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.


Chapter 10: Exceptions

The sun cast massive waves of heat down on the street. The nice breeze that had accompanied the sun the day before was gone. Nancy had her hair tied up to keep it off her neck and a ball cap on her head to keep the sun out of her eyes.

She walked up the stairs and entered Thunder Investigations. She stood a moment allowing her body to adjust to the air-conditioned air. She saw that Kim wasn't at her desk, but Trent's door was slightly ajar. She knew that Trent was there, but not Carlos, because Kim had mentioned that Carlos owed her lunch.

She unknowingly steeled her shoulders, walked up to the door and knocked lightly. She heard a limited response, opened the door and saw Trent sitting at his desk, his eyes fixed on the computer monitor. "Good afternoon, Trent."

He looked up at her, a look in his eyes that she couldn't quite determine. "Hey, Nancy. Your father is downstairs."

She wondered if this was the right moment to talk to Trent since it didn't seem to want her there but she would loose her nerve if she turned around and walked out the door. "I know that Trent."

"Right," Trent responded his attention clearly on her and waiting for her to speak.

She interlaced her fingers and then broke them apart unknowingly. She saw his eyes on her hands and knew what she had been doing. She placed her hands firmly on her sides. She cleared her throat. "I wanted to ask you if I could learn karate."

"No problem. I can get you into a class tomorrow if you want."

"Well, see that's the thing, I don't want to take one of your classes. I want to learn one on one. I learn better that way. Unless of course you don't make exceptions, which is fine and I won't bother to ask you again." She stopped once she realized she was babbling.

"Actually, Nancy, I do make exceptions. I'll see what times Tommy has available."

"Oh, but I thought you taught the karate classes."

"Yes, I do, but Tommy teaches most of the time since I'm busy with Thunder Investigations."

"Yes, well, no offense to your brother, but I would feel more comfortable learning karate from you. It's just I don't know Tommy well and I'm sure he's a good teacher, but I want to learn from you."

"I can make exceptions, especially for a friend."

"Don't you mean for the daughter of one of your friends?"

"Well, you are a daughter of one of my friends, but I always considered you a friend."

"I'm glad to hear that, Trent." A smile came to her lips.

She turned to leave but she quickly spun around to face him. "Another thing, you have to promise me is that you won't tell my father."

His right eyebrow rose but he nodded in agreement. "I promise."

They talked for a few minutes to figure out when they could meet at Thunder Karate for her first lesson. Once they figured out the day and time, she thanked him profusely before she headed into the reception area. When she reached the outside door, she breathed a sigh of relief. She hadn't known if she could have asked Trent for such a large favor.

She heard from Kim that Carlos and Trent had a disagreement the day before. She hadn't heard the details, but she wondered if it had something to do with whatever was going on with Trent.

She walked down the stairs and opened the door to the cool and darker interior of Uppercuts. She stepped inside and nearly ran into Butch who was carrying a couple pitchers of beer to a table filled with regulars.

"Hey, Butch," Nancy greeted him a warm smile when he returned to the bar, carrying a tray filled with dirty glasses.

"How's the job hunt going?" He said as he handed the tray to Susan who took it into the kitchen.

"Working on it."

"You can always work here for a little while until you find a job."

Nancy smiled but shook her head. "I've applied to three places and I have an interview tomorrow. I'll be fine."

Butch grabbed a clean towel and started wiping the bar. "So, what do you want to eat today?"

"I'll have the chili."

"Coming right up."

Nancy went to sit at a table to wait for her order of chili. She studied the people around her. Eating, drinking, talking loudly over the music or watching the television above the bar.

Her mind continued to drift back towards the upcoming karate lesson with Trent. She wasn't certain what to expect, but she hoped that it wouldn't end up being a disaster.

The death of her mother and the murder of her fiancé had changed her life. Good things had happened to her, such as finding her father and making new friends. It had been a struggle trying to embrace her new life.

She smelled the spicy chili before she saw Butch walking toward her the steaming bowl in one hand and an ice-cold soda in the other.

"Here you are."

"Since when do you serve food?" She teased once he had set the bowl down in front of her, along with a spoon that came out of thin air.

"True, I mostly serve beer, but you are the exception when it comes to anything else."

She could see that him saying something so heartfelt when their father-daughter relationship was like trying to make a pie with only two apples when you really needed about six.

Her hand instinctively went onto his arm.

He rubbed the back of his neck with his free arm and he cleared his throat.

She removed her hand and looked at the bowl of chili. She looked at him and saw him open his mouth to say something.

"Hey, Butch, can we get a refill?" An older man with salt and pepper hair raised a beer glass.

"Yeah, be right there, Danny."

She watched as Butch went to the bar and filled a pitcher of beer. He walked over to Danny and refilled his glass, as well as the others sitting at the table. He stood talking and laughing with the entire table for several minutes before he left to serve another patron.

She looked at her bowl of chili and picked up the spoon. She swirled the spoon in the combination of beans, pieces of onion, large chunks of meat and a mixture of delicious spices. The swirling of the chili reminded her of the swirling of thoughts that she couldn't stop. All of those thoughts focused on one person and that was Trent.