” Then he takes her in his arms and leans back into the bushes, letting the branches close in around them, hiding them perfectly.
About two hours after sundown, Walker shakes Alex awake, “You stay here, I’ll be back in a little while. I just want to see how many there are. Promise me you’ll stay here?”
“Walker, be careful. I love you.”
“Promise me, Alex.”
“I’ll stay here, I promise, but if you’re not back by morning…….”
“I’ll be back long before then.” He kisses her softly and quietly moves off into the brush leaving her alone. After making a wide circle around the cabin to make sure no one has been posted as lookout, he works his way to the window where he sees a dim light shining. Looking through the window, he sees a man asleep in a chair by the fireplace and another one asleep in a bunk by the far wall. He turns and quietly makes his way back to where he left Alex. He moves back into the small nest they had made in the bushes. She smiles when she sees him and nestles back into his arms.
As the first light of day breaks through, Walker and Alex continue their watch over the cabin. Suddenly, the door opens, a man comes out and drives away in the jeep. “Alex, I’m going to see if I can take out the one in the cabin. They should have a radio so we can call the authorities. I’ll signal you when it’s safe to come in. Okay?”
“Okay. Walker, please be careful.” She puts her arms around his neck, pulls him close and kisses him quickly. She then watches as he makes his way to the cabin. He stays just inside the tree line until he is almost to the door.
Deciding on the direct approach, he walks up to the door and knocks. When the door opens, Walker nails the guy in the nose with a straight arm jab, sending him stumbling backward. Before he can catch his balance, Walker hits him in the side of the head with his famous spinning back kick. The man lays sprawled on the floor, unconscious. Moving to the door, he motions for Alex to join him. As she comes through the door, Walker says, “Alex, can you help me find something to tie him up with.”
Looking around the sparsely furnished cabin, Alex sees nothing that would be of any help--no lamp cords, no rope, nothing. She looks back toward the prisoner and seeing his shoes, says, “How about his shoe laces, Walker?”
“Great idea, hon.” He quickly removes the laces from the man’s boots and ties his hands behind his back. Alex looks around for something to gag him. She sees a handkerchief tail in his pocket, she pulls it out and hands it to Walker who stuffs it into the prisoner’s mouth. They drag the still unconscious man back into a storage room at the back of the cabin.
“Alex, I don’t know how much time we have before that guy’s partner comes back. See if you can find a radio anywhere.”
They each take one side of the cabin and begin to search. After several minutes, Alex opens a small cabinet, “Here it is Walker.”
He tunes in the police band frequency, “This is Cordell Walker. I’m a Texas Rangers, in need of assistance.” A few seconds pass before the radio comes to life…. ‘We have you Ranger Walker. This is Sheriff Buck Wallace. How can we be of assistance?’
“We’ve stumbled across a large marijuana farm in the hills. I’m unarmed. I’ve got one in custody but expect a second to return any minute. According to our map we’re on Red’s Peak. Do you know where that is?” …. ‘Yes, we’re familiar with the area. We suspected there was a farm up there somewhere, but haven’t been able to locate it. We’re trying to triangulate your location now. Keep the mike keyed as long as you can. Are you alone?’ ….. “No, my fiancée is with me. We’re on a survival trek. Had to leave the lower trail due to flooding and I lost our radio in a fall. Our pick up point is Friday at Shaw’s Landing.” ….. ‘Well, you two have made good time even with the detour. You are only about 15 miles from your pick up point and still two days to get there. Okay, we have your location. We’ll have someone up there within the hour. If you want to leave that cabin, stay close, until we get there. I’d like to meet you.’ ….. “We’ve got a spot in the brush that’s pretty well hidden. We’ll wait for you there.”
Looking at Alex, smiling, he takes her arm and they make their way back to the bushes, where they had spent the night, to wait for the raid on the farm.
They sit back in the bushes with one of the sleeping bags draped over them, wrapped in each other’s arms. About an hour later they hear what sounds like several vehicles. Pulling the branches back, they watch as the Jeep approaches the cabin. They smile as they see that right on his tail is several SUV’s. The Jeep spins out of control on the wet ground coming to rest up against the side of the cabin. The driver is quickly taken into custody as the sheriff’s deputies and DEA agents enter the cabin to finish putting the drug ring out of business.
After the commotion has died down, Walker and Alex emerge from their hiding places and start walking toward the cabin. Several DEA agents, who are aiming weapons at them and ordering them to raise their hands, quickly surround them. A uniformed man starts toward them, “Are you the one who radioed for help? What’s your name, again?”
“Cordell Walker, and yes, I’m the one who radioed.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you. This must be your fiancée?” He walks up to them and shakes their hands. “My name is Buck Wallace. I’m the one your were communicating with over the radio. I can’t thank you enough for reporting this to us. We’ve been trying to find this place for months. Hey, come on, let’s go inside. You two look like a pair of drowned rats.” Following Buck into the house, they drop their backpacks on the floor and Walker heads straight for the fireplace.
“Mind if I build a fire?”
“No, not at all. Go ahead.”
“Did you find the guy in the store room?” Walker asks as he starts placing logs in the fireplace.
“Sure did. Was that your handiwork?”
“Yeah,” looking at Alex and smiling, “with a little help from my partner. We took him out after the other one left. I was hoping they had a radio. Ours got broken when I fell into an abandoned mine shaft.” Walker grins at Alex as they remember the bear and the wild slide down the hill.
“Pardon me for saying this, Walker, but looks like you’ve gotten the worst end of this trip. The lady here seems to be in far better shape then you are.”
“Oh, sorry, this is my fiancée, Alex Cahill. She’s the ADA of Tarrant County. Believe it or not, this is her first survival trip.” Looks at her with eyes full of pride.
Tipping his hat to her, Buck says, “Well, you’re one heck of a survivalist, Alex. Hey, we’re about finished here. If you want we can take you to your pickup point.”
“Thanks but I think we’d like to finish on our own. Would you mind if we stayed here at least until we get dried out a bit?”
“No problem. Make yourselves at home. As I told you on the radio, you only have about 15 miles left to go. What time is your pickup?”
“5:00 p.m. Friday.”
“Well, if that’s the case why don’t you guys stay here until you get dried out anyway, maybe rest up for awhile. Consider this a reward for taking down the drug ring.”
“Thanks, Buck. I think maybe that’s what we’ll do. What do you say, Alex?”
Walker and Alex shake hands with Buck and the rest of his men. As the last vehicle disappears from sight, they shut the door, “Alex, why don’t you see if they a bathroom. It sure would be nice to get cleaned up.” Alex heads toward the only other door in the cabin as Walker heads to the kitchen area to see what kind of food he can find. The refrigerator is stocked with steaks in the freezer, milk, cold drinks, beer, eggs, and bacon. A bottle of whiskey sits on a nearby counter. In the cabinets he finds boxes of cereal, a bag of potatoes, potato chips, and a few canned vegetables. He takes a couple of steaks out of the freezer, gets two potatoes, and then looks around for someplace to cook them. Remembering that there was a small grill by the front door, he heads out the door. Everything he needs to grill the steaks is on the porch.
Alex rushes back into the main room, “Walker? Walker, where are you?”
“Out here, Alex. I found some steaks, potatoes and some canned vegetables. Looks like we don’t have to scrounge for dinner tonight!”
“Walker, they have running water, and a shower. I’m going to wash this mud off.”
“Go ahead. I’ll have the steaks ready by the time you finish your shower. How’s that sound?”
“Oh, Walker, it sounds wonderful! But aren’t we cheating a little?”
“Hey, you heard Buck, it’s our reward from bringing down the drug ring. Besides, what they don’t know won’t hurt them and I’m sure not going to tell them. You?”
“No way, Walker, not me. This will be our little secret. I found a clean shirt to put on, after my shower. I’m going to wash out these muddy things and maybe we can hang them in front of the fire to dry.”
“Sounds good. Would you mind rinsing off my shirt, too? I’ll clean up my jeans when I shower. Just yell when you’re ready and I’ll hang everything in front of the fire.” He takes off his shirt and watches Alex duck into the bathroom. A few minutes later, she tosses out her semi-clean jeans and shirt and his shirt. He takes them and lays them over the back of a chair in front of the fire.
Twenty minutes later Alex comes out of the bathroom, looking like a million dollars, all smiles.
“Walker, it’s surprising how a shower can change your outlook on life. Are the steaks done, yet? I’m starving.”
“Not quite. If you’ll watch them I’ll grab me a quick shower.” Giving her his best Groucho Marx eyebrow look and a large grin, “Maybe when I’m finished, you can put some of that salve on my poison ivy.”
“My pleasure, cowboy. Oh, I found a pair of jeans in there that might fit you. You can rinse off yours and throw them out and I’ll put them out with the rest of our clothes. Wouldn’t do for us to go back with strange clothes on.”
“You’re right about that. Be back in about 15 minutes. You might want to check those potatoes, too.”
When Walker returns after his shower, Alex has the table set for two, with a candle in the center. There’s a steak and baked potato on each plate and two small glasses of soda. “Wow, Alex, this looks great.” He puts his arms around her waist and kisses her lightly, “Let’s eat!”
After their first decent meal in almost a week, they feel like human beings again. Alex checks their clothes to see if they are getting dry then spreads a blanket from the bed down on the floor in front of the fireplace. They snuggle together in front of the fire and, with a full stomach, it’s not long before they fall asleep.
He raises up on one elbow, watching her sleep. He wants to kiss her, to hold her, to make love to her, but he knows that if he does, they’ll miss their pick up time. And after all they’ve been through, he didn’t want to miss that, and he knew that she wouldn’t want to either.
“Alex? Alex, wake up.” She stretches and rolls over on her stomach. Walker leans over pulls her hair to the side and kisses her on the back of her neck. She moans and rolls over on her back, looks into Walker’s eyes, puts her arms around his neck pulling his lips down to hers, after a long passionate kiss, he gently pulls back, “Alex, we need to go or we’ll miss our pick up time.”
She whispers, “I know, but this is so nice.” She kisses him softly again. He stands and pulls her up. “Are our clothes dry?”
“Not completely, but dryer than they’ve been the last two days.” They quickly dress, pack their stuff and as they start out the door, Alex suddenly stops and reenters the house. She returns a few minutes later with two cans of soda and two candy bars.
“Dessert.” She smiles and hands him one of each.
The rain had stopped sometime while they slept and the sun was slowly making an appearance, although once they entered the trees they didn’t see much of it. Feeling rejuvenated after their meal and a refreshing nap they walk well past dark and only stop because of being unable to see where they are going. They find a very small clearing and spread the sleeping bags out, crawl into them, lying together they watch the stars until they fall asleep.
Alex awakes to Walker shaking her, “Alex. Alex, come on. We’ve really slept in this morning, and we’ve still got about seven miles to go.”
She quickly sits up, rubbing her eyes, “Oh, Walker. What time is it?”
“I’m not sure, but judging how high the sun is, I’d say somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00. We have no idea what is between us and the pick up point, so we’d better go.”
“What about breakfast, Walker. We haven’t eaten since those steaks yesterday and I’m famished.”
“I know, Alex, I am too. But we really shouldn’t take the time right now to hunt for anything. Maybe we’ll find something on our way.” They put on their backpacks and Walker leads the way out of the clearing. As they trudge along the trail, it begins to descend back down into the valley, “Looks like we’re heading downhill now, Alex. It should make the going a lot easier on us. You doing okay, Alex? Want to take a couple of minutes to rest?”
“I’m alright, darling, just hungry. I keep thinking about that steak we had yesterday….Oh, Walker, wait.” She stops and pulls her backpack off and rummages through it and comes up with two cans of soda and two more candy bars. “I forgot all about these, I threw them in here yesterday. Let’s take a small rest and have our ‘breakfast’, okay?”
Walker pulls her close, and gives her a quick kiss, “You’re a life saver, hon, this just might be that little extra push we need to make it out of here.”
They find a log and sit down to enjoy their snack, “How far do you think it is yet, Walker? It surely can’t be too much farther.”
“Probably another three miles or so. By going downhill we’ve been able to move pretty fast.
We’re going to need this weekend to get rested up before we go back to work. So, hon, what do you think of our survival trip? Was it what you expected?”
“Pretty much. It would have been more enjoyable without a time limit, though. I guess all in all, it’s about what I expected. Except for the rain. I never really thought about it raining almost the whole trip.” She snuggles up to his side, looks deep into his eyes, “But I’d do it again with you. As long as you’re with me, I can face anything.” Kisses him softly, than rests her head on his shoulder.
He tightens his arm around her, and tilting her head up with his hand, and searching her eyes he sees the love she has for him and slowly lowers his lips to meet hers in a soft sweet gentle kiss.
“Only God knows how much I love you. Well, maybe you do, too. As long as I have you I have everything.” They hold each other close for several minutes, “But if we don’t get started, I may just decide to stay out here with you forever.”
As they continue down the hillside, the vegetation starts thinning out and finally the trail widens enough that they can walk side by side. As the near the clearing, “Walker, are we late? They wouldn’t go off and leave us, would they?”
“We’re not late, if anything we’re early. Come on, let’s see if we can find something to eat while we wait for our ride.”
When the helicopter arrives, the pilot doesn’t see his passengers anywhere. Figuring he’s in for a wait, he shuts the engines down, leans back in his seat to take a nap while he waits. Just as he leans back and gets comfortable, he hears knocking on his window. Turning, he sees Walker and Alex smiling at him, beckoning him to come with them. He opens the door, “What’s going on? You guys ready to go?”
Walker grins at him, “We thought you’d like to join us in our last meal out here.”
“Please, we have plenty.” With Alex smiling at him, he doesn’t have the will power to say no. He walks with them to a small campfire where he sees something cooking on a spit. They motion for him to sit, “Please, help yourself, we’ve already had plenty. There’s berries, a salad of greens and wild onions, nuts and a potato if you like.” As he enjoys the meal, he can’t help thinking that these two have endured this trip better than anyone he can ever remember. Although this guy has a black eye and a bandage on his thumb, this is the first couple that’s come out of here still talking to each other.
“My, you two really are into this aren’t you? Where did you find all of this stuff? What kind of meat is this anyway. It’s good, a little gamey, but good. You know most people are hardly speaking to each other by the time I arrive to pick them up, but you two look happier than when I dropped you off.”
“The food we found right around here. The meat is snake, which is easy to find this time of year. And we’ve really enjoyed this trip. Might just try it again next year.” He looks at Alex, his eyes full of love. They both start laughing when they notice that their pilot has just spit out his mouthful of meat.
Standing up quickly, “Snake!” Spits some more. “Come on, let’s get out of here.” And quickly heads back to the helicopter.
Walker quickly covers up the fire with dirt and they follow the pilot. Within minutes they are in the air heading for Dallas.
During their flight back to Dallas, Walker and Alex sit close together, his arm around her shoulder and her head resting against his. As the helicopter lands, they climb out and quickly walk to where the Ram is parked. It’s only 6:00 in the evening but both Walker and Alex are feeling the effects of having been in the wilderness for a week.
Alex looks toward Walker, “I guess we should probably stop by C.D.’s for a few minutes.”
“Yeah, I’m sure they’ll probably be expecting us, won’t they?” Looking into her eyes, he sees that she is exhausted, even more so than he is. “Are you sure you feel up to it, Alex? I know you must be tired. I sure am. We can wit till morning if you’d like?”
“I’m alright, darling. I’m tired, but I’m sure all I need is a good night’s sleep. I’d just as soon stop at C.D.’s tonight then we can sleep in tomorrow and just spend the day taking it easy.”
“Okay, if you’re sure you’re up to it.”
The drive the short distance to C.D.’s, arriving just before 6:30. The parking lot is beginning to fill up with the usual Friday night crowd. Alex and Walker agree that they will have a bowl of chili and give Jimmy and C.D. the highlights of their trip then head home for some much-needed sleep. As they pull into a parking space in front of C.D.’s, Alex says, “Now, remember, darling, not a word about our steak dinner the other night, right?
“Nope, not a word. By the way, think we could avoid the subject of my poison ivy too? I really don’t think they need to know that you were putting salve on my backside, do they?”
Grinning, Alex responds, “Well, that depends. What’s it worth to you?”
Leaning over and taking her in his arms, he kisses her deeply and passionately; a kiss which virtually takes her breath away. Pulling back slightly to look into her eyes, he says, “How’s that?”
As she catches her breath, she giggles, “Well, it’s a start; a pretty good start, actually. I think maybe I can be convinced.”
“We’d better get in there before we start something, we can’t finish—at least not here.”
They exit the truck and walk into C.D.’s laughing.
“Well, look whose back! Our wilderness survivors!
“Yeah, Big Dog and it looks like they’re still speaking to each other. That’s a good sign. How’d it go Walker? Man, nice black eye. How’d you get that; Alex punch you?”
Rolling his eyes at his partner, “No, Trivette, Alex did not punch me. I fell down a hill and into an abandoned mine shaft. I hit my eye on the way down.”
“No kidding. Man, sounds like a wild ride. So, tell us how everything went. We want all the details. Don’t leave anything out.”
“Exchanging knowing looks, Alex and Walker smile. “First things first, Trivette. C.D., two bowls of your best chili. We’re starved!”
“You got it, Cordell. Now, don’t start without me. I’ll be back in just a minute. You need coffee, too?”
“Thanks, CD, that’d be great.”
They slide into their usual booth and within minutes, C.D. arrives with two steaming bowls of chili and two cups of coffee. The weary travelers spend the next hour eating and regaling their friends with stories of their wilderness adventure, conveniently leaving out a few choice incidents.
By 7:30, both Alex and Walker are fighting to stay awake. “Alex, I think I’d better get you home before we both fall asleep right here at the table.”
Yawning, “Okay by me.”
As they slide out of the booth, “We’ll catch up with you guys later. Maybe we can do something on Sunday. I think tomorrow is going to be a day of rest.”
“Sure thing, Cordell. After the week you two have had, you deserve some peace and quiet.”
“Yeah, you guys get some rest tomorrow and we’ll see you on Sunday.”
Alex dozes off within minutes of leaving the parking lot of C.D.’s. Walker looks over at her and smiles. She looks so beautiful, even after a week in the wilderness. Deciding that he’s not quite ready for their time together to be over, he heads straight for the ranch. He’s sure Alex won’t mind.
When they arrive at the ranch, Walker gently picks Alex up and starts toward the house. She wakes just as they reach the front door. “Walker? Where are we—the ranch?”
Gently placing her back on her feet but keeping her close, “Yeah. Hope you don’t mind. I thought we could rest together tomorrow.”
Smiling, she wraps her arms around his neck and lays her head against his shoulder, “I don’t mind at all Cowboy.”
“Why don’t you go on in and head for the shower while I unpack the truck.”
“Walker, you can unpack tomorrow. We’re both exhausted. Why don’t we just shower and head to bed?”
“Is that an invitation?”
Smiling up at him, “If you want it to be. You do still owe me for not telling C.D. and Jimmy about your poison ivy.”
Smiling back at her, “Yeah, I guess I do at that.” With that, he scoops her up in his arms and heads up the stairs to pay his debt.
‘Walker Texas Ranger’ and its characters belong to CBS Inc., Norris Brothers Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author are in no way connected to those copyright holders and intend no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a great show and it’s cast and crew. This story is part of a mailing ring and may be distributed and copied freely, in its entirety, for personal use. All original author and copyright information must remain intact. Any sales or other uses of this document are expressly forbidden, without the specific consent of the author(s).