Ideas emanating from the episode, Vision Quest - with apologies to scriptwriter,
Vision Quest Links
By Pam Gooderham
“Help! Somebody help!”
Panic almost ran away with her.
The Texas Ranger lay on his back, unconscious; the effects of the bomb blast evident by the burn marks on his face.
Alex wanted to tell him to get up! This wasn’t
They had just announced they were getting married! They should be celebrating!
Those thoughts caused a deep sob to escape, and despite her head reeling, Alex fought to keep strong.
The blond, deputy district attorney looked upwards! Thank God people were running towards them to help.
stood, hauling up his prisoner as he did so, while nodding his thanks to
Gage for running out to watch his back. Trivette threw the suspect in his
colleague’s direction and dusted dirt off his pants. “Well, I’m not sure
why he made
Both men instinctively bent lower, and for the barest moment froze, only for their heads to snap towards the sound of the explosion.
“Hold on to that son of bitch!” Trivette ran for all he was worth towards the bar and grill. Deep in the pit of his stomach he knew something was very, very wrong.
“JIMMY! Oh God.”
Alex’s eyes guided him to view her fiancé,
and in a full-pelt running slide,
Trivette’s mouth fell open in dismay and he looked quickly from side to side. Some how he found his voice. “Ambulance?”
“On it’s way.”
Feeling totally helpless, they could only look at their fallen friend.
Blisters formed as they watched.
Although it seemed longer, it was less than a minute before the cloth was gently
placed over the top of
The doctor stayed a few seconds more and left, replaced a few minutes later by Gage and Sydney.
The two newest Rangers were shocked to see
Sydney and Gage knew they would never rest until the suspect was prosecuted to the full extent of the law. They left shortly a few minutes later to question the man they had in custody.
Finally, only Alex and Trivette remained in the room.
There was total silence. Fear and dread settled like a morbid shroud.
In a trembling whisper Alex asked, “What if …if he can’t see again?”
friend tightly gripped her hand, both unable to take their eyes off
…we’ll be there for him. Help him all we can.” It was more than a statement
or a suggestion;
“He won’t like it.”
Trivette gently reached out and tilted up Alex’s teary face to look at her. “You know what C.D. would say now?” he asked in his gentlest tone.
As Alex nodded, so did he, confirming, “We have to think good thoughts. Right?”
Alex cuddled into Trivette’s arms. The taller man enveloped her and kissed the top of her head. It was a moment of brother and sisterly love in an insane and confusing world.
Eventually, Alex persuaded Jimmy to join Gage and Sydney interrogating the suspect who had planted
the bomb. Alex could tell Jimmy hadn’t wanted to leave them, but she
had convinced him to follow up while the evidence was fresh and to stop
by in the morning. The least he could do for
Why? Alex sighed heavily. One minute she and Walker were wonderfully happy after announcing
their plans to marry in May - and now this. The tears welled up again.
There was never a thought if she could live with
in the evening
Frightened he might come around and be confused she had barely catnapped, and now her intuition proved right. She just caught his hand as it went to pull away the bandages.
“No, honey. No,” Alex whispered as softly and kindly as she could.
“Sshh, darling.” Alex held down both his hands, but
Although in his weakened state she overpowered his feeble efforts, she knew her man well enough to know he would not like to feel trapped. Accordingly, she tried to calm him another way, and released him as her free hand caressed the very top of his head, away from his injuries.
“Darling, it’s Alex. Listen, honey. You saved everyone from the bomb at C.D.’s. Remember?”
Her ploy worked and
eyes got hurt the worst. But you’re going to be okay.” Alex’s love was evident in every word and
every gesture. It calmed the man she adored. Taking hold of his hands she
kissed them this time, softly continuing. “But you need rest, my darling.
I’ll be here beside you, I promise. Sshh. Go back to sleep. Just
rest …rest ...” And once again her hand reverently caressed his hair.
The closing door faded both
The doctor had said ‘…but yes, there is a possibility, Ranger Walker, that you will not get your sight back!’
Alex was aware of the heavy silence that had
fallen about the room – she felt sick, her stomach unsettled and her head
pounded. She couldn’t even imagine what
Although Alex didn’t agree with
Strangely, neither spoke, they just tightly held each other’s hands, and before too long they were interrupted by breakfast, nurses to change the dressings, and then an administrator to deal with the paperwork so they could leave the hospital.
mid afternoon they began the journey home.
“What are you thinking?” she asked.
“Oh, I was just thinking - how you can take something for granted, until you no longer have it.” Alex fought back the tears and rallied when he continued, “Uhhm… can we go for a walk before going in?”
slowly strolled around the ranch,
Things seemed as well as they could until
must be tired
“It’s not necessary. You go home.”
Alex’s jaw dropped. “I can’t go home.”
“Alex, I have to do this alone.” And reaching the front door he opened it to escort her through.
“Why are you being this way?”
They entered the night and stepped on to the illuminated porch,
“I have to find out if I can handle this, Alex. And I can’t do that with you leading me around by the arm.”
“Okay – I won’t,” she was fraught, her voice breathy, “I mean, but don’t push me away. I love you! I want to be here with you.”
Uncharacteristically, Alex raised her voice, “ Don’t you do this to me,” then shouted, “THIS IS JUST YOUR STUBBORN PRIDE!”
Tiredness, shock and disbelief overwhelmed her, and she disconsolately sat on the brick step, a high pitched emotional mumble escaping her lips “Don’t you do this to me…”
The horror of seeing
And Alex wept.
He waited. He could hear her crying and it all but broke his heart. She stayed there for a few minutes, and just as Walker couldn’t stand it any longer and was about to gather her in his arms and try to make her understand, he heard her tiny footsteps run towards her car.
He knew this wasn’t right. He had to go after her.
The Texas Ranger’s fist rammed into the wall, and then in despair
He hated the smell of hospital antiseptic. Somehow he had to try taking a shower, but how would he do that?
There was a hole in the middle of each eye patch to ensure there was no added pressure on the eyes themselves, and Stevens had said to be careful and avoid getting the surrounds of his eyes wet for three or four days.
The Texas Ranger thought it through. Take off the bandages and hold the patches
over his eyes with one hand, while carefully backing into the spray to
wash his hair. He would then re-bandage his eyes and shower from the neck
down. That should do it,
He found his way upstairs and felt the way to his room and then the bathroom, and turned on the shower taps to the full position. Spray, noise and steam were welcome company.
The shower having gone as planned but having taken longer than anticipated, now dripping wet, Walker wrapped a towel around his torso and sat on the edge of the bed and reached for the phone, the agonizing sounds of hearing Alex’s sobs as she sat outside still replaying in his mind.
He had been too harsh. He should have tried to explain how he felt a different way, but Alex could be just as stubborn. She could twist him around her little finger and most times he would either enjoy it or allow it under sufferance. But this time, although he had to do this himself, he should have tried harder to make her understand. He’d hurt her, and it grieved him.
Alex’s phone rang until her voice mail kicked in and he waited for the beep to proceed with his message. Maybe she had gone straight to bed?
“Alex. About tonight. I - dang I hate these things - I hope you understand this is something I had to do. I’ll call you in the morning.” There was a few seconds silence, “I love you,” he added.
The Texas Ranger held the phone in his hands for a further few seconds before wistfully replacing the receiver.
Still restless at , after throwing back the bedcovers the Ranger finally sat up. He would dress and make coffee.
The sound of breaking glass woke Alex from her shallow sleep. This was her second night of sleepless turmoil.
Unable to reconcile leaving
He should be looking at himself, but there was nothing.
Not a glimmer of light or even a shadow. There was nothing but blackness and his
soul chilled to the core, freezing him in time and in space.
It was real. He was blind.
Hardly able to breathe, Alex stared at
She thought quickly, and gently touching his arms eased him back towards the stool where he sat down, obviously numbed and shocked.
“Here,” Alex said as normally as she was able, “let me put in your eye drops for you.”
his fiancée prized away the bandages still held in
“If I could take this away for you. If I could make it better…”
Walker’s shoulders sagged, and his body weight came forward as if he were allowing her to take away the strain and burden, and they embraced for a long time, both thankful for the physical contact and the comfort each needed from the other. Alex knew it was time for her to take the lead.
is what we’re going to do. You look exhausted,
Alex didn’t wait for an answer, but pulled the Texas Ranger to his feet. “C’mon,” and when he stood with her, “there you go.”
She lead him first right and immediately left to face the staircase, “Okay, first step is in front of you,” and they ascended arm in arm.
in the bedroom his fiancée guided him to the far side of the bed, and making
him sit, helped remove his boots, socks, and then his shirt.
Dressed in a maroon bra and panties, Alex slipped beside him. She turned towards
him on to her stomach to half lie on the man she loved to warm him.
Alex reveled at being in a bed. After a night sitting in a hospital chair and last night in her car it was sheer relief to finally be horizontal. Her head lay on the pillow, her nose buried into the top of his shoulder, and her arm draped over his chest. At least for now she felt they were safe and secure.
As they lay, each occupied with their own thoughts, the bed became warmer and
more tranquil and comfortable Alex nestled closer to
Alex was sure this was the best thing for them, and if they got some rest things wouldn’t seem so impossible, she was sure of it. Within seconds they lay in an exhausted sleep within each other’s embrace.
exquisite contentment on waking revitalized the two soul mates. During
four hours of slumber they had changed positions, Alex now appreciating
“It’s okay. I’m awake.”
gently, Alex touched his lips and cheek, and her fingers
gingerly crossed his bandaged eyes.
Perhaps now was the time for her to be vulnerable and candid. She sniffed loudly so, with him not being able to see he would guess her train of thought. “I smell awful! And I think I have morning mouth.”
“Like a skunk’s armpit.”
only kidding. C’mere.”
“I smell?” Alex wrinkled her nose.
“I had a shower last night, so it can’t be me.”
disappointment of last night came flooding back, but Alex stopped from reliving the heartache.
Now was not the time to bring up the subject and even if it were, what
happened paled compared to the enormity of
“This was a good idea, wasn’t it?” she commented, snuggling into his chest.
She was given a further squeeze before her Ranger replied. “Yeah. It sure was.” He certainly felt much better, both mentally and physically.
Alex loved being so warm and close, the smell,
the security and privacy of being with the man she loved. Without thinking
she moved suddenly, her hand accidentally touching
help but expel a low chuckle. “Alex, I’m blind, not dead. What did you expect?” And his body reacted with a silent laugh to go with the small smile on his face.
His laugh was softly audible this time. “Relax. It’s okay.”
“Oh. Sure? I …um …”
Alex settled into the warmth again. “I could stay here forever, but … do you feel like tackling the day now?”
“Tell you what,” Alex suggested, “You stay here while I quickly have a shower, we’ll dress and then …er, we’ll put the ranch back together. How does that sound?”
don’t do anything by halves,
There was a joking lilt to Alex’s voice he picked up on, and the handsome
bearded face grimaced before smiling. Leaning back against the pillows,
his hands behind his head,
He was rewarded with another kiss and Alex briskly vacated the bed heading for the bathroom.
“Just my luck.”
“I said, just my luck.”
“You’re in my bedroom, any second now you’ll be naked - and I can’t see!”
His pained look over such a mute point made her smile. “I’d make you turn around anyway, cowboy.”
“You wouldn’t do that to me.”
“I would, too. Anyway, you’re too much a gentleman - you wouldn’t look!”
“Compliment accepted!” And a smiling Alex closed the door behind her. A bit of humor was just what was needed. It would help prepare them for the challenges ahead.
When she returned
She couldn’t help being disappointment. “Oh, you’re dressed!”
“You’re too late, counselor!”
“Just my luck as well, then,” came the retort.
Alex was soon dressed and ready. “Okay. Let’s figure how to do this.”
“You ready?” Alex stole another kiss.
She watched him become more serious and nod.
“Okay, I’ll go first.” Alex rose but resisted the temptation to take his arm and left it to the Ranger to follow behind, but it was hard not to keep checking back. Once at the bottom of the stairs Alex righted a fallen lamp stand and checked the bulb.
“The big stone colored one?”
“Damn. I liked that.”
“No problem. Least of our worries.” Alex was already near the kitchen, righting chairs and picking up the smaller items as she passed them. Tiptoeing over the spilt coffee and glass, the broom was found and soon the broken remains were swept near the back door.
“Quick wash with a mop and we’re through for now. You hungry?”
It was up high and he could hear her struggling to reach the dusty box. “Here.”
“Got it.” Alex put the box down on the counter top and
turned round. Now back on terra firma
“Thanks. For everything.”
Alex closed her eyes. It wasn’t a dismissal by any means, but she preempted him.
“At least before you successfully made the coffee. Want to try that again and I’ll get us some cereal? Then I’ll go home, maybe see you later if you want?”
“Of course I want.”
“Sure. Only let me do the pouring or I’ll never get out of here!” And they both smiled.
Although his answer was anticipated Alex’s heart sank.
Alex stood at his lead and they left the table arm in arm and entered the living room.
It was an hour later Alex drove away, this time for real, leaving
Despite the day being occupied with personal ablutions, chores, and spending
nearly two hours on the phone with her office, the thought regarding their
compatibility rarely left Alex’s mind. It surprised her when the phone
rang almost immediately after she had replaced the receiver and it was
“Hey. How are you getting on?”
“Oh, I’m getting on fine. What time would you like to come over?”
“Would seven be okay?”
“Okay, Alex. And I’ve got a surprise for you when you get here.”
“You do? Tell me.”
Alex was hopeless with surprises.
“Something smells good.” With happy expectancy Alex pushed open the front door. “
The sight of
“Are you alright?”
Poor, poor, Walker. Would nothing go right for him? He must have fallen downstairs! Candles? Obviously for her benefit! He was going out of his way for her! Why had this happened to him? Alex’s heart was near to breaking. He was obviously aching from where he had fallen but not drawing attention to his pains. He was downplaying his obvious embarrassment.
Deliberately, Alex didn’t make a fuss and although she praised his efforts making the simple meal and how delicious it was, the evening was tense and strained. Bringing him up-to-date on Jimmy’s investigation and other events at the office brought only at best monosyllabic answers, and then practically no conversation at all. Her heart went out to him.
Stunned didn’t even begin to explain how she felt.
Please, God, Alex silently pleaded, don’t let him go this route.
Yet another heavy silence stifled the room and Alex wondered what she could do or say. Yes, there was that chance. Should she tell him not to be silly and give hope where they may be none? Or should she have him accept what may be the tragic possibility and start preparing now the future? Unable to decide she could only clutch his hand and squeeze hard, and found herself saying, “Let’s just wait a little while longer, okay?”
again the night brought new terrors. Always the same dream for
He sat up again. Was this real? Or part of his dream? “White Eagle?”
“The Great Spirit told me you are facing a great challenge. I am here to help you face that challenge.”
In the morning he and White Eagle spoke.
“Never does not exist for the warrior.”
He could hear the uncertainty and trembling in her voice.
“So wh..when shall I come back?”
“I’ll let you know.”
“I love you, too.”
Even to him it sounded hollow. Damn it! Why couldn’t he tell her she wasn’t to worry and of course he would call for her when White Eagle was finished with him? Was it because if he couldn’t get any better he wouldn’t want her around? No, of course he wanted her around. He loved her more than life itself! But Alex couldn’t marry him like this! How would they live? What would he do? Her job was a tough one and fraught with danger. If he could no longer protect her she had to be free to take the love of another, someone who could give her a better life.
“Come. It is time.”
And the discovery of his new self started. The sweat lodge made him feel better. More in touch with his inner self. But the training was hard.
“Think with your mind. Not with your hands.”
Eagle must have said that ten times already. And as he dropped his hands
and stumbled into a tree trunk,
“I am here, Washo.”
“I can’t do this.”
Can’t do it? Since when had that been in his vocabulary? But try as he may it wasn’t coming together. Inwardly he winced. His shins were royally bruised and hurt like hell, although he wasn’t going to complain about that.
“You must learn to use your minds eye, directing all your senses together, so that the result is no different than when you could see.”
the training continued. Hour after hour, day after day. It was getting
a little easier, coming together more.
But he put down the receiver as soon as he picked it up. They had been living
rough and he’d first need to have a shower.
He could hear initial relief replaced by fear. She was obviously wondering whether he was going to ask her back… or not.
“I’d like for you to come round. If that’s okay?” he added respectfully.
The Texas Ranger didn’t have to be there to know she was smiling.
Alex was elated.
Now, later, as she and Walker finished the salad they had prepared, he had wanted to know the progress his partner had made with the case and happenings in the office. How was the HOPE center? He wondered if she had caught up with her work.
This was the
“… but the twenty thousand donation we received from Royce Industries will give us breathing space for quite some time.” Alex giggled. “Word has it that you had something to do with that?”
grin appeared on the face of the bearded Ranger. “Not really. When Trivette
and me recovered the stolen software, the CEO said if there was
anything he could do to let him know. All I said was, that
if his company were to decide on a charitable donation this year, they
might want to remember the
The two laughed.
clattered as Alex went to clear up.
“I hate drying. Can’t I wash?”
“Alex! We take it in turns. I hate drying, too.”
now standing by the sink,
“We’ll do scissors, paper, stone to decide.”
“You lady, are the worst cheat I know.”
he quipped. Easily escaping from her hold
“Yeah. You’re right,” she conceded.
He did as she asked and found the tea towel in his hands. It was another few minutes before Alex spoke again.
He took a beat before beginning his reply. “Well…” He froze. The crickets - he couldn’t hear the crickets. And the owl. The owl had been quietly hooting for her mate and suddenly broke off in mid call. Other inexplicable senses also kicked in.
“What is it?”
“There’s someone outside.” There had to be, it was obvious.
Peering through the shutters of the living room Alex picked them up clearly. The bright moonlight highlighted four intruders clambering over the side fencing by the big oak tree.
“I see them. There’s four men and they’re splitting up.” Her voice had become tense.
the front door. Turn off the lights. Call Trivette,”
But they were on step ahead and Alex couldn’t get a dial tone.
“They cut the lines,” Alex advised him.
A hand flew across her mouth. “Oh no! It’s in my coat pocket, but that’s in the car.”
“Alex, listen carefully. I want you to stay here and don’t make a sound. Understand?” He didn’t allow her time to reply. “If I hear a noise from now on I need to know its them and not you. Now stay put.”
And he left before she had time to open her mouth. He traversed the room with barely a touch of the furniture, into the hall, and closed the living room door without making a noise. Alex’s mind reeled, but she knew she had better do exactly what he said.
The first one was easy.
As quickly as
The elbow joint was expertly placed either side of the man’s
the arm lock
took two or three minutes before
And that someone was about to pay.
Still with a hand over Alex’s mouth and throat, Gazal roughly dragged the District Attorney into the demolished hallway. His hands fumbled for the lights and they snapped on, illuminating the outside.
“That’s better. Gives me a real advantage over your poor blind
the Ranger was puzzled. The steps were clumsy, even allowing for the fact Alex was being held. Backwards, the Ranger
figured! He’s walking backwards while holding Alex. That’s perfect,
Alex eyed the discarded weapon, but heeding
The Arab was flung to one side. The Ranger stood still, perfectly still, and prayed Alex had the sense to do the same.
Gazal looked at his opponent and his spirits soared. This should be easy! He gave a quiet, contemptuous laugh.
That’s what the Ranger had been waiting for.
The reply was firm and confident.
And he knew just when to make his next move. He didn’t know how he knew,
his collective senses made him aware and his right foot powered in to a
backwards kick, hitting home. He could imagine his opponent’s body’s position,
and tightening his stomach for the moment of impact
“Is he out?” he asked.
“Of course,” she was trembling a little, “how about you?
was his stock answer. Alex placed a hand over his far shoulder and
buried her face in his neck. He was amazing. Sensing her shock
“Hon,” he kissed her again, “run to your car, phone for Trivette and the team. Then get something we can use to tie these vermin up. I’ll stay here.”
Alex was already running, “Okay,” he heard her muffled cry over her footsteps.
come on. How did you do it then?” Trivette looked from
don’t know how he did it. How did you do it,
Trivette looked dubious. “To create a mental image?” he repeated.
Standing up, Trivette, slapped
was nearly one week later, two days before
“Hey, Alex!” Trivette called out.
“Oh. I didn’t see you.” The two close friends hugged.
“You just finishing?” Trivette stared into her face. “Hey? What’s this?” His dear friend looked far from happy.
The blond extricated her chin from between his finger and thumb. “Don’t say anything.”
do say something!”
Seated at a bar around the corner from the courthouse, Trivette placed two coffees on the table, and putting away some lose coins from his change first, went to sit, scraping the chair nearer as he did so.
“Okay, what gives?”
“Jimmy?” Alex tried to make sense of her thoughts,
“You haven’t been up to see
Trivette looked her in the eyes, his voice when he replied quiet, but firm.
“No. But I talk with him on the phone every day.”
“Why haven’t you visited with him?”
“He doesn’t want me to.”
Alex shook her head, baffled. “He didn’t say that did he?”
Trivette took a sip of coffee. “No. Not in words.”
“So how do you know that for sure?”
“Alex…” he struggled to explain, “It’s a guy thing.” He stopped, thought for a second, and tried to explain another way. “Look. He knows if he wants me I’ll be there in a heartbeat. I don’t have to say it – neither does he.” When there was silence Trivette looked down. “Alex. I’ve tried to keep my eyes closed for five minutes. Five seconds later - my gut’s filled with fear and I have to open them again. He can’t. I have to give him time to deal with it. He feels awkward right now.”
“Even with you?” Alex interjected.
“More so with me. I’m his partner.”
“But you’re also his friend!” It hadn’t meant to be accusatory, it just came out that way.
“And as his friend,” Trivette looked directly into her eyes, “I’ll give him the space he needs. Until…” he stopped suddenly.
“Until after he sees the doc. If…” he could hardly get the
words out, “if
Her head slowly shook from side to side, “After White Eagle’s visit then beating those guys that attacked us he seemed to find himself. Become surer of himself, you know? Obviously not like he is normally, but he was much better.” Alex looked keen, “A lot more confident.” Then her look changed, “Now, as time’s gone by… he’s become introverted again. Then yesterday morning I went to change his bandages and put in his eye drops and he wouldn’t let me. He got angry. Said he couldn’t see anything when I put in the eye drops the night before and it wasn’t going to change so what’s the use. I tried to reason with him but he just walked away and left me.”
Trivette reached over and grasped her hand. “He doesn’t mean to take it out on you, you know that, don’t you?”
Alex nodded, feeling the tears well up in her eyes.
“You have to hang in there, Alex, okay?” And pulling her towards him, Trivette embraced her.
“Jimmy?” She whispered in his ear.
“I miss C.D.”
“He would have known what to do.”
“I know.” Trivette sighed again, “I know.” He repositioned his arms, gave Alex another kiss on the cheek, and tightly hugged her again.
Alex entered and closed the front door of
the ranch. Not getting a reply, butterflies flew in her stomach. Quickening
her pace she found
Immediately, Alex was close to tears and she stared at
guess you don’t want to be disturbed,” she said quietly. She paused before
continuing. “Your appointment tomorrow with
Then Alex realized. He wasn’t just apprehensive
about tomorrow -
He was still sitting at the table where she had left him. Even though he couldn’t see the gesture, her finger pointed squarely in his direction.
“These donuts are
Alex held her breath. He had moved more quickly than normal and looked like he was about to hit the doorframe of the kitchen, but even in anger his new senses kicked in and his hand reached out in time, maneuvering him past the doorway. The coffee pot clattered as he filled it with water.
Alex ran a hand through her hair. This was
taking a toll on her nerves. Although the kitchen was only feet away
Finally he reseated himself.
“Thank you.” She made her tone abrupt even though Alex felt the exact opposite. All she wanted to do was take him in her arms and hold him. Make it better for him. But she duly opened the box releasing the aroma of newly baked donuts.
“Which one do you want?”
She gave as good as she got, raising her voice in return. “You don’t have to be Cherokee to work it out! Even I can smell the difference!”
was a beat before
“Right! So, which one do you want?”
very occasional time they stopped for donuts Alex’s favorite was apple and his raspberry,
so the fact she was being polite mellowed him.
“Thank you. I’ll have the apple, please.”
Alex did nothing.
“I forgot plates and napkins.”
get them,” and without waiting his reply Alex rose, returning a few seconds later.
“Yeah.” A few seconds later, “Here’s yours.”
They ate in silence until the delicacies were gone and the coffee finished. He could hear Alex licking her fingers. Would he ever be able to look into that beautiful face again?
Alex squashed the empty box and gathered the plates and mugs.
“And before you get on my case - I’d do this whoever’s house I was in! It’s
polite!” And she popped them through into the kitchen sink. Grabbing her
purse, Alex stopped. “No doubt you’ll want to be
by yourself. I’ll pick you up in the morning. “Bye,
She had only taken a few steps.
She didn’t stop.
“I know.” The blond made to go again.
“Please, don’t go.”
She stopped a second time and turned back. He seemed frozen, vulnerable, and
forlorn. Alex came nearer, replaced her purse and stood
next to him. She reached out her hand and gently touched the side of his
cheek. Her hand was grasped.
“I’m sorry,” he said fervently. “I don’t know what got into me. Please don’t cry. I’m so sorry. Will you… stay a while longer?”
the nod of her head
“Okay. Now the bandages are off,” Stevens looked towards Gage, “gradually bring up the lights, will you please?” The lighting in the room slowly became brighter. The doctor shone the ophthalmoscope into the Ranger’s eyes. “Hmm, let’s have a look.” The retina was clear and the pupils reacting normally. “Can you see anything Ranger Walker?”
he hadn’t have heard the order for the lights to be dimmed
He could see Alex in his peripheral sight. She was as scared as he was – she was standing alone and looking as fraught as could be. He must put things right. He crossed the room and stared into the face he feared he would never see again. Although now in a worried and frightened state, he thought she was the most beautiful woman on earth. The love of his life had not wavered even when he’d been at his worst.
With complete reverence he reached for her hand and kissed it as delicately as possible.
Would there ever be a time when words and feelings would come easily for him?
What could he say when she gave so much of herself?
“Thanks for being there for me.” He worried she was going to collapse, her body swaying slightly, but her face broke out into a smile.
“You can see me.”
He could hear a collective sigh of relief from his partner and Gage and Sydney.
Alex fell into his arms and quietly sobbed
as he held her.
Repositioning his arms around her,
Finally, they were interrupted.
back to the present, both Walker and Alex seemed at a loss to know what to do or
The younger Ranger stepped in between them to hug
“Thank God, Walker. Thank God.”
I will. And thank you, Trivette. For everything.”
“Great result, guys. Gage and me will catch up with you later, okay?”
They made their farewells. Trivette took Alex’s hand.
“Come on, counselor!” And they also stepped outside the room to wait.
After ten minutes or so Alex excused her self and a minute later the door opened with Walker and his doctor.
“One more examination in three weeks, Ranger Walker. We’ll send a card with the date of the appointment. In the meantime, any changes call immediately, okay?”
you anticipate any changes?”
surgeon looked around, “
“Aah…” Trivette gestured down the corridor, “she’s gone to the restroom.”
right. Could you let her know that based on my findings from the examination,
should you not have regained your sight, Ranger Walker, please tell
do you mean, doctor?”
“The hyphemor – the swelling behind your eyes – it had to be reduced in order for us to precisely assess cornea damage. Once that was achieved, if you still couldn’t see, it would have meant the corneas were too badly damaged as a result of the explosion, and might, therefore, have opened up the possibility of a cornea transplant.”
The smiling doctor offered a hand which was respectfully taken.
And with that Stevens hurried away.
“She sure is, Trivette. She sure is.”
There was much to say between the two men, yet they remained silent, neither knowing where to start. They saw Alex step into the corridor and spotting them waiting she joined them, smiling broadly and slipping an arm around each man’s waist.
“Honey, I’m so pleased for you! And Jimmy?” she giggled, “You can stop looking so worried now!”
Realizing this was not the time or place for a serious talk Trivette seized the moment to lighten the atmosphere.
“Oh, right!” he countered immediately, “like you were that calm – not!”
Alex and Trivette stopped in their tracks.
“That’s what I heard! Maybe we’d better hurry incase he changes his mind.”
And the friends chuckled. It had been so long since they joked and it felt good to laugh again.
“You know I don’t think he could decide who was worse, Al – you driving him or me!”
“I think you were the worst, Jimmy!” Alex parried.
“Ha! Miss thirty miles an hour crawl-a-long! I don’t think so.”
“At least I didn’t back his Ram into a shopping cart!” Alex laughed again. “That’ll teach you to go grocery shopping instead of bringing it straight back to the ranch.”
“You said you wouldn’t tell! Dang it, Alex!” Trivette was peeved.
The two friends thought it was too soon. There was a clamber of protests as their voices faded down the corridor.
“Not such a good idea…”
“Honey why not give it a day or so…”
“Gees! It’s not like I’ve forgotten….”
After their meal at the Stockyards,
“You okay? You seemed very quiet tonight after we got to C.D.’s.”
“Sorry. I’m okay.”
“No need to apologize. I wondered if anything was wrong?”
You have your sight back. What could be wrong tonight?” She turned the
car onto the dirt track toward the house and stopped.
“You’re coming in?” he asked expectantly.
Alex hesitated slightly, “No. Thanks. You
go in. No doubt you’re back at work tomorrow,” she carried on as
“You can still come in.”
There was another pause as Alex wrestled with her feelings. Finally she squeezed his arm and smiled.
“It’s okay, I’ll catch up with you tomorrow. Call me if you need me?”
“I’d better go. C.D.’s for breakfast?”
“I love you, Walker.”
“I love you too. Call me when you get in, okay?” And he spun from the seat and shut the door firmly and waved as she reversed.
He could see again.
Thank God; thank God! Taking firm hold of the wooden rail,
held the phone close to his lips and lowering his voice turned away so
the rest of the office wouldn’t hear. “You didn’t make it for breakfast.”
“Yeah. I suddenly remembered which case was being heard this morning and I needed to talk to Martin before he went into court. I’m taking back my cases now and there’s a lot I need to do. How are your eyes?”
“Crystal clear. Alex …we need to talk. When can we meet?” He could hear a resigned sigh.
“Yeah we do.”
“Shall I come to your place this evening? Maybe take you out to dinner first?”
“No, Walker. How about you come to my office when you’re finished. I’ll still be here.”
“Bye.” As after thought she said, “Take care,” and the phone went dead.
He and Trivette had a fairly quiet first day back. Mostly routine follow ups, no fights, and they even got some paperwork done later that afternoon. He wouldn’t admit to a small feeling of eyestrain and it worried him to a degree. Consequently he welcomed Trivette’s call to finish for the day.
“You comin’ to C.D.’s with us?”
Trivette had rounded up Sydney and Gage and the three of them stood
“Thanks, guys. I’ll take a rain check.”
“Yeah. Fine, thanks.”
the three still stood expectantly in silence,
“Oh! You’re gonna meet with Alex!” Trivette had a singing tone to his voice, and his face made a broad, grinning beam around the room.
“Oh, well. Now we understand. Don’t we guys!”
Gage laughed. “Sure do.”
Trivette winked at Syd and Gage and pushed his luck. Lowering his voice he raised his eyebrows in their direction.
the band of Rangers laughed as they left,
They were a great blessing to him. It was difficult maintaining the right posture
at work, but the new Rangers had picked up that Trivette had more leverage
than they did and they had not overstepped that invisible line.
Alex’s new PA was a smart, petite, Hispanic woman. She had settled into her work well and was fast to pick up the demands of the job. She passed him on the stairs.
“Si. And she’s alone. You can go straight in.”
“Thanks!” he called after her, and increased his pace. Reaching Alex’s office he knocked quietly on the door and opened it.
“Hi. Teresa said you were alone. Um, this good for you?” He had seen her writing furiously on a yellow legal pad. She stopped on reaching the end of the sentence, clipped on her pen top and threw that and the legal pad to one side.
“Yeah. C’mon in.”
closed the door, walked over to her desk, and leaned over to give her a
kiss. Alex stood, returned the gesture and smiled,
but there wasn’t the warmth behind the smile to which
“You have something on your mind.” He knew; it was a statement not a question, and as she nodded added. “Okay. Then here’s as good as anywhere.” The Ranger reached for her hand, “What is it, Alex?”
His touch was electrifying.
The secure feel of his warm skin and the strength of his hand. The contrasting gentleness when his fingers caressed hers.
Alex looked into his eyes. They were much better if maybe a little tired looking. Had he done too much on his first day back she worried? This was ridiculous, she told herself. She had genuine concerns and there was no point in going on. Alex knew well enough to know that she could not paste over the cracks and hope things would work out. One failed marriage already was testimony to that and she couldn’t have it again, even with the immense love she had for the man before her. Alex took a deep breath.
“But … you
know, I think… I know… you love me. I know you don’t say it unprompted
too often, but I know you do.”
“Before I was injured, I asked you to set a date for us to get married. You were as happy as I’d seen you. What’s happened to change your mind?”
“Look at me, Walker.” It wasn’t her physical appearance to which Alex referred, and to illustrate she indicated around her office with a sweep of her hand. “I’m a Deputy District Attorney. I have my own apartment, my own car, I’ve saved quite a bit of money, and I’ve worked damn hard of all of it.”
we’ve just experienced isn’t our first trauma and I hate to say it, but
with your job and mine, we know it won’t be the last, don’t we?” she nodded
at the end and it made
“So what happens next time? What happens when you need time alone? I can’t
understand why you push me away, but I’ve grown to accept this is how it’ll
“I drove as far as the freeway and came back. I couldn’t bear to leave you like that.”
The blond slowly nodded. “It doesn’t change anything.” her voice trembled, “The bottom line - is that you didn’t want me there.”
“Right.” Alex agreed.
“Alex - think of the circumstances this time.
I had to face my fears my own way. But because of my injuries I
couldn’t leave for the badlands - I had no alternative but stay at the
ranch.” He walked nearer to her. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want you – not
like that, but something I had to do.”
was about the longest Alex had heard
“I don’t know, I honestly don’t.”
“When you sat on the porch crying - it about broke my heart. I was coming to get you when you left, but I couldn’t get to you in time. I’m sorry I hurt you. I didn’t know you stayed in your car.”
The nearness of him. Alex closed her eyes. “And I can’t help how I feel. Before, being your wife was all I wanted to be, now …now - I don’t know. I’m apprehensive. I know marriage would mean you giving up your independence, but I’m giving up a lot too. My independence, my apartment! Maybe …maybe getting married isn’t right for either of us.”
“Promise me you’ll stay here? I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Where are you going?”
“My office. Alex, I said I’ll be back in a minute – just promise me you won’t leave?”
Alex shrugged, “Okay.”
“Yeah, I promise!” She could help but give a small smile. He was impossible at times like this – well, he was impossible most times, she conceded, but that love for him was so strong.
True to his word he returned a few minutes later, panting slightly; he must
have run up and down the stairs. In his hand he held up a tri-fold document.
“They’re …” Alex expertly scanned the legal documents, “the title deeds to your ranch?”
“Made out to you,” Alex’s head came up sharply, “and me?”
“You’ve …given me half your ranch?” Alex was incredulous.
Alex stared at the papers, up to
The bearded Ranger suddenly pinched the bridge of his nose and quickly fingered away a tear before it escaped. His lower lip trembled and there was no disguising his choked voice this time.
“I can’t lose you now, Alex. I’m not good at saying how I feel, but … you mean everything to me. You have to know that.” his head lowered and it seemed like he didn’t know what to do with his hands, or whether he should go to her or not. He seemed lost.
“I’d give my life for you.” He kissed her nose, her eyes, her eyebrows, and started back on her lips.
“You’d give your life for anyone,” Alex returned, without missing a beat or his kisses.
And the idiocy of his remark caused chuckles.
He pulled back to view her.
“I do love you.”
Alex slowly nodded, “Yeah. I know.” And her smile brought further light to his eyes. She turned serious again. “But you shouldn’t have made out half your ranch to me. It’s too much.”
“Not really. Actually, it’s a pretty poor gesture - compared to donating a
Alex was silent.
“Cat got your tongue?”
A moment of silence ensured while Alex avoided
Alex couldn’t help herself, and let out a loud laugh, her hand automatically covering her mouth as her sense of humor kicked in.
“I’m compared to the meanest scumbag now? If I look hard enough I’m sure there’s a compliment in there somewhere!”
When it came to words he didn’t stand a chance with one of the toughest prosecutors
“Dang it, Alex! Is there another reason why you can’t marry me?”
The chuckling subsided at her Ranger’s anguish and the soft blue of her eyes scoured his face. The smile this time was one of warmth. “No.” came a husky whisper.
“So, does that mean, you’ll still marry me?”
The beautiful blond decided to not to prolong the agony, and grinning, Alex sought his lips, mumbling, “I guess it does.”
The tough but tender Texas Ranger was making sure his bride-to-be knew she had made the right decision, but then, Alex reasoned, Walker’s actions always were louder than his words…
~ The End ~