Roses and Baby's Breath
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Disclaimer: Originally, this story was titled "A Bouquet for Daisy" and was co-written with DixieDavenport but after the dissolution of our partnership I have edited the story on my own. Some of the elements that she put in place are still here while others are not. I have taken scenes out that I felt were not needed and have added where I felt scenes were lacking. Still, much of the initial basic plot elements were devised along with her either through writing together or chatting. So I cannot take complete credit for the whole story but I have decided to try to take much of the story into a different direction. In fact, since so many were against Darcy, I MAY throw in a monkey wrench into that whole scenario. You'll have to read to find out just what it will be.
Anyway, please let me know what you think and suggestions are always welcomed.
For years, Jefferson Davis Hogg had tried to cash in on all of the benefits that accompany all of the racers each time that his county hosted a race during the season. Finally, Boss has found a means to collect on the monetary perks that come with them during the off season as well. After convincing the racing commission of the need for one, J.D. Hogg was given the task of organizing an end of the year party. It was now the thirteenth of December and tomorrow night's party would be the first of the local Christmas parties.
Boss was so desperate to both make a good first impression on the commission and for the racers to bring in a fresh bit of revenue, he'd done the unthinkable; he'd asked the Dukes for some suggestions on how to make the party one that would entice some of the racers to spend some extra time in his county. One product of those suggestions ended up being a karaoke machine. Jebb and Kira had told Boss some of the times that they'd had with their friends at Karaoke Bars.
Enjoying the new machine in the Boar's Nest, the Dukes were laughing as some of their friends tried their hands at singing along. Brody was up on stage along with Bo and Luke as they did a couple of numbers together. Jo laughed at the men as she walked over to where Daisy was cleaning a table up.
"Hey, Daisy. I've wanted to talk to you. I haven't seen you and Darcy out together in a while. Is everything alright between you two?"
"Oh sure, honey. Everything's fine. At least I think everything is alright. He's just been out of town a lot lately. He's in Florida right now in the middle of some sort of extra training. I just wished that I knew why he's suddenly decided to take on extra flights at the airport. Between his usual flights and his training, I've barely seen him over the last few weeks." Daisy couldn't help the slight pout in her voice. She turned back to the bar and got another tray of beers along with a soda for Kim since she had an extremely low tolerance for alcohol to take back to her cousins' table as they left the stage.
Eying the door, she knew that those who hadn't already arrived should soon. Luke and Jo, along with Bo and Kim, got to the bar well over an hour ago. Jebb would arrive soon since Jesse had already agreed to watch the boys for him. Plus, Kira would be in later as well. She'd called and said that she was getting a late start back from Atlanta this week.
She'd been staying in the big city during the week since she was helping an old friend and business partner of Ben Kyle's try some cases. Kira would be in Hazzard from Friday night until supper on Sunday then arrive in Atlanta late every Sunday night and would continue to do so for the next month and a half.
"Oh come on, I think you should get up there and try a song. It's not like you can't sing," Bo teased his new wife of two full weeks. They were married on Thanksgiving Day of all days. That had caused more than just a few hearts to be broken in Hazzard and the surrounding counties. He knew that Kim could sing, she just didn't like to have folks hear her. She'd sing along with the hymns in church but that was the extent of it for her, though he had caught her singing along with the radio when she was cooking for the two of them and when she was in the shower.
"It's not gonna happen, Bo. You get to be the show off in this relationship," Kim replied as she grabbed her soda.
"Maybe once Kira gets here we can convince her to get all of the women up on stage together," Luke suggested. "Kira's used to the whole karaoke thing."
"She'll be here in about ten minutes with Jebb," Bo said casually. He'd checked in with his sister by way of his unusual link that he had with his twin just a few minutes prior since he was starting to worry about the fact that she hadn't shown up yet. "I wonder how many of her and Jebb's friends are going to show up for the party tomorrow night."
"This bein' the first time that they're havin' a party in the off season? Not to mention it being so close to Christmas, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot don't show up this time around," Luke said as he took a sip of his beer.
"Better not let Boss hear ya say that," Daisy said as she picked the empty glasses up off of the table. "He's hopin' for a big turnout. A lot of folks are already here in town so it shouldn't be that bad of a party."
Sure enough, the bar was filled with various racers that were drinking down Boss's watered down beer and were having a good time. Bo didn't see any of Jebb or Kira's friends in the group of strangers though. There were, however, a few that Bo and Luke knew who came over and talked to them and congratulated Bo and Kim on their recent marriage.
Bo and Luke were both practically legends among the women in the area. After being the most sought after bachelors of the county for years, both were currently married off as well as their cousin Jebb. Now, half of the legendary Dukes were off of the marriage market and the ones who were still single rarely came to Hazzard. Still, there were always a few women that just refused to believe that the married men could possibly be happy about their marital status. Though most of those women knew better than to do or say anything in front of the Duke Wives. One of those women who had yet to learn was Kathy Griffith. She had been upset when Bo passed her over for the once mousey brunette doctor that he married. She and Ernie Leadbetter showed up together at the bar right after Jebb and Kira finally made it to the Boar's Nest. Jebb went ahead pulled up a couple of chairs and he and Kira sat down to join the others.
Jebb slipped an arm through Kira's and held her hand while he waited for Daisy to swing by to get their orders. He'd missed her while she was gone. The weekends weren't long enough to spend time together. She had only been going to Atlanta for a mere two weeks and Jebb was already tired of being alone during the week. Once they were settled in their seats, the two couples began to chat about idle stuff while Luke and Jo were dancing on the floor. Kira asked how things were going at the clinic and hospital since she'd had a busy day at court and wanted a change in pace for the night.
"Well, it's easy to see that the flu season has started in Hazzard. And everyone waits until the evening to call for a doctor. I'm just glad that I have the early shift at the hospital tomorrow instead of the night shift. Most folks will try to tough it out with their symptoms until it gets later in the day. The waiting room will get flooded tomorrow night by the time supper comes around. This wouldn't happen if more folks would just take the flu shot," Kim said as she finished her soda.
"Good luck getting Bo to take a flu shot. I think he'd stand in front of stampeding wild boars before he'd voluntarily let someone stick him," Jebb chuckled.
"At least I won't have to wait around long for a house call from my favorite doctor," Bo smirked.
"He'll probably be just as bad of a patient as he always has been though," Jebb joked. "He was such a baby anytime he got sick. I remember Lavinia used to have to hide his medicine in his food."
Kira laughed at the description of her brother when they were younger. Yes, she could see where Bo might have been a pain when he was young and sick.
"I wasn't that bad, Jebb. Besides, Lavinia wasn't the only one who had to hide medicine for a Duke Boy," Bo threw back. They continued to talk back and forth, just kicking back enjoying their time together. It was only when two distinctive voices were heard from over at the next table that the fun stopped.
Ernie and Kathy were exchanging various rumors that they'd heard from around town about the reasons behind the sudden marriage of the latest Duke Boy. The fact that they had been responsible for most of those stories hadn't stopped them from repeating them as truth. Kim held a hand to Bo's arm to try to keep him from jumping up to defend both hers and his reputation. The last thing she wanted was to kick off the weekend by bailing her new husband out of the local jail.
Kira had felt Jebb stiffen up beside her when Ernie started to add a few comments about their marriage as well even though they'll be married for three years come Christmas. Knowing that things were bound to escalate fast, she wrapped a leg around one of her husband's to keep him from being able to easily jump up in anger. The moment that he tried, Jebb would end up stumbling with his leg tangled up with his wife's.
"Bo, let it go. He's tryin' to bait you," Kira told her twin, though the warning was just as much for her own husband as it was for Bo.
Across the room, Luke and Jo were getting ready to head back to the table when he saw that it looked like his cousins had acquired some unwanted guests. He couldn't tell what was being said but he did see that his younger cousin looked like he was trying to keep control of his temper.
"We'd better go see what's goin' on," Luke muttered to his wife.
Unfortunately, he never made it to the table before Bo jumped up and tackled Ernie. Luke raced to help his cousin and before he even knew it, fists were flying and elbows were being rammed into anything they could come in contact with. Jebb had tried to join in but had ended up on the floor when he'd jumped up to help his cousin. It was only when Rosco did his usual shooting out the chandelier that the Duke Boys pulled back.
Kira hadn't missed the dirty look that she was getting from him for holding him back from joining the fight. Kira'd had a hard enough day today, only to have to make the long drive in from Atlanta to Hazzard to take the time to explain her actions to him right now. He'll just have to stay mad at her.
"Alright, you Dukes. Now that's enough," Rosco hollered above the noise of the bar. "You three are under arrest." Rosco indicated to the three men that had been in the middle of a tussle when he'd come out of Boss's office.
"Rosco, you can't arrest us. You don't even know what was goin' on out here," Bo shouted at the man. His blood was still boiling and now he could see that Kathy was talking to his wife and whatever she was saying seemed to have her upset even more.
"Well, now, we'll sort it all out downtown," Rosco said as he put his cuffs on Bo and Luke, connecting them at the wrists. "Enos, you cuff Leadbetter and get him to the jail, too," Rosco ordered his deputy.
"Yes sir, Sheriff." Enos was glad that he'd been given the job of arresting Ernie. He'd hate it if he had to be the one to lock up Daisy's cousins again. He went ahead and took Ernie on out while the Duke Wives were left behind as they watched Rosco escorting their husbands out.
"Jo, you go on home and take care of Faith. We'll see if we can bail the fellas on out," Jebb said. If he wasn't allowed to help with the fight earlier, at least he could try to get them out of jail. "Unfortunately, it looks like they'll be Rosco's guests at the Iron Bar Hotel tonight."
"You really think so?" Kim asked in concern.
"I'm 'fraid so. I doubt Rosco will even try to get them arraigned tonight," Jebb said as he steered his cousins' wives toward the door. Meanwhile, Daisy pulled Kira aside to find out what had happened since she was on a bathroom break when the boys were out here duking it out with Ernie.
"Ernie provoked Bo into slugging him. Then Luke got in on it."
"Why's Jebb lookin' like he's mad at you then?" Daisy asked her cousin as she pulled Kira aside as Jebb and Kim spoke. She'd rarely seen them two angry with one another. This was definitely rare.
"He's just mad that I kept him from throwin' a few punches, too."
"So his pride's wounded just because he wanted to play, too." Daisy giggled a bit. "He'll get over it."
"If not, this'll be some weekend home. I better go and see to the fellas though," Kira said as she followed Jebb out the door. She climbed in beside of her husband in their car and barely got the door closed before Jebb punched it and caused the Charger to lurch forward.
Once at the courthouse, Rosco promptly locked Bo in one cell downstairs and Luke in the other. Luke was grateful that Enos had the good sense to put Ernie upstairs. Finally alone, Luke asked the obvious question that had been on his mind from the moment that he first rushed to his cousin's side.
"Ok. It looks like we get to spend the night in here. Care to tell me why?" He couldn't hide his irritation with Bo.
Bo rolled his eyes. Luke had been trading skin with Ernie since they were both in grade school. Why was his cousin so mad just because he'd gotten into it with Luke's old rival tonight?
"You know Ernie as well as I do. What do you think happened tonight?" Bo saw the look in his cousin's face and saw that he wasn't going to spend the night in the neighboring jail cell without more of an explanation than that. Puffing out a breath, Bo continued. "I wasn't just going to sit there and let him get away with talkin' about the women like he was. He was gettin' Kim upset and eventually I just couldn't let him get away with it no more. I'm surprised that Jebb didn't knock him on his ass, too. Ernie even said a few unflattering things about Kira and the kids. Still, someone had to do something so I did."
Luke let out a sigh. Yes he did know how Ernie was, but he thought that they were all getting old enough that they should at some point be able to be in a crowded room together and not end up behind bars. He finally said, "Yeah, I know Ernie. It's just that I ...Never mind."
"Oh, no. Luke, you needled me into talking and it looks like we may have several hours to get caught up. Spill it."
Luke let out a ragged breath as he ran his fingers through his hair before he went ahead and told his cousin what he knew he'd have to eventually. "Well, you may not understand this, but I've really been trying not to end up here since Faith was born. I don't want her to grow up having to see me in here, regardless of the reason for it."
Bo stared at his cousin. He hadn't thought how having a baby could change things for his older cousin. He's always been the more responsible of the two but he'd still been just as ready for a good bar room brawl. Bo always thought that Luke enjoyed them more than he did though Luke would never admit it. Now Luke was admitting that he was trying to pull back from all of that for the sake of his one month old little girl.
Bo tried to find something to say. He hadn't meant to get Luke in trouble tonight. He just hadn't thought much at all when Ernie started going on and on. Fortunately, Bo was saved from having to make an awkward apology when Jebb slung the upstairs door open and stomped down the stairs.
"Whoa! Why the attitude? You're on that side of the bars," Bo said as he looked up to the racket that Jebb was making.
"Your sister is upstairs trying to see if she can get ya'll out of here tonight," Jebb said sullenly. He was still angry with Kira after she'd intentionally kept him from helping his cousins when they needed him. How many times has she been the instigator of a barroom brawl over the years? He couldn't understand why she'd stand in his way tonight from joining the other men. "It looks like you two get to spend the night, though. I told the girls that it would probably be tomorrow before we can spring ya and sent them on home."
"Great," Luke huffed and swore under his breath. Bo wasn't any happier than Luke was about not going home tonight. He was about to make a comment of his own when he saw his sister make her way down into the cell area of the jail.
"Sorry, fellas." Kira called as she quietly made her way down the stairs. "Get comfortable. Ya ain't goin' nowhere tonight. Walker is on the circuit this month and he doesn't set bail after dark. I'm surprised that he's even comin' in on a Saturday. We'll have to come back and get you two in the morning."
Luke swore again. "Judge Walker? Great."
Kira nodded. "Sorry, guys. I tried."
"Thanks anyway. So what time in the morning?" Bo asked. If he had to wait he at least wanted to know how long he'd be waiting. He wasn't at all sure how well Kim would like staying at the cabin alone. It would be the first time she had been alone all night since she had been attacked by her ex-husband Ted Wright; an attack that had nearly killed her.
"We'll be back before eight in the morning. Any other judge and you would be here at least until nine-thirty or ten. The thing is, Walker will expect you two back in here the same time Monday morning. The good news is that if you plead guilty, you might be able to get out from under this and be home before Christmas."
"Plead guilty? You have to be kidding," Bo said. He felt fully justified in knocking Ernie down a couple of notches. "Why should I have to plead guilty?"
"Because, Bo, legally you are guilty. You take your lumps and it will all go away," Kira said as she bore a hole in her brother.
"Kira, you and Jebb heard him."
"Yes. And I told you that he was baiting you," Kira responded to her brother.
"Can't we just say that he started it?" Bo asked. Come on, what good is having a lawyer in the family if she couldn't get you out of an assault charge?
"Bo, you threw the first punch. Dozens of people saw it. That's all that Walker is goin' to care about. Not to mention that you and Luke ended up goin' two on one with Ernie before it was all said and done. So no, I can't just say that Ernie started it."
Behind Kira, Jebb was working his jaw. He was figuring the same as Bo. Kira should be able to do something about this. This is her family after all.
"Well that's just great," Bo said out-loud as all of the men were pretty much in agreement.
"Bo, listen to me. The best thing to do is to just plead guilty so the charges can be down-graded from aggravated assault to simple assault. If you go in there like you are now, Walker just might give ya a year for spite." Kira watched her brother's face and saw that he was listening to her about as well as if she was speaking a foreign language. "Fine. Have it your way."
Kira threw her hands up and headed back upstairs. She'll try talking to the guys later. Tonight she wasn't getting anywhere.
Jebb's jaw dropped as he saw his wife give up and leave. Telling the other men that he'd see them in the morning, he headed up after Kira. He had a few things that he needed to say to her about all of this. First the bar and now this? It all has to stop.
Bo turned to Luke, "Can you believe that? She actually wants us to plead guilty."
"It might not be such a bad idea, Bo," Luke said. He didn't like it, but Kira was right; the facts were the facts. They couldn't change them now.
Bo couldn't believe what he was hearing! "Luke! Come on, you can't be serious."
Luke looked Bo in the eyes, "I am serious, Bo. This isn't about swallowing your pride. For me, it's about spending the holidays at home with my wife and daughter, not locked in a cell with you. It's time to grow up."
Bo still couldn't believe that Luke was serious about pleading guilty but didn't want to continue the debate in front of Rosco as he was just coming back downstairs. It was going to be a long night. Bo just couldn't help worrying how Kim would handle spending the night out in the cabin alone. He could mentally kick himself for jumping into the fight with Ernie, but he still couldn't have just sat back after that either.
Luke hadn't been in front of Judge Walker before but he knew the man's reputation. It was now nearing midnight on December thirteenth. According to Kira they would see the judge on December sixteenth. Knowing that they could expect a minimum of two weeks in jail which would put them at missing Christmas with the family and not going back home until about New Year's Eve at the earliest. Maybe she could ask for a delay until after the holidays before going to court on these charges. Luke frowned as another thought just crossed his mind.
"Say, Bo; I know you didn't really like what Kira had to say but-"
"Can you blame me for not agreeing with her? She wants us to plead guilty when I didn't even start the fight."
Luke held up his hand, "That's not the point. Did you notice anything about her and Jebb?"
"They both talked to us, but didn't say a word to each other. There was something going on with them," Luke said.
"Sure they did. There ain't nothing wrong with them two. I ain't seen them fight in three years. Now ain't no different."
"Oh yeh? What did they say?" Luke challenged.
"You said that you heard them talkin' to one another, what'd they say?" Luke asked as he slipped his arms through the bars that connected their cells and leaned on his arms.
"Well, Jebb was here talkin' to us, Kira came down, then she...Well he...You know, Jebb did look like he was mad at her."
Bo scrunched his face. Could it be that all of the recent time apart was taking its toll on their marriage? He tried to call out to his sister but he hit a brick wall. He guessed she'd said all she planned to for the night. He collapsed on the bunk in his cell and stared out of the window and prayed that Kim would be alright by herself tonight. Hopefully, this will be their only night apart.