Disclaimer: The characters of, "Sons of Thunder" and "Walker Texas Ranger", are owned by Chuck Norris, Aaron Norris, CBS and whoever else was involved with the creation and production of these two shows. Any new characters and story lines that come into play are of my own creation. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a fanfiction intended for entertainment purposes only and no money is being made off of it.

guardianM3: For those of you who don't know or haven't yet read the stories before this one, I suggest you that you do. First, there is a story that is sort of a prequel under the TV show "Walker Texas Ranger" which is titled "Introducing Kendra Stone". The rest of the volumes all are under the TV show "Sons of Thunder". The first volume is titled "Kendra Stone Meets the Sons of Thunder: Volume 1" and the second volume is "Kendra Stone Volume 2: Missing". The third volume is "Kendra Stone Volume 3: The Reunion".

Chapter 1: Birthdays

The air was cool during the pre-dawn hours as two people trekked up the trail that lead to the top of a ridge that overlooked a vast forest. The lights from their flashlights bobbed up and down as their feet struck against the rough trail. One hiker stopped for a moment to breath in the mountainous air.

A flashlight shone onto the first hiker's face and Hunter just smiled. "It is chilly out here." Hunter said as he crossed his arms over his chest for warmth.

The flashlight lit up its owner's face. "You're the one who decided to take me camping in October." Kendra replied as she shifted her backpack to a more comfortable position and then she continued to walk on. Hunter caught up to her and walked next to her.

It was a good half an hour before sunset before they had made it to the top of the ridge and gazed out across the forest. The sky and the clouds were beginning to light with blue, violet and orange.

"Look at that sky!" Kendra exclaimed as the various colors of the sunrise filled her eyes and shone on her face.

"Happy Birthday, Kendra." Hunter said as he turned from the sunrise and kissed her on the cheek.

Kendra turned her head to look at him. "I think you can do a lot better than that, Mr. Prescott." She said with a devious smile.

Hunter kissed Kendra more deeply on the lips and after a while pulled back. Kendra cocked her head and looked at Hunter with raised eyebrows. "Now, you do know that you owe me another one actually on my birthday?"

"Yes, I know. But I wanted this hike to be a surprise." Hunter replied as he looked over the land once again.

"It was quite a surprise." Kendra said as she too, studied the daylight that was starting to stretch across the treetops of the forest below them.

She studied Hunter out of the corner of her eye. He had a serene and excited look on his face that brought a smile to Kendra's lips. The rays of the sun shone on his hair and reflected in his eyes, making them shine like emeralds. She recalled his dashing grin and the sound of his voice when he had asked her out to coffee for the first time. At these memories, Kendra's smile grew wider and she chuckled inwardly.

Hunter sighed and then turned back toward the trail. "Well, we should be heading back."

"Way to kill the moment, Hunter." Kendra said jokingly as she turned her head to look back at him.

"Don't worry, Kendra, there will be many more moments to come. But it won't be a moment it will last longer than that." Hunter said as he turned and walked up to Kendra giving her a longing kiss.

Hunter broke away and took her hand into his. "Let's head back. We have to get packed up and get onto the road."

"All right." Kendra replied reluctantly and with a sigh as they began to walk down the steep trail the sun warming their backs.

Hunter and Kendra returned to Hunter's apartment a couple of hours after they had returned to their campsite and had quickly packed up Kendra's car.

"Let's stop at Uppercuts for a drink." Hunter suggested as he set his bag down near the door but he still had his mail in his hand.

"I need to take a shower first and put on some clean clothes." Kendra said as she set her bag down next to Hunter's bag. She bent down to her bag and grabbed some clean clothes. As she went to take her shower, Hunter pulled out his cell phone and made a call.

"Hey. I know, I know. We're going to be a little late. I'm sorry about that. Yeah, we'll be there in fifteen to twenty." Hunter said quietly into his cell phone as he kept an eye on the bathroom door.

"All right, see you later." Hunter said as he hung up the phone and headed to his room to get a change of clothes. He sighed loudly as he looked at his watch. He was thankful that Kendra never took too long in the shower.

He returned to the living room and he stared at the bathroom door. Kendra's smile came into his mind. Then it became her troublemaking grin and that fire that came to the surface of her blue eyes. The door opened and Kendra stepped out wearing a pair of blue jeans and a red t-shirt, placing her hair into a ponytail. She looked at Hunter who was still staring at the area of the door.

"Uh, Hunter?" Kendra asked as she studied Hunter's transfixed face.

"Huh? Oh, yeah I should take a shower." Hunter said as he headed into the bathroom and shut the door.

Kendra shook her head and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. The look on Hunter's face flashed in her mind and she smiled.

Hunter and Kendra arrived at Uppercuts in Hunter's Dodge Viper. Once they entered the bar, a shout of surprise filled the air as well as confetti, the sound of noisemakers and the words of happy birthday.

Standing beneath a banner that said 'Happy Birthday' stood the entire Malloy family, Carlos, Butch, Lyle, Cassie and Kim.

Besides the banner, there were about two dozens blue balloons that were tied to the table filled with various dishes and platters. There were blue and silver streamers all around the bar as well as a chair that was decorated with the blue streamers that had silver glitter on it meant for Kendra to sit down in.

"Thanks guys it was quite a surprise." Kendra said and then she looked at Butch. "You closed the bar for today or something?"

"Only for a few hours." Butch replied as he led Kendra over to a table of her favorite prepared dishes.

"Wow. Thank you everyone. Even though my birthday isn't until Tuesday." Kendra replied with a smile as she studied the contents of each of the dishes.

"This was the only way to surprise you. So, are you going to start filling your plate or not? We're not supposed to fill our own, until the birthday girl goes first." Carlos replied.

"Carlos, be nice to Kendra. This is her birthday party, so there is no need to rush her." Katie said as she gave Carlos a firm look, but after a few seconds, she laughed at the puppy dog look on Carlos' face.

Kendra filled her plate first and everyone else followed she sat down in her chair. She was about to stand up because she had forgotten a drink when Hunter came over with two beers in one hand and his plate of food in the other.

"Where are Walker and the others?" Kendra asked as Hunter sat down beside her carefully placed his plate onto the table before he put down the beers.

"The Rangers and Alex would have come but they are working on an intense case right now." Hunter said as he handed Kendra her beer.

"I understand. I still get presents from all of them, right?" Kendra asked her face serious but with a twinkle in her eyes.

"I think so." Hunter replied as he nodded his head and then took a sip of his beer.

It had been a couple of hours since the party had begun. Cassie and the Malloy family, not including Trent, had left after Kendra had opened her gifts and they all had cake and ice cream. Butch had opened the bar to the public not long after they had left. The bar had several customers within a few minutes.

About half an hour later, the door opened and a woman with black hair dressed in a turquoise pantsuit and carrying a tape recorder in her hand. Another woman stepped in behind her wearing a camera around her neck.

"Good afternoon, Mr. McMann. I'm Claudia Banks and this is Piper Montgomery." The woman said briskly once she had reached the bar.

"Pleasure to meet you both. You are little early." Butch said leaving out the fact that they were an hour early as he finished wiping off the bar and had tossed the towel underneath the bar. He walked from his bartending position and stood before the two ladies with his right hand outstretched toward Claudia.

"Yes, well 'better to be early than late', my grandmother always used to say. Besides, I have to meet with someone in about an hour." The reporter said quickly as she shook Butch's hand. "So, this is Uppercuts." She said shaking his hand and then looking around the bar that had about a dozen customers in it already.

Butch shook Piper's hand giving the photographer a smile and then replied to Claudia, "Yes, ma'am."

The reporter noticed the 'Happy Birthday' banner. "I thought that Uppercuts was going to be 15 years on Tuesday?"

"It is. We had a friend's birthday party today, even though her birthday is also on Tuesday. It was the only way we could surprise her." Butch explained.

"How interesting! Was she here fifteen years ago when Uppercuts opened?" The reporter asked, trying to get an interesting angle to this story.

"No, but she is a waitress here." Butch replied trying not to smile at the photographer who had just rolled her eyes at her boss.

"Oh." The reporter replied sounding rather disappointed but figured that it would make a less than boring story anyway.

She began to ask Butch questions about the bar and then she went around the room interviewing the customers and of course, the remainder of the group from the birthday party.

The reporter than asked that everyone stand beneath the banner so her photographer could take a picture. Once the photographer had everyone set in the perfect arrangement, snapped the picture.

Claudia shook Butch's hand again, thanking him and then she abruptly took off out the door. Piper smiled apologetically at Butch as they both said goodbye to one another. Piper caught up to the reporter near the car they had driven to get here.

After the reporter and the photographer had left, Carlos and Kendra were playing a game of pool. They both had two balls left, not including the 8-ball, which they needed to win the game.

"My two remaining balls are going into the far right pocket while the eight ball is going into the opposite corner." Kendra said as she lined up her shot.

"No way are you going to make that shot Kendra, it's just way too…" Carlos began but stopped when Kendra had made the shot and had in effect had won the game.

Carlos brought his jaw back to its normal position and coughed. "Ok. I let you win because you are the birthday girl." He said as he nodded his head and failed to convince Kendra that is what he had done.

"Do you want to play again, Carlos?" Kendra asked her head cocked slightly to the side as she studied his eyes.

"Nah. How about I buy you a beer?" Carlos said as he placed the cue down onto the table and headed toward the bar.

"Uh-huh." Kendra said as she placed her cue on the table and followed Carlos up to the bar.

The teasing back and forth between Carlos and Kendra began and lasted until Butch grabbed two set of boxing gloves from behind the bar. Kendra was all for it but Carlos said that he couldn't hit the birthday girl. Kendra made a promise that she would one day get Carlos into the ring for a match. No one argued with her or tried to dissuade her, much to Carlos' disappointment.

Trent clapped his friend on the shoulder and bought him a couple shots of whiskey.

A man stepped out onto the road that leads out of the prison. The wind caressed his recently shaved face as he took a deep breath of air and of freedom. He waited as a taxi drove up and he got in. He told the driver to head to the city.

The taxi driver dropped him off at Coffee Bean Café. He went inside, sat down at an empty table, and ordered a coffee and two Boston Crème Doughnuts. As he waited for the coffee, he spotted a newspaper on a nearby table and grabbed it.

He read the day's date of Tuesday, October 15, 2002 and began to scan the articles on each page, trying to find one that piqued his interest. A picture with a familiar face caught his eye and then he quickly read the article.

The man hadn't noticed the waitress bringing him his coffee or doughnuts. He sat there, reading the article and then he read it again.

Once he had finished reading it the second time, he crushed the newspaper in his hands. He was about to tear the newspaper apart but then he opened it back up to look at it again. He studied the picture and reread the caption. A smile came onto his lips as he folded the paper and stood up.

He set some money on the table, more than enough, as he stuck the newspaper in an inside pocket of his coat. He left the café and walked down the street. As he walked down the street, he began to whistle a triumphant tune.

uardianM3: Well, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Volume 4. Please review. I will try to post the next chapter between a week and a week and a half.