The Nursery

By 59 Katie 59


Chapter One


Alex stood on her front porch wondering why her husband who had seemed so happy just a minute ago had removed her from his arms and then walked away from her without so much as a word to her. Alex started to follow Walker to see what the matter was but the phone rang so instead of confronting her husband about his behavior she went back into the house to answer the still ringing phone. It was Walker's fellow Texas Ranger Sydney Cooke on the phone and she asked “Alex is it okay if I come out there to visit with you for a while? It's been awhile since we've had the time to talk to each other." Alex replied “I’m sorry Sydney but I'm not feeling good this evening. How about we make it some other night?"


            Sydney then suggested “How about Saturday evening at the mall? There's a new boutique that's just opened that I've been dying to shop in." Alex replied “Oh yes the Naughty Nightie boutique. I've been wanting to go there myself. I heard they carry some interesting items. We can meet at the food court at six then go from there. That okay with you?" Sydney said “Saturday evening at six in the food court is good for me. And I can't wait to see what interesting items you're talking about."


            “Let’s put it this way, I only intend for my husband to see what I buy there. And most likely you only intend to show Gage what you buy there since the two of you are very serious about each other to the point where considering you're making it legal. Am I right?" Alex inquired of Sydney who answered “I swear to god that you know how to read minds. I mean how else would you know that Gage and I were getting serious enough to think about marriage?"


Alex replied “I didn't know for sure until you just now confirmed my suspicions. Sydney I do know how to ask the right questions you know. And don't worry I know that you two aren't ready to go public yet so I'll keep it to myself and yes that includes me not telling Walker. He and Trivette don't need to know about you and Gage and the two of you living together until you two are ready to tell them. Okay?" Sydney exclaimed “How on earth do you know that? We just moved into a place together last month. Never mind you're getting just as bad as your husband is when it comes to just knowing things ahead of everybody else. Only he knows about criminals and you know about Gage and me. See you Saturday." Alex said okay then ended the conversation.


Alex then went and sat down on the couch where remembered the last few days during which young Max had come into their lives and how she had become attached to the baby. Walker who it seemed to Alex hadn't wanted her to be a temporary foster mother for Max until his mother was found had even gotten up one night and taken care of the baby when she had been too sick to her stomach to do so. Max's mother had been found and reunited with her baby at the Walker ranch. Max's mother was so worried about being able to take care of her baby in the future that she had asked Alex to take him but Alex had declined while pointing out even though she loved Max his place was with her, his mother. Nina Woods from child protective services was there at Walker's request and had agreed with Walker's plans to reunite Max's mother with her parents who having realized that even though their daughter was young she had tried her best to see to it that Max had a loving home with her and her now deceased husband. That they should have never turned their backs on their daughter when she married the youth she had been pregnant to. The grandparents urged their daughter to move back home with them and she had agreed to do so after they told her how sorry they were about what happened to her husband. After the paperwork was signed Nina Woods took her leave. Walker then helped Max's grandfather load some of the baby things Alex had brought for Max into their car. The Walkers watched as Max and his mother were driven off with his grandparents by a state trooper.


            After wiping her tears away Alex said to Walker “I guess I'd better go pack up everything I bought for Max that they didn't have room to take with them and take it to the Hope Center." Walker answered his wife “I’ll just put the stuff in the guest bedroom for now. Why don't you take it easy? You look like you're still not feeling good."


            “I’m still a little queasy so if you don't mind I'll go lay down for a while then start dinner." Alex told Walker who nodded okay. After they had eaten dinner the Walkers went out to their front porch where they sat on the porch swing to watch the sun set. When the phone rang Alex went into the house and answered it. When she came back onto the porch Alex told her husband that had been the doctor on the phone so he asked her if she had the flu. Alex then said “The baby flu." Walker clearly didn't understand what his wife was trying to tell him so she added “Walker, I'm eight weeks pregnant." A stunned Walker could only say wow over and over again as he placed his hand on Alex's abdomen. After they gently kissed Alex called Walker “Daddy." When Alex went to kiss her husband again he pulled away from her and without a backwards glance left the porch.


            Now truly upset about her husband just walking away from her without a word just a short time ago when it should have been the happiest moment of their married life Alex began to cry thinking that Walker didn't want to be a father at this time, or any other time for that matter. Walker came into the house to find his wife wiping tears away so he asked her “What’s the matter with you?"


            Alex retorted “What’s the matter with me? You're the one who has a problem. Damn it Cordell if you didn't want to be a father you should have told me before you got me pregnant, not afterwards. If I had known becoming a father would bother you so much I would never have stopped taking the pill. Why did you let me think for all these months that you wanted us to have a baby or two? When it's quite clear to me now that you don't want to be a father." Walker sat down besides Alex and pulled her into his arms as he replied “Alex I do want to be a father right now. I swear I do."


            Not quite believing him since he had walked away from her just a short time ago Alex snapped at her husband “Sure you want to be a father. I tell you that I'm carrying your baby and you just walk away from me without a word. Tell me another one Cordell John Walker."


            "When you told me that you were going to have our baby the first thing I could think of was if my bassinet was still at that cabin that Uncle Ray stayed in when he lived here. I went to the cabin to see if it was there. I should have told you where I was going." Walker informed his wife who questioned him “Well was it still there? And if so did you bring it back here?"


            “It’s still there and no I didn't bring it back here because it needs a little fixing up. My mother's grandfather made it for his wife when she was expecting their first baby. The bassinet was given to my mother by her grandmother before my parents got married. Alex I want our baby to use it when we bring him or her home from the hospital. Is that okay with you?" Walker responded. Alex told him “I’d like nothing better. My mother gave me some baby bassinet blankets that she had been given by her mother and we'll use them in the bassinet after its fixed up. Not to change the subject but you have to kiss me and make me feel better. Before you object I should point out that you owe me for upsetting me earlier."


Walker pulled Alex to him and kissed her soundly then teased her “Do you feel better now?" Alex kissed him then said “How about we go upstairs where we can make each other feel a lot better?" Walker thought that was a pretty good idea.


After they were done Walker asked “When do you plan on taking a maternity leave? Or are you going to quit working at the D.A.'s office and stay at home after our baby is born?" Alex sat up so that she could look at her husband in the eyes before answering him “Cordell you and I discussed this before we got married. We both agreed that I would continue my career after we had babies. So no I will not be a stay at home mother. My job is just as important to me as your job is to you. As for my taking a maternity leave, we have quite a few months to go before we need to worry about that. Honey we just found out that I'm pregnant so how about we just be happy about that for now? And before you say anything else to me I want you to know that if at any time my doctor tells me to go on maternity leave I will do so. That is once I find a doctor to take care of me. Dr. Stine told me to call her office back tomorrow and she'll give me a list of maternity doctors that I can choose from."


Walker nodded okay so Alex laid back down. She then teased him “Did you know that some pregnant women can't get enough of their husbands? And that I happen to be one of them.” He answered with his actions.



Chapter Two


            The next morning as they were eating breakfast Alex asked her husband “Walker is it okay with you if we hold off telling anyone about the baby?" Walker replied " C.D. would kill us if we told the others about the baby while he was still overseas."


“Yes he would. But I wanted to wait to tell anyone until after I see my maternity doctor to know what kind of pregnancy that I'm going to have. It will be awhile before I start showing so that gives me time to plan everything." Alex told Walker who questioned her “What do you need to plan? This isn't going to be like when you planned our wedding. Is it? You were planning our wedding for a long time if I remember right."


Alex only half teased back " God no. Nothing like that because it took you forever to actually marry me. There's no way that I intend to carry this baby for that long. And besides I had everything planned for our wedding within six months of your proposal. It just seemed like I was planning for a long time because I waiting for you to get over your cold feet to go ahead with the final details. What I was talking about was planning on when to tell people about our baby and I'm going to have to figure out when I'll need to take a maternity leave then there's deciding what bedroom we'll turn into the nursery. And then there's the most important thing to plan." Walker asked her what she wanted him to do by saying “What’s the most important thing to plan? You've covered when to tell our friends, what room to use as a nursery and when to think about a maternity leave. What else is there?"


Alex took Walker's hand looked into his eyes then impishly stated “How we're going to have sex when I get further along. Once my belly gets bigger we're going to have to go about things in a different manner. Don't worry I will figure that out before we get to that point. Any other questions?"


Walker shook his head no as he began to blush. A laughing Alex told him “I have to get going so you get to do the dishes. See you after work cowboy."


Sydney and Alex did indeed meet at the mall's food court where they decided to shop first. They went into the Naughty Nighty shop and picked up a few things. As they were headed to the food court Sydney excused herself to the ladies' room so Alex went to find a table. As she was placing her bags on the table a man grabbed Alex by her arm as he asked her “Hey sweet thing how about showing me what you got in those bags from that store? Or better yet how about we go to my place where you can model them for me?"


“Get lost." Alex replied while starting to feel a little queasy. The man persisted as he sat down besides Alex to say " Come on blondie, I know that you're hot to trot. Why else would you be buying things from that adult store for women?" Alex instead of answering the man got up from the table grabbing her bags as she did so. When the man attempted to grab her arm again Alex told him “If you know what's good for you you'll walk away right now before you regret it."


“And why should I do that sweet thing? You ain't got no man around to stop me from having a little fun with you. Now do you?" The man told Alex who decided that talking anymore was a waste of time so she stepped around the man and tried to walk away. The man again tried to grab Alex's arm but she swung around to face him and hit him in the jaw with a solid right hook causing his knees to buckle. As the man was getting back to his feet Sydney who had returned from the ladies' room questioned her friend "Are you okay? Do you want me to arrest him?"


            “What for? Any woman who buys things in an adult store is just asking for trouble and everyone here knows that. Besides you don't have no badge that I can see so you can't arrest me. So there." The man stated causing Sydney to pull out her badge as she replied "I'm a Texas Ranger and you were just harassing an A.D.A. so I can arrest you."

            Alex broke in to say “He’s leaving. Besides I don't feel like filling out paperwork tonight." Sydney then told the man “Get going." The man walked away while muttering about what he thought about women who shopped in an adult store. After he was gone Alex said “Sydney I'm sorry to cut this evening short but all I want to do right now is to go home. We can do this some other evening. You don't mind. Do you?"


            “No. I don't mind. I'll just head on home myself. But just to be on the safe side, how about I see you to your car first in case that jerk is still lurking around somewhere?" Sydney suggested to Alex who agreed knowing that Sydney was going to do it anyhow.


            When Alex got home Walker was waiting for his wife on the front porch. Seeing the look on her husband's face Alex told him “I wish that Sydney hadn't called you. I can handle jerks like that. I've been doing it for years."  Walker responded “I know that lady but Sydney also said that you looked pretty upset about it."


            “I wasn't upset. I was feeling a little queasy and that's to be expected given that I'm pregnant." Alex replied. Walker then decided that he should tell his wife “Well how about from now on you wait until I get home from work to go to the mall? I don't want you at the mall by yourself while you're pregnant."


            This statement by her husband made Alex more than a little bit mad and she snapped at him “Listen and listen very well Cordell John Walker, I will go the mall by myself whenever I want to. And if you say another word on the subject I will never show you what I bought at that new shop this evening. Nor will I ever shop in it again. Got that?"


“What new shop are you talking about?" Walker asked back so Alex replied “The Naughty Nighty shop. I was planning on getting some of my maternity sleepwear from there later on in my pregnancy but with your attitude I don't think that I should do so in the future. Now it's late and I'm tired so I'm going to turn in for the night."


            Walker stepped aside so his wife could go into the house. He followed her in to suggest to her “How about I give you a back massage in front of the fire I made for us? That might make you feel better." Alex answered “I’m turning in now. Good night."


            Alex then headed upstairs while her husband went into the living room to bank the fire he had started in the fireplace. After that was done Walker locked up then went upstairs himself. Entering his bedroom Walker found his wife standing by the bed stark naked looking at a pair of teddies while saying to herself “Which one shall I wear first, the red one or the black one?"


            Walker answered “The red one tonight then the black one tomorrow night. That sounds real good to me."


            Alex responded “It’s a little hot tonight so I'm not wearing a thing to sleep in Cowboy and I suggest that you remove your clothes also. That is if you want to be with me and by the way quickly would be nice." Walker complied and when he was a naked as his wife was she moved over to his side of the bed then pushed him onto his back on the bed then crawled over Walker. When they were done Alex teased him “If I wear the black one tomorrow night will you wear those black underwear that I got you at the mall last month? I bet you would look good enough to eat in them. The red one can wait for another night."


            “We’ll see lady." Was Walker's mumbled answer. Alex laughed then said to him “Thank God you're just shy about the talking and not the doing when it comes to our love life." Walker didn't reply but he did show Alex that he was very good about the doing.


Chapter Three


            Several weeks later Alex, Walker and the three other Texas Rangers were sitting in C.D.s. when Marta who had been running the place while C.D. was overseas said to the group "C.D. was here this morning but he asked me if I would run this place for another week while he visited with his friend Murphy. After I agreed he told me to tell you five that he expected to see your faces in here Monday afternoon after work. That he had a lot of things he wanted to tell you." Walker and Alex looked knowingly at Trivette who said “Man Walker I can't wait to hear C.D. tell us what he's been up to these last six months. Although I wonder how much of it will really have happened."


            “Trivette that's a terrible thing to say about C.D." Alex scolded Trivette who defended himself by replying “Oh come on Alex you know how C.D. likes to add to what happened."


Alex started to say something but got queasy so she quickly headed to the ladies' room while holding her stomach. Sydney looked at the way Alex was holding her stomach and asked Walker “So what's new with Alex?"


Walker gruffly answered “Nothing." Sydney seeing the look on Walker's face decided to head to the ladies' room herself. Once inside of there she found a still queasy Alex holding onto a sink looking very pale. Putting two and two together Sydney said to her friend "So Alex when are you due?"


            “Sydney please don't say anything to anyone. Please. Walker and I want to tell everyone together and by everyone I mean C.D. too. He'd have our heads if we told you guys before him. You know he's been dying to act like a grandfather to our baby. My Dad hasn't been told yet either. So please keep quiet about my pregnancy until we announce it Monday after work while C.D. is here." Alex responded in a pleading manner so Sydney assured her “I won't say a word about your little bundle of joy to anyone, I promise. I will act very surprised when you and Walker make the announcement Monday afternoon after work. C.D. will be so thrilled about the baby. I'm just so happy for you. You're going to be a great mother."


            But the announcement Monday evening after work never came because C.D.'s friend Murphy called Ranger headquarters to tell Walker that C.D. had passed away. Alex, Trivette, Sydney and Gage were devastated as was Walker but he didn't let that show. All Walker seemed to care about was his emotional wife and taking care of her in her time of need. Walker himself hadn't shed so much as one tear for his former mentor. After the wake at C.D.'s and most everyone had left Alex asked Walker to take her home. After they had left the bar Trivette was left in there by himself. He said his goodbyes to C.D.'s then turned out the lights and left the bar. In the parking lot Trivette who was headed to his car noticed that Walker's truck was still there so he started towards it but stopped and decided that he should give the Walkers some privacy. A tearful Alex said to her husband “It isn't right that we never got to tell C.D. about our baby. Oh Cordell, C.D. would have been so happy to know that he was going to become a grandfather to our baby. Before C.D. left on his extended trip he was asking me just about every day when the two of us were going to have a baby and make him an honorary grandfather."


            Walker just opened the passenger's side door for his wife and motioned for her to get into the truck. Alex seated herself then knowing that her husband needed to deal with C.D.'s death placed her hand on his arm and told him “Cordell I'm here for you. Please honey I know that you're going to miss C.D. and it's okay for you to let that show. Let me help you the way you've been helping me." Walker looked into her eyes for a minute then lowered his head to his wife's lap as he finally mourned the former Texas Ranger who had meant so much to him. Alex wrapped her arms around her husband as she said soothing words to him. Trivette who had stayed in the shadows while waiting to go to his car walked back to the bar unlocked the door to the bar and went inside of it. After a few minutes Walker raised his head to state “I need you, now." Alex lowered her seat as far back as she could while Walker got into the truck. Walker began to kiss his wife with a deep and driving need. After they were done Alex put her clothing back together and drove them home to the ranch because her husband was unable to do so at that point.


            When they got to the ranch Walker said to his wife “Alex, I'm sorry." Alex replied “You’ve no reason to be. Cordell we needed each other at that moment. We're husband and wife, its okay." Walker nodded okay so Alex then said “If it's okay with you I'd like to call my dad and tell him about our baby. Also Sydney already knows because she figured it out but we need to tell Trivette and Gage about the little Walker that soon is going to be running around here. Do you want to tell them yourself or do you want me to?"


            Walker half teased “How about we wait until you're showing to see if they can figure it out?" Alex laughingly answered “It might take those two until I have the baby to realize that I'm pregnant so I'll just go ahead and tell them at Ranger headquarters. I know that you want to spend some time in your den by yourself so I’m going to turn in now. Is that okay with you?"

“Yes. I'll try not to wake you up when I come to bed." Walker replied so Alex went upstairs to bed while Walker retreated to his den where he replayed in his mind memories of C.D and came to the conclusion that C.D. was now in heaven telling everyone that he was going to be a grandpa. Now more at peace with C.D.'s death Walker went to his bedroom. Seeing his wife in bed Walker remembered that he had yet to see her in the red teddy. He began going through Alex's dresser drawers looking for it. This woke her up so she turned on her bedside lamp and demanded of him “Why are you going through my dresser drawers?" Walker mumbled “I was looking to see if you still had that red teddy."


            “Don’t worry I still have it and I'm planning on wearing it soon. But I really don't feel like doing that right now. Is that okay with you?" Alex said to Walker who answered as he removed his clothes “its okay. How about we get some sleep?" Once he got into bed with her Alex moved into his arms so that she could fall asleep in them.


            The next morning in her private office Alex called her father to tell him the good news. “Dad, it's me Alex. I want you to know that you're going to be a grandfather." Gordon sputtered “What? When? How did that happen? Are you sure?" Alex replied “That was about the same reaction that I got when I told my husband we were going to have a baby. Yes I'm sure that I'm going to have a baby. Dr. Bates confirmed it and gave me a due date. No I don't know what we're having because I want to be surprised when the baby gets here. I just haven't told my husband that one yet but I'm pretty sure he feels the same way anyhow. We haven't told the others yet because we wanted to tell C.D. too. Although Sydney did manage to figure it out but she hasn't told anyone because I asked her not to tell a soul. Dad the baby is due in late June."


            “That’s great pumpkin. That will give me plenty of time to buy things for the baby. I can't wait to spoil my grandbaby." Gordon said to his daughter who informed him “Dad you will not be going overboard buying things for the baby. Walker will not put up with it and neither will I. All we want is for you to be there for the baby. You can do that. Can't you?"


Gordon replied “Okay. I won't go overboard in buying things for the baby but I will be the best grandfather that any baby has ever had." Alex responded “Sounds good to me Dad."


Later on that day Alex dropped by Ranger headquarters looking for her husband. He was sitting at his desk with a half-smile on his face. Trivette having spotted Alex as she came into headquarters asked her “So Alex what's with Walker? He's had that silly little smile on his face all day long."


            Alex casually told him “Oh Walker's been like that ever since I told him we were going to have a baby." As Gage and Trivette processed the news Alex leaned close to her husband's ear to whisper “I’m wearing the red teddy tonight." Sydney stepped to Walker's desk cleared her throat then said “I’m so happy for the two of you." Then Sydney addressed Gage and Trivette by asking them “Well aren't the two of you going to say anything?"


            Trivette tripped over his words “What are you saying? How did that come about?" Gage did some tripping over words himself as he said “Really? You guys are going to have a baby? How did that happen?" Alex retorted “If you two grown men think I'm going to explain the birds and the bees to the two of you you're sadly mistaken."


            Sydney stepped in to say “Alex I can handle this. I'll be more than glad to explain the facts of life to these two. After that if you don't mind I'd like to visit with you at the ranch and talk about some things." Alex quickly said “Can you make that another night? Walker and I are going to be discussing the plans for the nursery and I'm pretty sure that I'll have a headache by the time we're done." After Sydney said that was okay the Walkers left Ranger headquarters.


After they had eaten dinner Alex suggested that Walker do the dishes while she took a bath and got ready for bed. Walker agreed knowing that his wife was going to be wearing the red teddy to bed. After they were done Alex said “We do have to discuss how we're doing the nursery. I'll have to do the painting in the next several weeks so that the paint fumes don't affect our unborn baby."


            Walker sat up and informed his wife “You will not be doing any painting in the nursery if the fumes can affect our baby. Anything that needs done in there I will do it. Got that?" Alex answered “I was hoping you would say that because even though Dr. Bates said that the paint fumes couldn't possibly affect our baby for a few weeks yet I didn't want to take the chance that she could be wrong. Now all we have to do is to decide which room to use and what theme to go with. Do you have any preference?"


            “How about the bedroom next door? When our baby needs taken care of in the middle of the night we'll be able to do it quickly if it's in that room. As for the theme we're going with I'll let you know what one it is when I show you the finished nursery." Walker said to his wife who told him “Sounds good to me husband of mine. I think you should know that I've already been buying things for the baby. I put them in Lucas' old room for now. When you get a chance why don't you go through them to see what else we'll need for our baby?"


            “I know that you've been buying things for the baby Alex." Walker replied. Sitting up herself Alex said in a teasing manner “I’m also going to be buying maternity nightwear and if you're a good boy I just might show them to you." Walker pulled Alex close kissed her soundly then teased “I’ll be sure to be on my best behavior." Alex teased back “And I'll be sure to reward you for that. As a matter of fact I'm going to reward you right now. So why don't you just lay back while I do that dear."



Chapter Four


            Several weeks Walker arrived home from work to find his wife napping on the couch. There was a book laying on the floor besides it with a bookmark under it and with several of the pages bent back so Walker picked it up intending to put it on the coffee table but after reading the title he flipped to the section he thought the book mark had been in. After seeing the pictures that were in the folded back pages Walker quickly closed the book then laid it on the coffee table. Just then Alex stirred and after getting her bearings said to her husband “You’re home. There's an envelope for you on the dining room table, it's from the lawyer who handled C.D.'s estate. Why don't you go read it while I get started on dinner? What do you want to eat by the way? I was thinking of making spaghetti with an American and Swiss cheese sauce and spam for the meat. We can have some salad with pickles in it. Does that sound okay to you? Or do you want some mayonnaise toast instead of the salad?"


            “How about I get some pizza delivered instead?" Walker offered because he was not the least bit interested in eating the kind of food Alex was planning on making for them to eat. Alex replied “Okay. I'll just cook that another night."


            Walker went and called for the pizza then took the letter from the dining room table and went into his den. Walker sat down on his chair then opened the letter from C.D.'s lawyer. Inside of it was a sealed letter with another letter that was from the lawyer in which he explained that C.D. had arranged for Cordell Walker to get the letter in event of his death. Walker opened the letter from C.D. and got the shock of his life because in the letter C.D. explained that right before Walker and Alex's wedding he had seen a woman who looked like Ellen Garret in an overseas newspaper. Not wanting to tell anyone anything until he knew who the woman really was C.D. had started an investigation. The investigation had resulted in C.D. missing the Walkers' wedding and it had led him to spending a lot of time overseas. C.D. went on to say that he had finally tracked the woman down and she was indeed Ellen Garret. Ellen had then informed C.D. that she had been in a coma for a month after the shooting and that after she awoke from it she had been informed that Rangers Parker and Walker thought she was dead. Ellen had asked about Walker and C.D. had told her that Cordell had gone through hell when she had died and that it had changed him. Ellen then had asked C.D. if he thought Cord would be interested in meeting with her so that she could explain things to him. That there had been no other man after her Cord for her. C.D. had promised Ellen that he would speak to Cordell about her. In the letter C.D. had included a card with a contact number for Ellen Garret in the event that something happened to him before he could arrange the meeting. C.D. went on to say that Ellen would be at an undisclosed location in the Dallas area until she heard from C.D. on whether or not her Cord wanted to speak with her. After pocketing the contact card Walker slowly closed the letter from C.D. then opened his safe and placed it in there.


            When her husband came back into the living room Alex seeing the look on his face suggested “Why don't you go for a ride? I can pay for the pizza when it comes." Walker nodded okay and left the house but instead of going for a ride called the contact number for Ellen, it was an answering service so he told the clerk that he could meet with Miss Garrett at LaLlamae at seven this evening if she was free to do so. The clerk asked him to hold while she saw if Miss Garret was free then. After a few minutes the clerk said that Miss Garrett would meet him there then.


  Walker got into his truck and drove off without telling Alex that he was leaving. After Alex paid for the pizza she waited awhile for Walker to get back from his horse ride before eating it. After an hour Alex helped herself to some pizza then put the rest in the fridge.

  Walker was seated at a table in LaLlamae waiting for Ellen Garret when a man came up to him and held out a note as he told Walker “This is from the lady at the bar." Walker looked at the bar and saw that Ellen was standing at the bar but when he got up to go to her the man said to Walker “The lady asks that you read her note first." Walker looked at Ellen who looked at the note in his hand so he opened it and read it.


  My Dearest Cord,


            Please forgive for not speaking to you tonight.

Its better if we talk in private so can you meet me

at my lawyer's office Friday evening at six? I'll

explain everything to you then. You are still the

love of my life Cord.


            Ellen, the woman who loves you.

      P.S. My family doesn't know that I survived the

shooting and I want to keep it that way.


            After Walker read the note he looked for Ellen but she was gone. The man then said to Walker  “I am Miss Garrett's lawyer T. K. Jefferson. Can you make that meeting at my office Friday at six? If not we'll need to arrange another meeting." Walker answered “I’ll be there Friday at six."


            When Walker returned home he found that Alex had lit a fire in the fireplace and was sitting in front of it. Spotting her husband she told him “The pizza is in the fridge. Why don't you eat some then join me in front of the fire. I want to discuss my book with you." Walker replied “Alex I am not discussing a dirty book with you."


            “What are you talking about? The book I'm talking about is a book for first time mothers. What can be dirty about that?" Alex answered him back. Still upset by Ellen's return Walker picked up the book in question opened it to the pictures that he had seen and stated “These pictures are dirty and you know that."


            Alex looked at the pictures then slammed the book shut and quickly told him “I swear to you Cordell that I hadn't known those pictures were in there. I didn't get that far. I got the book from a friend of mine who told me it would come in handy when I got further along. I honestly thought that there would be suggestions of ways to go about things when I'm further along but I sure didn't expect dirty pictures to be in that book. I would never look at pictures of people doing those sorts of things. When we need to adjust our private life because of our baby the two of us will figure it out for ourselves. And speaking of figuring things out for ourself how about we do some of that after you've eaten?"


            Walker with his heart in turmoil answered “not tonight." Alex nodded okay and turned her attention to the fire. Walker grabbed some pizza then retreated to his den. After a while Alex took care of putting out the fire and went to bed. Walker spent the night in his den as memories of Ellen played through his mind. Near morning Walker recalled the time Alex had teasingly called him Cord and he had told her “don’t ever call me Cord again. Call me Walker. Okay lady?" Alex had replied “Fine I'll call you Walker all the time. How does that sound to a stubborn mule headed cowboy like you?" Walker answered that was okay with him so from that point on Alex had either called him Walker or cowboy. Although now that they were married she would sometimes call him Cordell.


            In the morning Walker went into his bedroom to discover his wife standing naked in front of the full length mirror. Seeing him enter the room a happy Alex said to her husband “Can you see it?" Walker answered “See what Alex?" Alex grabbed his hand and placed it on her abdomen as she replied “My baby bump. It's small but it's there. Isn't that great? I'm starting to show."


            Walker still thinking about Ellen's return responded in a less than excited voice “yes." Alex picking up on the fact that her husband wasn't nearly as excited as she was about the baby bump told him “If you want to you can tell me what that letter from C.D. was about. If you don't want to tell me that's okay too. Either way I'm here for you. You know that. Don't you?"

  Walker hugged his wife then said to her " I know that Alex. I don't want to talk about C.D.'s letter. Maybe some other time. But right now you'd better get ready for work while I take my shower."  Alex got dressed for work as she wondered just what had upset her husband so much. She knew that C.D. had meant a lot to Walker but it seemed to her like there had been something more to it than that. Alex also knew that pressing Walker to tell her what was bothering him would only make him keep quiet about whatever it was a lot longer. That in time Walker would tell her what the matter was.


Chapter Five


            Walker was shown into Jefferson's private office by Jefferson who told him “If you'll just take a seat the lady that you're here to see will join you in a moment." Walker took a seat and Jefferson left the room. A few minutes later Ellen entered the room and asked Walker “Are you upset with me Cord?" Walker got up from his seat as he questioned the woman who had been the love of his life “why Ellen?"


            Ellen tried to hug Walker but he stepped back so she couldn't. She then teased him “still the strong silent type my Cord?" Walker replied by saying “why did you let everyone think you were dead?" Ellen moved over to Walker and put her arms around his neck as she teased “please Cord, don't I rate a kiss after all this time?"


            Walker removed her arms then told her “no." Ellen realizing that she wasn't going to be able to charm her Cord into forgetting about the past and just thinking about the future with her sat down on a chair and explained why she had let everyone think she was dead including the man who had just proposed to her before right they had been shot. “Since you're here that means C.D. told you about me. And that also means that you know I was in a coma for a month after the shooting. Cord you have to understand that when I woke up from the coma I was told that everyone believed I was dead. The agent who was in charge of me then told me that it might be better if I left everyone keep on thinking that I was dead and there's a reason for that which I will explain later. He then went on to tell me that you had gotten Pike and his men and that they were going to be going to jail for what they did to me. He gave me a detailed report on how you had conducted yourself while you were going after Pike and his men. I must say Cord some of your actions during that time were so unlike you. You were like a wild man then and that's out of character for you. You are always calm and collected. What caused you to act like that then? And have you ever acted that way again because if you have we need to have a long talk about the way you conduct yourself." Walker snapped “what happened was that I was told you had been killed then."


            “Oh that. I guess that I can see now why you might have acted that way. Oh Cord I am so very sorry that I didn't let you know years ago that I had survived the shooting. The reason that I didn't get in touch with you was because I knew if I told you that I was still alive you would then want to get married right away and I wasn't ready for that. You have to understand that my being shot opened my eyes to the fact that my sister was right when she told me that you brought danger into my life. I'm sorry Cord but at the time I just couldn't become your wife with the danger that your job could bring to me." Ellen answered Walker who couldn't think of a way to respond because he had always blamed himself for Ellen's death.

            “Cord darling now that I'm back in your life will you give up being a Ranger? I still can't handle dealing with the danger your job places you and me in. I mean I'm going to be moving into your ranch with you and I want to be sure that I'll be safe there. After I've settled in then we can go to my sister together and let her know that I'm alive and that I'll be safe with you because you're no longer a Texas Ranger. So what do you say my Cord?" Ellen said to Walker who raised his left hand to finger his Ranger badge while trying to think of what to say.


            Ellen spotted Walker's wedding ring and said to him “Cord you're wearing a wedding ring for me. How sweet. That's more like the man that I remember and still love. You picked out one for me. Didn't you? Do you have it on you? I mean I know I can't wear mine until we're married and you should take yours off until then too. We don't want to jinx things. Do we? By the way I still have my engagement ring. So after I move in you with I'll start wearing it again." Walker found his voice long enough to answer “No. Alex and I choose our wedding rings together."


            A shocked Ellen questioned him "what do you mean you and Alex choose your wedding rings together? Who is this Alex? And furthermore what gender is this Alex?" Walker replied “Alex is A.D.A. Alexandra Cahill-Walker, my wife." A very upset Ellen snapped at him “How come you're still a Texas Ranger if you're a married man? How could you place someone else in harm's way after you got me shot? Does she know about what you did to me?"


            “Alex knows that you were shot after I asked you to marry me. As for my still being a Texas Ranger Alex turned me down when I offered to quit for her sake." Walker responded causing Ellen to angrily tell him "that's just great, you get me shot and I lose everything because you didn't even think about quitting the Texas Rangers for me but some other woman turns your head and you are willing to give up the Rangers for her. Tell me Cord did you ever really love me? Or were you saying that you did so that I would sleep with you?"


            Walker sadly answered “I loved you more than you'll ever realize Ellen. You were everything to me then and if you had told me that you wanted me to quit the Texas Rangers I would have done so but you never asked me to do so." Ellen snapped “I shouldn't have had to ask you to quit the Rangers. You should have done it on your own. And furthermore my name is not Ellen Garret; it hasn't been that for years. My name is now Eleanor Ginger Jordaine, remember that the next time we talk. And we will be talking again my Cord because there are other things I have to tell you but right now you need to leave before I tell you what I think of your behavior. For God's sake I was faithful to you all these years but you married another woman." Walker left the room without a word.


            When he got home Alex was happily humming in the kitchen while cooking their dinner. Spotting her husband in the doorway she said “Hi honey, dinner is almost done. Would you mind setting the table?" Walker asked her “What’s for dinner?"


            “Turkey meatloaf and brownies for dessert, although the dessert could be changed if you want it to be something else." Alex teased him. Walker pulled his wife into a hug then told her “brownies are fine for dessert. We can have something else for dessert some other night." Alex took that to mean that her husband was telling her no sex tonight so she asked him “are you okay Walker? Is there anything that you want to tell me?"


            “I’m fine Alex. And this thing you want to talk about, is it me quitting the Rangers for you after all?" Walker responded. Alex pulled away to look Walker in the eyes as she firmly said “Cordell John Walker the man that I love and the man that I married is a Texas Ranger and it's always going to be that way. Understand me cowboy? I asked if you wanted to talk because you still seemed bothered about C.D.'s letter, is all. If you say you don't want to talk about it I will respect your wishes. Okay stubborn?"


            “You’re the stubborn one lady." Walker answered winked at Alex then went and set the dining room table. As they were eating dinner Alex said " If you don't have any plans for us tomorrow I'm going to do some grocery shopping in the morning then come home get something to eat and take a nap. In the afternoon I'm going to go to the mall. I need to buy some maternity clothes now that I'm starting to show."


            “I can drive you to the mall if you want me to." Walker suggested to Alex who replied “Didn’t we already go over this? I'm a big girl now and I can go to the mall by myself. If you're worried about someone bothering me don't be because I know how to handle those kind of men. I've been doing it for years. Although if you want me to go shopping for things for the nursery with you I'll be more than glad to do that. There are so many cute things for babies."


            “I’m not going shopping with you for things for the nursery. I said that I will take care of doing the nursery by myself and I will. So no Mrs. Walker you are not dragging me to baby stores." Walker answered his wife who leaned over and kissed him on the cheek then said "I love you too Cordell."


            After dinner was over with Walker and Alex went out to their front porch where they sat on the swing. Alex snuggled close to her husband as they watched the sun set. Alex said "I love it when it just the two of us out here. Watching the colors as the sun sets with the love of my life. And you are that to me. Always and forever." Walker started to say something but stopped and Alex thinking that while Walker loved her she wasn't the love of his life told him “it’s okay cowboy. I know that I'm not the love of your life. I know that Ellen was the love of your life but I also know that you do love me."


            Walker pulled Alex closer as he replied in a husky voice “I love you lady, more than you'll ever know.”  He then kissed his wife until all she could think of was being with him. Alex took Walker's hand while saying to him “how about we head upstairs and undress each other?" Seeing an uncertain look on his face Alex added “I’m sorry Walker. I mean I know that you all but said earlier that you weren't interested in having sex with me tonight but that kiss you just gave me has really turned me on. If you don't feel up to being with me just tell me now and I'll go take a cold shower or something." Walker stated “no cold showers for my wife." Then he took Alex into the house and showed her what he meant. After Alex fell asleep Walker laid besides his wife feeling guilty knowing that Alex deserved to know that Ellen was back from the dead and that he wasn't sure what he was going to do about it.

            After making sure that his wife was sound asleep Walker went downstairs to his den where he pulled out a picture that he had of Ellen. As he was looking at it Walker recalled when he was at the reservation after Ellen's death. White Eagle had insisted on Walker undergoing a sweat and when it was over White Eagle had told Walker that while he Washo had loved Ellen very deeply that she had not been the love of his life. Walker had angrily denied what White Eagle had told him but White Eagle had answered that time would tell. Walker then recalled the first time he had taken Alex to the reservation and how White Eagle had told him that Alex was the one. After thinking things over Walker decided that he needed to go to the reservation first thing in the morning and that Alex needed to go with him.


            The next morning when Walker noticed that his wife was awake he asked her “Alex can you go to the reservation with me today?" Alex replied “Today? When I asked you last night if you had any plans for us you didn't say anything about wanting to go to the reservation today." Walker then got out of bed as he told her “never mind we'll go some other weekend."


            Alex got out of bed herself to inform her husband “Walker if you want us to go to the reservation today we'll go. Just give me a few minutes to pack then we can be on our way, unless you want to eat first." Walker then said “we can stop on the way there to get something to eat." After they were in the truck and on their way to the reservation Alex asked “are we going there to tell White Eagle about the baby? He's been almost as bad as Uncle Ray and C.D. were about us getting together and then having children."


            “We’ll tell him about the baby. After that there's something that I need to tell you." Walker said to Alex who was glad that her husband was going to tell her what was bothering him.


Chapter Six


            After they had taken their things into Walker's house at the reservation Alex told her husband “I’m going to the gift shop to see if Sharona is there." Walker replied “While you're doing that I'm going to see where White Eagle is at."


“Are you telling him about our baby without me?" Alex pointedly asked her husband who wisely answered “I was going to invite him to eat with us. After dinner we can tell him together." Alex then said “invite Sam too, will you? I was thinking about asking Sharona to eat with us also." Walker nodded okay and went off in search of the spiritual leader of his tribe.


            After they had eaten their dinner Walker said to the others “my wife would like to tell you something."  Sam asked "what is it Alex?" Alex proudly announced “my husband and I would like you our friends to know that there will soon be a little Firewalker running around." Sam and Sharona told the Walkers how happy they were for the two of them. Alex then looked at White Eagle who hadn't said anything so she questioned him “Is there something wrong White Eagle? I thought you wanted us to have a child together. Have you changed your mind about that?"


            White Eagle responded “I am happy to hear that you're going to have a baby Alex. However the spirits have told me that Washo must lay the ghost of a past love to rest before your baby is born otherwise the baby faces danger from the past." This upset Alex who demanded of the tribal elder “what are you talking about White Eagle? Walker has laid the ghost of Ellen to rest. So how can my baby be in danger because of Ellen's ghost?"


            “Sam, Sharona it is time for us to leave. Washo and his mate need to talk." White Eagle informed the other two who while puzzled by White Eagle's behavior followed him out the door.


            After they had gone Alex turned to her husband who looked as upset as she had ever seen him. Alex with a sense of dread asked him "Walker what did C.D. tell you in his letter from the grave?" Walker answered "C.D. said that he had discovered that Ellen hadn't died when we were shot by Pikes' men."


            Alex shook her head no in denial so Walker added "C.D. tracked her down. That was why he spent most of the last six months overseas." Alex then said “why would Ellen let you think she had been shot and killed for all of these years?" Seeing the look on her husband's face Alex quickly added “I’m sorry Walker. I shouldn't have asked you that. Of course you have no way of knowing why she would have done that."


            “When we met at her lawyer's office Ellen told me that her being shot opened her eyes to the danger she would be in as long as I was a Texas Ranger." Walker answered his wife who then asked him “you’ve seen her? When?" After replying that he had seen her the other night Walker then explained how the meeting had gone. After he was done a shaken Alex questioned him “you were with me after you had a meeting with Ellen?" Walker nodded yes that was right so Alex then said "I'm not feeling too good right now. Can we finish this in the morning? I'm going to lay down, by myself." Walker said okay to that so a devastated Alex headed up to her bedroom. Walker left the house and went for a long run.


            When he returned hours later Walker found his wife laying on the couch sleeping. He gently woke her up then suggested that she go back to bed. Alex replied “you need to know Cordell Walker that whatever you decide to do I will be here for you. If you decide that you want Ellen to be your wife instead of me I won't stand in the way of your happiness with the love of your life. I will give you a divorce with no questions asked if that's what you decide you want. I just ask that you give me enough time to find a place to of my own to live in before you move Ellen into the ranch house. As for our baby I know that no matter what happens between the two of us in the future we will both love our unborn baby and will always be there for it."


            “Alex I'm going to meet with Ellen again. Do you want to be there?" Walker said to Alex who answered “I understand that you need to meet with Ellen again. I know that you two have a lot to say to each other. Just let me know when you're meeting with her and I'll go somewhere else if you want to bring her to the ranch. I'm sorry Walker but I don't want to meet Ellen or is it Eleanor at this time. It would just be too hard for me given everything that's going on. If you do decide that it's her you want as your wife I will need to meet with Ellen to see how she'll treat my baby. But right now I'm tired Cordell and I need to get some sleep. See you in the morning." Alex left the room and Walker settled himself on the couch. Neither one of them were able to get much sleep that night.


            The next morning as they were eating breakfast in the kitchen Alex asked "what did Jimmy say when you told him about Ellen?" Walker answered “I didn't tell Trivette. You're the only one who knows about her. Alex you can't tell anyone about Ellen because she doesn't want anyone knowing that she's still alive. Her family doesn't even know, yet. Ellen wants me to go with her when she tells them."


            Alex looked away so that her husband wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. Walker who knew that Alex was very upset about the whole thing told her “you needed to know but no one else does. There's something else that Ellen hasn't told me and I think it has to do with why she has another name. You already know from last night that it's now Eleanor Ginger Jordaine. Ellen's life may depend on keeping her return a secret." Alex managed to reply “you have my word Cordell that I won't tell anyone about her." Then she got up from the table and hurriedly left the kitchen. Walker started to follow his wife to comfort her but stopped because he realized that nothing he said or did could make things any easier for Alex.


            After giving his wife some time to herself Walker went to her and told Alex that he was going to be gone most of the day so Alex said that she wanted to walk around some. Walker replied that was fine with him as long as she didn't overdo it because she and the baby needed their rest. Alex agreed to that and Walker left his house. Alex then went walking around the reservation and ended up at the gift shop. Going inside Alex asked Sharona if she carried any items that could be given to her unborn baby so that the he or she would know of their father's heritage. Sharona answered that she would be able to make a dream catcher for a girl and that Alex could place an order for a bow and arrow set for a boy. Alex replied that maybe she should order both and that way whatever the baby was they would be covered. That she wasn't going to find out the baby's gender until after it was born. Sharona then insisted that she make a special dream catcher which would be done the same time the bow and arrow set was. Alex thanked her then they made the arrangements for the items to be delivered to the ranch house when they were done.


            Walker ran into White Eagle who asked him if he wanted to have a sweat to clear his mind. Walker answered “not at this time White Eagle. Alex and I just came up here to tell you about the baby and we'll be leaving first thing in the morning." White Eagle replied “Washo can you tell me why you never brought Ellen here? But yet you brought Alex here shortly after the two of you met. Have you ever thought about that?"


            “Alex was invited here by Uncle Ray the first time she came here. As for Ellen the timing was never right for her to come here." Was Walker's answer. White Eagle then said “And that should tell you all you need to know Washo. But being as stubborn as you are it may take you a while to realize the answer to your problem lies where it always has, with the woman who is your soul mate."


            When returned to his house Alex was napping on the couch so he made then something to eat. When it was ready he woke Alex up and they went into the kitchen to eat. As they were eating Walker said that they would be headed back home first thing in the morning. Alex said okay then told Walker that they would have to stop at a grocery store on the way home to get some food. When it became time to go to bed Alex went upstairs to the bedroom while Walker locked up. As Alex was getting into bed Walker came into the room and started to remove his clothes so Alex asked “Are you sleeping in here tonight?"


            “Yes. You go ahead to sleep while I take my shower." Walker answered so that's what they did. The next morning they woke up wrapped in each other's arms. Alex removed herself from her husband's arms and quickly left the bedroom to get dressed for the day. After getting dressed himself Walker went downstairs and cooked their breakfast. When they were done eating breakfast the Walkers shut up their house and headed back home.


            As they were getting closer to town Alex dozed off so Walker drove straight to the ranch where he carried Alex into the house and placed her on the bed in the guest bedroom then he brought their clothes into the house and tossed them into the washer.


            When Alex woke up she was sick to her stomach and went racing to the bathroom where she became ill. Walker was in the living room when Alex went to it so she told him “I’m going to go to the grocery store." Walker informed his wife. “No you aren't lady. Whatever we need can keep until tomorrow. Right now you are going to do nothing but take it easy. Got that?" Alex still feeling a little queasy replied “you sure are bossy Walker. But since we have bread, eggs and bacon here for breakfast I can wait to grocery shop until after work. That is unless you want to do it." Walker answered “how about I drive you to work in the morning then on the way home we both do the grocery shopping?"


            Alex teased “Okay where is my Walker at? Or do you get heat stroke while walking around at the reservation?" Walker retorted “Alex I did my own grocery shopping before we got married."


            “Not very well as I recall., because it got to the point where when I was going to stay over here before we were married I went grocery shopping on my way here. And you know that my cowboy." Alex responded causing her husband to say “fine. I'll just push the grocery cart while you pick out the food." Alex agreed that was okay with her.


            That night in their bedroom for the first time in their marriage when Alex wasn't having her monthly Walker put on a t-shirt and shorts before he got into bed with his wife who had in the meantime dressed in a pair of pajamas that kept most of her covered up before getting into bed herself. It was another restless night for the both of them.  As they were eating breakfast Walker told his wife “Alex I don't know what Ellen's return means for us." Alex muttered under her breath “it means I lose you." Walker who heard that said “will you stop thinking that I would turn my back on you and our baby?"


            “I never said that you would turn your back on me and my baby but I do know what Ellen meant to you in the past which means I have a bad feeling about what that will mean for me now. Yes I know that you never wanted something like this to happen but it did and we have to deal with it. However let me make one thing very clear to you Cordell John Walker and that is no matter what I will always be there for you. No one will ever make me stop being a part of your life. That is no one other than you. I can live with being just a friend to you if I must but I'd rather still be your wife." Alex retorted. Walker had no answer for that so they finished their breakfast in silence.


Chapter Seven


            That afternoon Walker and Trivette were returning from a bust when the receptionist told Walker “Ranger Walker there's a woman by the name of Eleanor Ginger Jordaine waiting in the conference room for you. She told me to tell you that it was very important that you talked to her this afternoon." Walker thanked the receptionist and headed to the conference room.  A short time later Alex entered Ranger headquarters looking for her husband and when she didn't see him she asked his partner “Jimmy do you know where Walker is at?" Trivette answered “In the conference room with a woman by the name of Eleanor Ginger Jordaine."


            Alex turned very pale and seeing that Trivette jumped up and quickly sat Alex in a chair then suggested to her “how about I go get that husband of yours for you? Whatever that lady thinks is so important can keep until tomorrow." Alex replied “don’t do that Trivette. Walker and Jordaine need to talk about something important and today is just as good a time as any for them to talk.  Listen I'm going back to my office. When Walker gets back please tell him that I'll be waiting there for him to ride me home. Will you?" Trivette agreed so a distraught Alex returned to her office.


            In the conference room Ellen again attempted to get Walker to kiss her but he again refused so she then said to him " Cord since when don't you want me to kiss you? I mean when we were dating I kissed you all the time. So what's different now? Yes I know that you went ahead and got married to another woman while I was gone but you can get a divorce and we can get married. By the way do you think that you can talk her into giving you a quickie divorce?  Because we have to be married before we tell my sister that I didn't die when we were shot. I'd like to do that in no less than two months." Walker answered “Ellen you need to explain to me why you let me believe that you were dead for all of these years. I want the truth, not what you told me the other evening."


            “I told you the truth the other evening. My being shot scared me to the point when I didn't feel that I would be safe if you were still a Ranger. But now that I'm back you can just go ahead and quit the Rangers. You would have done it years ago anyhow if I hadn't panicked and gone along with the agent in charge of my case. Cord I can't tell you how much I regret going along with him but Agent Croley just made so much sense at the time that I agreed to what he wanted me to do. At the time I was more or less dependent on him. Now that he's no longer part of the picture it will be okay for me to return from the dead. Any other questions?"  Ellen ended her explanation with a question but Walker didn't buy it so he stated "the truth now Ellen."


            Ellen didn't answer right away so Walker questioned her “what else was going on then Ellen? And what was Croley's role in it? And whatever it was why didn't you let me know that you were still alive after Pike went to jail? And why didn't you allow C.D. to let me know about you when he found you?"

            “Fine Cord, I guess that I should tell you and get it over with. After I woke up from my coma Croley told me that everyone thought I was dead and that I should let everyone keep on thinking that. When we were shot Pike's men weren't the only ones after me. I never told you at the time but I had agreed to testify against the president of the university where I was a law professor. I had discovered he had been passing along the answers to the state bar exam to students who paid him for the answers. I also found out that it had been going on for a number of years and that some of the former students were judges on the local level. But Dean Dellicks himself was up for a position on the state supreme court. My sense of honor got the best of me and I told Dellicks what I knew but that I wouldn't testify against him if he would withdraw from consideration for the vacancy on the state supreme court. He told me that he wasn't going to withdraw his name from consideration because too many people were counting on him to get the judgeship. Dellicks also said that if I knew what was good for me I'd keep my mouth shut. I got mad and told him that I was going to testify against him after all. After I said that to him Dellicks told me that I was a fool who was going to be learning a lesson real soon. That evening was when you took me out to the lake to propose to me. You know the rest." Ellen finished her explanation.


            Walker told her “Dellicks has been dead for five years. Why didn't you come back after he died?" Ellen then said “Because I was still afraid of being in danger if I took up with you again. But now that I've realized you'll quit the Rangers for me I'm ready to resume my old life. What do you say my Cord?" Walker was stopped from answering by Trivette knocking on the door then calling out “Hey Walker, Alex was just in the office and she wasn't looking so good. Maybe you should go see if she's okay? Alex said she was going back to her office to wait for you."


            Walker unlocked the door causing Ellen to ask him “Where are you going to Cord? We're not done talking." Walker answered “I have to check on my wife.”  He then quickly left the conference room. Ellen not wanting Walker to leave her behind said to Trivette “I knew Ranger Walker a few years back. I must say I was surprised to find out that he had gotten married. I was supposed to meet his wife this evening but he left in such a hurry that he didn't tell me where I could meet her at. Would you know where she's at? You seem to know the two of them." Trivette replied “Walker’s my partner and his wife Alex is an A.D.A that we work closely with. How about I take you to Alex's office? That way you can meet her."


            When Trivette and Ellen got to Alex's office Ellen quickly said “thanks for the escort but I can take it from here." Trivette who wanted to go find a pretty lady to hit on promptly left. Without knocking Ellen went into Alex's private office where Walker was standing behind his wife who was staring out the window. Ellen cleared her throat then when she had their attention said “Cord can we please finish our talk? I have things that I really need to do."


            Alex realizing that the woman who had just come into her office was Ellen informed her husband "Walker I can get someone to ride me home if you want to talk some more with her." Ellen then asked Alex “If you're his wife and I'm assuming that you are, why do you call him Walker. Why not Cord?"


            “Because years ago he asked me not to call him Cord. Later on I found out it was out of respect for his deceased fiancée. I've always called him Walker or cowboy. I will never call him Cord, it wouldn't be right." Alex answered causing Ellen to say “That’s just plain silly.  A married woman calling her husband by his last name. His name is Cord. Any woman who loved him would call him that instead of his surname."


            Alex retorted “Yes he was Cord when he was with you but then you were shot and he thought you had been killed. As time went on he became my Walker, the man that I love. Now that you're back from the dead he can go back to being Cord or keep on being Walker. It's up to him, not me." Ellen flashed a triumphant smile then stated “oh it's going to be Cord all right. Isn't that right my darling Cord?"


            Walker answered "it's Walker and I'm taking my wife home. Come on Alex you need your rest." Ellen objected “but Cord someone else can take her home. You and I need to make plans; we have so much to do and less than two months to do it in."


            “Right now I'm taking my wife home." Walker stated so Ellen glared at Alex while complaining “why don't you stop acting like you're tired just so you can keep Cord from making plans with me? Why can you accept the fact that I'm back and that means Cord is no longer your concern? He's my concern now."


            Alex stated “I will always be concerned about Walker no matter what the future brings. I am not stopping Walker from making plans with you. I have never told him what to do and I'm not about to start now. I have too much respect for Cordell Walker to try and tell him what to do or who to see. If you really wish to talk to him about the past you can come out to the ranch whenever you want to. Once you're there I'll leave. Now if you'll excuse us Walker and I are leaving." Ellen then said to Walker “I’ll just see you at the ranch on Saturday at noon." Walker answered okay so Ellen left Alex's office. Walker then looked at Alex who said “please not now Walker. I'll deal with it when I have to and not a minute before then. Let's just go grocery shopping then go home."


            Alex was getting ready to leave the ranch Saturday morning so that Walker and Ellen could finish their talk when Walker took her by the arm and led her to the couch where he said “Alex you don't need to leave your house because of Eleanor." Alex questioned her husband “Why are you calling her Eleanor? What happened to you calling her Ellen?" Walker replied "Alex to me she's Eleanor Ginger Jordaine, not Ellen Jordan Garret. The Ellen that I knew and loved would never have let me think for all of these years that she was dead and that her death was my fault."


            “What are you saying?" Alex asked Walker who answered “what I'm saying is that to me Ellen died then. I will not let Eleanor or Ellen's ghost come between us. She's in the past and you and our baby are my future. I love you lady and I'm never letting you go."


            Alex threw herself into Walker's arms as she told him “I love you so very much Cordell." Walker kissed his wife soundly. They broke apart when they heard Ellen call out “Cord where are you?"

            Walker got up from the couch as he answered “in here." Ellen entered the living room to see that Alex was there so she demanded “What are you doing here? I thought you would be gone by now." Alex got up and told her husband “I’ll be outside." After Alex left the house Ellen asked him “Why are you letting her stick around here?"


            “Alex is my wife and this is her home. Nothing will ever change that." Walker stated. Ellen questioned "what about us? How can we get married and have a life together if you won't make her leave this ranch? Don't you love me anymore Cord?"


            Walker honestly replied “I loved you more than life itself when we were dating Ellen but I was told that you died. For years I blamed myself for your death. Then I met Alex and we grew closer, after she found out what had happened to you Alex and I had a long talk about you and what you had meant to me. Alex helped me to finally let go of the guilt that I felt for your death. After we were married Alex's life was threatening by a criminal we were after. I told her that I would quit the Rangers for her but she told me that the man she loved was a Texas Ranger and that it would stay that way. Alex and I are going to stay married as long as there is breath in my body. My wedding vows were for life."


            Ellen slapped Walker across the face and left the ranch house in tears. As she was heading to her car Ellen spotted Alex by the corral fence so she went over and confronted her “how on earth did you force my Cord to stay with you? What did you threaten him with?" Alex replied “I told Walker that I wouldn't stand in the way of his happiness. That if he wanted you I would give him a divorce without hesitation. Walker's wellbeing is all that matters to me."


            An irate Ellen scoffed “tell me another one. As a matter of fact why don't you explain to me why he's still a Texas Ranger if you're his wife? He got me shot but stays a Ranger then he marries you and is still a Ranger. How can that be?" Alex retorted “my husband Cordell John Walker is still a Texas Ranger because that's who I fell in love with. Walker being a Ranger is as much a part of him as being part Cherokee is. It's in his blood and to take that away from him would make Walker someone else. I'm not interested in loving someone else who's safe for me to love. Not when I can love Walker."


            Ellen snapped “then you are a fool and you deserve what you get for still allowing him to continue being a Ranger. And while you're at it tell Cord I said goodbye. He wasn't worth coming back from the dead for." Ellen then got in her car and peeled off down the lane to the state highway.



Chapter Eight


            When Walker came over to watch the horses at the corral fence Alex asked him “are you okay?" Walker answered as he placed an arm around her shoulders “that’s my line lady." Alex content to know that Walker had chosen her over Ellen didn't address that matter instead she said to him “Walker I'm going to be scheduling my sonogram during my next appointment with Dr. Bates. When I have it done would you like to be there during the sonogram?"

            “Let me know when it is and I'll be there." Walker answered as they headed back to the house. Alex then told him “Walker I don't want to know what we're having ahead of time. Is that okay with you?" Walker assured his wife “that’s fine with me but it's going to make it hard for me when it comes to doing the nursery. What if I decide to make the nursery for a boy and we have a girl?" Alex suggested “just do the nursery in neutral tones. That way whichever we have the nursery will be fine." Walker verbally agreed while thinking to himself that it sure would be helpful to him if he knew ahead of time what the gender of the baby was going to be.


A short time later Trivette pulled up to the ranch house in a hurry and told the Walkers who were sitting on their front porch swing “there was a car wreck just up the state highway from here. According to eye witnesses the woman driver appeared to be calling someone on her cellular phone and lost control of her car. She ended up smashing into the jersey barriers that were placed along the road during construction to widen the highway." Alex asked “do you know her name?"


            Trivette replied “I think it was the woman Walker was meeting in the conference room the other day, Eleanor Ginger Jordaine. I saw her face so I really do think it's her but I don't know her well enough to I.D. her. Walker the cops at the scene said that they hadn't found any I.D. on her yet so maybe you should go tell them who she is." Walker got up from the porch swing and headed to his truck. Trivette lingered to ask “so Alex just how well did Walker know that woman?" Alex responded “that’s for Walker to tell you if he chooses to. The woman's name is Eleanor Ginger Jordaine and no I won't tell you what they were talking about the other day. What I will tell you is that Jordaine was here talking to us and she was headed away from our ranch when she was in that car wreck. If you have any other questions about her ask Walker."


            Walker went to the crash scene and identified Eleanor and told them that she had been at his ranch shortly before the wreck. Walker then told the officers the name of Eleanor's attorney and suggested they get in touch with him. Walker then returned to his house where Trivette questioned him about the car wreck victim. Walker told him that he had known woman years ago and that she had wanted to get to know him again but he hadn't been interested and that she had driven away upset. When Trivette tried to get more than that out of Walker he was bluntly told to drop the subject. Trivette dropped the subject and left the ranch house shortly thereafter.


Walker still dealing with Ellen's return then her death continued to wear a t-shirt and shorts to sleep in and Alex continued to wear pajamas that kept her covered up while they were sleeping. [Neither one of them attempted to have sex with the other during this time.] One night Alex was awaken by her baby moving so she called Walker several times. He woke up and asked her what the matter was. Alex told him that the baby was moving and for him to place his hand on her abdomen so that he could feel it but he couldn't. A disappointed Alex said darn but Walker drew the covers over their heads as he told her that they had all night. Alex grabbed the covers and threw them to the floor. After they were done Alex said "I love being able to lay in your arms like this, with no clothes between us." Walker answered "I like it too lady."


            Walker went to the sonogram appointment with Alex like he had promised her that he would do while thinking he might be able to figure out what the gender of the baby was but he wasn't able to. Walker met with Dr. Bates one day and talked her into showing him a picture that was taken during the sonogram. Walker knew then which way to do the nursery. Walker took a few days off work when Alex had a break between cases and he did the nursery.


After being shown the nursery an impressed Alex told her husband that it was perfect for a girl. Then asked him what if they had a boy. Walker just shrugged his shoulders and wanting to change the subject suggested that his wife lay down for a while. Alex agreed on the condition that he join her. Walker questioned her “Should we still be doing this? Don't pregnant woman have to stop having... you know?" Alex replied “The baby isn't due for at least ten weeks so yes we can and we will do this. But we are going to have to do it a little different. Any ideas?"  Walker showed her what his ideas were when it came to that.


            After fighting with Walker outside of Trivette's hospital room about the danger he was in Alex collapsed to the floor and was rushed off by a medical team. Walker was pacing the hallway when Dr. Bates told him that they had to take the baby now. After the baby was born Walker was told that both Alex and their baby daughter were not out of the woods. Walker paced endlessly as he worried about both Alex and their daughter. Hours later Walker was taken to Alex's room and told by the nurse that it would be awhile until she woke up. As Walker kept a vigil at his wife's bedside he had a vision of his daughter's future life. It was then that Walker knew the baby would be okay. Alex came to asking about the baby and her husband assured her their baby daughter was okay. Right after he said that Dr. Bates came in and told them the baby was okay. Walker answered that they knew that and thanked her. After she left Alex asked him “So tell me dear how did you know we were having a girl?"


            “I just knew." Walker answered but Alex wasn't buying it as she stated “I’ll bet. You somehow got a look at the sonogram picture and don't bother denying it. How else would you have known to do the nursery for a girl?"


            Walker changed the subject by telling Alex about the vision he had then told her that he wanted the baby named Angela. Alex agreed with the name because she thought her baby was an angel. After they had their daughter home Walker took two weeks off to help Alex with Angela because she was still healing from the C-section. Alex herself was on a two month maternity leave.


            Alex returned to the D.A.'s office on a part time schedule and after her first day back at work at dinner Alex was telling Walker all about her case so he teased her "I see A.D.A. Cahill-Walker is back in town." Alex replied “she sure is cowboy and if you behave yourself she just might show you what you've been missing these last several months." Walker's only answer was a wink. That night in their bedroom the Walker's made up for the last several months.