By: Audra Sargent
Disclaimer: The series 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and any recognizable characters are owned by CBS Productions, Top Kick Productions, etc… The story is mine and is written for my entertainment only. Thanks to Janis for beta-reading this, and thanks to everyone who reviewed.
Chapter 1: Thursday
The Walker's Ranch
"Everyone, I would like you to meet…Angela Walker."
It had been less than an hour since Alex had spoken those words to the group of friends gathered around the porch of the ranch house. In that time everyone had time to admire the baby and had started for home, except Jimmy, Erika, Sydney and Gage.
Now Sydney sat on the living room couch holding the baby with Gage sitting beside her alternating between teasing her and making faces at Angela. Walker, Alex, Jimmy and Erika talked to Connie Jensen as she was leaving for home.
"Angela is just beautiful, Alex." Connie was saying as she made her way down the porch steps.
"Connie, if you need anything just call us."
"I hate to bother you with just getting Angela home. Besides Betsy's sister, Meg, is staying with me. I'll be all right, there's no need to worry."
"Well, you take it easy and we'll see you tomorrow around one o'clock."
"Thanks for everything…all of you." Connie made her way to her car and left for home.
Erika was the first to break the ensuing silence. "Do you really think she'll be all right?" Jimmy wrapped his arms around her upon hearing the tears in her voice.
Alex was the first to reply, "Connie's strong, she'll be okay eventually. Tomorrow will be the hardest part of the whole nightmare for her. After all, she's not only saying goodbye to her husband but, also, two very dear friends. After tomorrow, she'll have to start a new life."
"Alex is right, and we'll help her as much as possible." Walker reassured his wife and friends.
Inside the house, Gage had stopped his antics with Angela & Sydney when they heard mention of seeing Connie the next day. As Erika started talking, he slipped his arm around Sydney's shoulders, both of them lost in thought, while listening to the conversation outside.
The creak of the screen door brought the younger rangers out of their reverie. Looking up, Gage unobtrusively slid his arm from around Sydney as he stood up. Sydney looked down to realize Angela was asleep. "Alex, someone's ready for bed. Gage and I should be going anyway so you can get some rest before she wakes up again." As she said this, Sydney stood handing the baby to Alex, while giving Gage a 'don't argue' look.
"Why don't we do the same, Jimmy. Angela will have Mommy and Daddy up several times tonight and Alex needs some rest before tomorrow." Erika suggested giving him the same look.
"Sounds like a good idea. You need some time alone especially with the funerals tomorrow." Jimmy was quick to go along as Gage nodded in agreement.
Walker replied, "All right, we'll see you tomorrow afternoon. Gage, you and Sydney remember you've got the weekend off, I want you to be ready for work Monday morning, no earlier."
Alex and Walker watched their friends get in the girl's cars, then drive down the lane heading back to town.
"Well, since everyone seems to think we need our rest. Why don't we put Angela in the nursery and go snuggle up in our own room, Mrs. Walker?" Walker asked with a sly, sidelong glance at Alex.
"I can't think of anything I'd enjoy more, Mr. Walker." Alex retorted back, both of them laughing as they headed into the house.Erika's car
As Erika drove back to Jimmy's apartment he suddenly asked, "Erika, how long are you going to stay with me before we're married?"
"Getting tired of me already? It's only been a couple of days, but I guess I could go back to my place anytime you want." Erika replied, trying not to show her hurt.
"I'm sorry, Honey, that's not what I meant. It's been nice having you with me and I was wondering if you'd like to keep staying or go back to your place until we get married."
"James Trivette, are you asking me to move in with you?" Erika tried to sound shocked but was failing miserably, "What would my daddy say?"
"I hadn't thought about Fred, but I guess he would have my head on a platter, huh?"
"Jimmy," Erika decided to let him off the hook, "Daddy wouldn't mind. He really likes you and when I called him with the news of our engagement, Sunday, he actually teased me about not having my apartment for much longer."
"He did? So how does that answer my question?"
"Your answer is I would love to move in with you, if you're sure I won't be cramping your lifestyle being around all the time."
"Believe me, you won't. Since that's settled, you want to go by your place and start bringing stuff over?" Jimmy started with a large grin.
"Whoa, you're supposed to be resting and we're already home. This weekend and next week are early enough to get my things moved. We could go upstairs and celebrate though." Erika replied while they got out of the car and met around front. Putting his arm around her, Jimmy led her upstairs and into the apartment.Sydney's car
Sydney pulled to a stop outside of Gage's apartment, then turned to her partner saying, "Gage," at the same time he said her name.
"You first," they both said.
"No, you first," again at the same time accompanied by laughter.
When they finally stopped laughing, Gage held one hand up in the sign for 'stop' and signed 'you go' to her.
Sydney replied, "I just wondered which of us was driving tomorrow."
"We were thinking on the same wavelength, do you think you'll be up to driving or should I?"
Syd replied hesitantly. "Do you mind driving? I have no idea how I'll be feeling by the time the funerals are over."
"Sure Syd, I'll pick you up about 12:15, okay?" Gage asked climbing out of the car.
"Sounds good, see you then. Good night, Gage."
"Night, Syd." Gage watched her drive away wishing he could've asked her to stay with him.TBC