This is Luke's story of his relationships with family, friends and characters not yet met. This story mostly wrote itself from an impression I got of him in the last film.
Luke Duke was taking a quiet drive into Hazzard to get some supplies. Bo and Gaby were due back from visitin' Gaby's folks in LA and they were bringing Daisy and Enos back with them,
so he guessed he had better stock up. Things sure had changed since they all went to Hollywood.
As The General made its way along the lanes, Luke saw a black jeep parked up by the side of the road, with two pairs of legs sticking out from under it and another pair sticking out of
the back door.
"Looks like them folks are in trouble" he said to himself as he pulled over. He was used to having Bo riding alongside again. The legs in the back belonged to a young girl of about seven
or eight Luke guessed, who looked up from her book as he approached. "Howdy" he called out as the other two people appeared from under the jeep. "you folks got trouble"
A lady answered with a smile"just a bit . We seem to have lost part of our exhaust" A teenage boy stood holding the back section that looked worse for wear.
"You ain't from around these here parts " Luke observed at her very unsouthern accent. "I'm Luke Duke" He held out his hand smiling and she shook it.
"Jess Aspen, we're just passing through on our way from Atlanta, this is my son Bobby and my daughter Kaitlin." The girl slid out of the car and stood next to her mum and brother.
"Welcome to Hazzard. D'y'all need a hand?" Luke asked.
"Thanks very much for the offer but I think we've got it. But you could tell us if there is a town with a garage around here anywhere. With a car like that I expect you know." Jess asked.
Bobby was already looking at the car with interest.
Luke smiled, not something he seemed to be doing a lot of most days, "You could say that. Hazzard is about a mile down this road and you need Cooter's garage. He's a good ol' boy,
He'll help ya'll out. I' ve just gotta pick something up, then I'll be by. Tell 'im I sent you."
"Thanks very much for your help. It was really good of you to stop." Jess replied
"No problem. You like cars Bobby" Luke asked watching the boy examine the General from where he stood.
The boy nodded, "That's a Dodge charger '69 much better than the new one. Its not as good as the new challenger though".
"Wow, ya know about these" Luke exclaimed Bobby nodded again
He'll talk cars all day" said Jess, "but we've held you up long enough. Thank you again for stopping to help"
"Just bein' neighbourly" said Luke, Ya'll drive careful now"
"We will"said Jess meeting Luke's eyes and exchanging a smile. "It was good to meet you Luke"
"You too"Luke replied, as Jess ushered the children back into the Jeep and threw the remains of the exhaust on top of the luggage in the back.
Luke jumped into the General and followed them a little way down the road before turning off.
"Did you see that car" Bobby said excitedly, "That looked like a old race car I wonder if it moves as good as it looks"
"Not cars again, Bob" said Kaitlin from behind a book in the back.
"But its ..."
"Enough you too. I need you to help me find this garage" said Jess Never mind the car, who was the guy she thought to herself, very friendly sort
Well, that brightened up the day thought Luke, maybe we'll run into each other again later.
Later, in Hazzard Jess, Bobby and Kaitlin had located Cooters. After, explaining about the exhaust and Luke, Cooter had gone off to phone for the new part.
"OK folks I got some good news and some bad news. I can fix it but its gonna take a couple of days to git the new part. Its a bit of an unusual make around here." Cooter said on his return.
"Oh, OK. not a lot that we can do but wait" said Jess "Is there anywhere to stay around here"
"Sure thing, hotel's just round the corner" said Cooter "Ya'll can leave the car here, I'll keep it for ya."
"Thank you Mr Davenport,"said Jess "We'll just need to get our bags out. Here kids grab your stuff"
No problem" said Cooter "and call me Cooter, everyone else does." Bobby and Kaitlin started grabbing their own bags
"Hey there Cooter"called a voice as if in response. Jess and Cooter turned to see Luke coming over from the General.
"Hey there Luke, I here you've been drummin' up some business for me"
"Well, y'are the best dang garage in these here parts" teased Luke patting him on the back.
"I'm the only dang garage in these here parts now"replied Cooter with a grin.
"Hey Jess, did you get your jeep sorted" Luke asked
"Hi Luke, not yet. We have to wait for the new bit, We're just going to grab our bags and see if we can get a room at the hotel for a couple of days"
"Let me give y'all a hand there" offered Luke
"Thats really good of you," said Jess " but don't worry, we'll be fine. I don't want to put you to any more trouble"
"No trouble, at all, ma'am. I'd be only to pleased to help." said Luke
"Nothin's any trouble for Luke if its for a pretty face." chuckled Cooter recognizing a spark of the old Luke.
"Thanks Coot." said Luke sarcastically with a quick grin. He turned to Kaitlin, "Here Honey let me take one of those big bags for you. Catch you on the flip side, Cooter"
"Later, Lukas. Take care now y'all"
"Thanks Cooter. I'll talk to you soon" said Jess as she turned to leave.
"Catch him on the what " said Kaitlin as she and Bobby followed their Mum and Luke to the Hotel
Bobby laughed at her as he said "It's CB talk, don't you know anything"
"What does it mean then" Kaitlin questioned
"Thats for me to know and you to find out" Bobby replied
"You don't know either" said Kaitlin
Jess and Luke turned and smiled at the siblings as they teased and then smiled at each other.
"Sorry about Cooter." said Luke " I'm not that bad, at least not any more."
"It's OK said Jess," he seems like he's a good friend"
"The best" said Luke.
You didn't have to help, you know, I don't want you to think I'm just a damsel needing rescuing"
I don't " said Luke "Just call it Southern hospitality. Anyhow, you didn't need rescuing you looked like you Knew what you were doing with that jeep"
"Thankyou. I am just used to being independent and being able to handle things on my own." Jess told Luke
"No man in your life to take care of you " Luke blurted out before he thought about what he was saying."Sorry, I ,,..thats none of my business"
Jess laughed "It's ok and No, theres no man " she said quietly glancing at the children who were still talking.
They left their stuff at the hotel and Jess bought Luke a coffee by way of thanks for his help. As they sat in the square and Luke talked about Hazzard and his family, Bobby and Kaitlin wandered around the square. Suddenly the CB that Luke had left in the nearby General crackled into life. "One Lost sheep calling the other, Little Lost Sheep calling Big Lost Sheep come on"
Luke's face broke into a huge smile. He raced to the General and picked up the handset "BO! Lost Sheep coming back at ya. Whats your twenty?"
"Just crossed the County Line and heading for home with a full load."
"Can't wait, Lost Sheep. I'm in Hazzard. Race ya back."
"You got it I'm gone"
Luke returned to Jess and the kids, "I'm real sorry, I gotta go. That's my cousins and there nearly home, They've been out of town for a while."
"It's OK you go. Thanks for your help today and all the information on Hazzard" Jess smiled. Luke's face had lit up, these cousins must be something special.
"See y'all later and thanks for the coffee"Luke smiled back, "See ya Bobby, Kaitlin" they returned his wave as he turned and headed for the car. "Hey, Cooter. Bo and Daisy are back. Dinner later?"he called as he climbed through the window.
"You bet" Cooter yelled back as Luke gunned the engine and roared out of the Square.
"I wonder what size engine that cars got?" Bobby said as the dust settled. The silence was broken by police sirens as Roscoe in his police car chased out of the square after Luke. "It had better be fast or the police car will catch him"
"Uh oh. I think that man is in trouble" said Kaitlin
"I think you could be right there Kaitie Lou" said Jess as she joined them
Sure enough, Roscoe was in 'Hot Pursuit' again But the General was always one jump ahead, literally. As Luke neared the farm he met Bo's car being pursued by Cletus. After a few fancy manouvers, Cletus was back in the pond, Roscoe back up a tree and the Dukes were skidding to a halt in front of the farm. Bo and Luke jumped out of their cars and hugged each other, followed by Daisy, Gaby and Enos.
"What kept ya, cuz" Bo Joked as they unloaded, the others took some bags and groceries inside.
"Just a little business" Luke replied evasively.
Business, huh" Bo grinned
They laughed and hugged each other again
"Its good to have you back,Bo" Luke said more seriously
"Its good to be back" Bo replied. Aware that Luke had not been very happy since meeting up with old girlfriend Anita Blackwell, and he and Daisy had got married.
They grabbed all ther stuff and went inside after the others chatting and catching up. When Cooter arrived, they had a very lively, fun meal, filling each other in on what had been happening. Luke realised that he hadn't felt this good in quite a while. Depressed wasn't something that a Duke thought about, but he just felt that something was missing.
"...and Luke here has got that old spark in his eye" teased Cooter."A lady rolled into town today and Luke here was falling over himself to roll out the welcome mat."
"Just a little business" Bo reminded Luke grinning and raising his eyebrows.
"Just being neighbourly" Luke said pretending to be hurt.
"Just bein' a Duke boy" laughed Cooter
"So what's she like Luke" Bo asked
"Oh I don't know. About 5 6 Chocolate brown hair down past her shoulders, baby blue eyes and a smile as wide as Styx river I guess" He answered
"Ya guess?" Bo retorted laughing
"Yeah I weren't paying that much attention to what she looked like" Luke grinned making them all laugh.
"Uncle Jesse would've been proud of you bein' so welcomin'" added Daisy
"Yeah" Luke said "coz we all know that a stranger..."."... is just a friend you ain't met yet" they all joined in and laughed.
Next morning, Luke, Daisy and Enos were sitting over breakfast talking about Daisy's new job in LA when Bo appeared. "Mornin' cuz" Luke said
"We saved y'all some some breakfast" Enos added. Bo grabbed a coffee and sat down.
"Gaby not joinin' us" Daisy asked.
"She's not feelin' too good" Bo replied" she's gone back to bed"
"Not surprised, with your drivin yesterday" Luke joked.
Bo grinned "What's everyone doing today?"
"I got some feed to pick up that's just come in. Wanna come?" Luke asked Bo
"Shoot, I would Luke, but I'd better stay here in case Gaby wants anythin'. "
"I'm stayin here, I could keep a check on her if you want Bo" Daisy said
"If your sure Daisy I'm guessin' Gaby wouldn't mind. I'll go see her before I go " He looked at Luke "I guess you're ridin' shotgun today" They laughed.
"What about you Enos" Luke asked.
"If it's alright with y'all I wouldn' mind visitin' with Roscoe and Cletus, if y'all wouldn't mind givin' me a lift."he replied
"Fine by us" they all agreed.
"I'll get Dixie sorted and runin' after lunch for y'all to use while your here. if you want" Bo offered
"Thanks, Bo" Daisy replied.
Luke chipped in "I'll give you a hand Bo, The General needs a few adjustments too."
Luke and Bo pulled the General up outside Cooters. "Hey Cooter" they called.
"Mornin. y'all" a voice came back from under a car. Cooter slid out to see them." What are you in need of today?"
"Just some plugs and filters for Dixie" Bo replied.
"No problem. Hey Luke..." Cooter motioned towards the General. Bobby was hanging around lookin at it.
"Hey Kid" Bo shouted
"Its alright Bo" Luke interrupted "Hey Bobby. It's OK" He beckoned him over "This here's my cousin Bo, Bo this is Bobby," They both said hi and Bo was looking a bit puzzled.
"The stranger in town yesterday, is Bobby's ma "Luke explained. Bo smiled to show he understood.
"Ya kept the kid quiet " he said quietly to Luke.
"Kids" Luke corrected him Bo raised an eyebrow. "You're Ma not around" Luke asked.
"She's gone to the Post office with Kait" he told Luke .
"And I guess you're just watchin' the cars go by" Luke smiled at him. Bobby nodded
"Hey Bobby, sorry I yelled. I guess been in the big city too long" Bo held out his hand and Bobby shook it. "Ya like cars " Bo asked
"Yeah" Bobby replied with a smile
"Bo used to race the NASCAR curcuit" Luke told him clapping Bo on the back.
"What car? " Bobby asked "The General?"
"No different Race cars,Monte carlo's mostly, didn't want the General a spoilin' now."
Cooter laughed and said sarcastically "That would really make a change"
Bo grinned at him and popped the hood. "Take a look at this "
Bobby moved round to get a tour of the Generals engine from Bo,
"While y'all are busy, I'll go see what's keepin' your Mama." Bobby nodded and Bo and Cooter exchanged glances as Luke crossed the square. Then Cooter went back to work and Bo went back to the tour.
Luke just got outside the post office when Jess and Kaitlin came out giggling.
"Hey y'all" Luke greeted them.
"Oh hi Luke, how are you"
"Good thanks. Interesting visit to the post office?"
"Yes, quite. "
"The old lady kept talking about you and some other Dukes" Kaitlin said
"Kait!" Jess exclaimed
"Its Ok " He turned to Kaitlin "That'll be my family. Miss Tisdale has known most of us since before we were born. I'm sure she's as old as Hazzard itself"
"Does everyone around here know you " Kaitlin asked
"Pretty much" Luke replied." And we know all them"
"So us strangers really stand out" Jess said
Luke shrugged "I guess so"
Jess looked up and down "Have you seen Bobby?"
"He's over at Cooters with my cousin Bo and the General lee"
"I shouldve known" Jess laughed.
As they approached Cooters they could hear Bo and Bobby talking and laughing.
"Wow" Jess exclaimed "He's usually really quiet around strangers"
"Just a little General Lee Magic" Luke grinned
"No kidding... You OK ,Bob. " Jess asked
"Uh Huh" Bobby grunted hardly looking up from what Bo was showing him. Bo stood up and wiped his hands, looking at Jess and Kaitlin
"Jess, Kaitlin I'd like you to meet my cousin Bo. Bo this is Jess Aspen and her daughter Kaitlin."
"Pleased to meet you miss , ma'am." Bo first kissed Kaitlin's hand and she giggled then shook Jess's.
"Likewise Bo. I hope Bobby hasn't been getting in your way"
"No, we,ve just been talking cars. Hey Bobby D'ya wanna come and give us a hand to do some work on general's engine after lunch. If its OK with your Ma." Bobby looked at Jess expectantly.
"Why not come for lunch. " Luke added . He suddenly saw a worried look cross Jess's face and guessed she was thinking how long she'd known them all. "All of you"
"Thats really good of you to offer I'm sure Bobby would love to, but where is your place and how far is it as I have no car"
"You could all come back in the General with us" Bo suggested "We could just squeeze y'all in"
"Or how about.. Cooter will their car make it out to the farm and back" Luke asked.
"Sure will Luke, if ya take it steady. just be a bit hard on the old ears."
"OK, y'all just follow the General and we can take it easy" said Luke
"So long as we don't run into the local law enforcement, namely Cletus and Roscoe" Bo added tapping Luke on the chest.
"Thats Boss Roscoe to you" laughed Cooter
"I'd better go find Enos" said Bo and he left.
"I'll call Daisy and get her to lay some more places" said Luke
"And I'll go get your car out" said Cooter
"Luke are you sure that its OK. We don't want to be any more of a problem than we have already" Jess asked worried.
"Quit your worryin, the more the merrier. Unless you had other plans for this afternoon" Luke asked
"Well, no" Jess replied with a smile
"That settles it" Luke smiled back "I'd better go call Daisy."
Jess, Bobby and Kaitlin stood and talked about the General and Hazzard then when everyone was ready they followed the Dukes out of the town to the farm
"Hey Luke ya really weren't payin attention"Bo grinned at him
"What d'ya mean" Luke asked puzzled
"Well ya didn't mention the little red streaks in her hair" Bo laughed and Enos smiled They had nearly made it back to the farm when lights and sirens of Cletus's patrol car came up behind Jess's car.
Bo, driving the general, "What now, we ain't speedin' "
They all pulled over and got out. "Whats up Cletus?" Luke asked
"Sorry folks but Roscoe said I gotta give out more tickets." Cletus said apologetically
"But we aint done nothin'" Bo said
"Well this here out of town car has committed a noise violation" Cletus replied looking at the strangers.
Bo introduced them and then tried to talk some sense into Cletus with some help from Enos.
"Move slowly back into the car " Luke whispered to Jess moving towards the driving seat.
"But..." Jess started
"Bo can handle it" Luke said
They jumped in the car and sped off. When Cletus realised what was happening Bo and Enos jumped in the General and sped after them. A short chase later and they were back at the farm and Cletus was in a ditch waiting for Cooter to tow him out.
"Y'all ok" Luke asked
"I think so" Jess answered
"Can we do it again" Bobby said. They laughed and got out.
Luke called to Bo "Hey cuz are you ever gonna stop doing that and grow up?"
"I will if you will" Bo laughed.
Daisy and Gaby had come out of the house. "Aren't we going to be in more trouble? " Jess said
"No, the boys have been playing these games with the Sheriff's department since they were old enough to drive" Daisy said. As the boys explained what had happened
"I'm just glad it's not me your putting in the ditch now." Enos added. They all laughed and went to get lunch and Luke introduced Jess and the kids to Daisy and Gaby.
"You feelin' better " Bo asked Gaby putting his arm round her and kissing the top of her head.
"Much " she replied " I was probably just tired from the trip. Whose the lady?"
"Someone Luke met in town" Bo said and they went and joined the others.
After Lunch, Luke, Bo and Bobby went to work on the General and Dixie. Gaby took Kaitlin to see the animals and Enos took the truck over to see his folks which left Daisy and Jess talking.
"I'm not used to someone else entertaining the kids, and me not having to do anything." Jess said
"It must be hard bein' on your own and all." Daisy said
"It can be sometimes, but they're pretty good kids most of the time."
"Its good to see youngsters out here. There ain't really been any since we were all kids"
"You grew up here?"
"Yup, me, Luke and Bo. Uncle Jesse took us all in when our folks were killed."
"That would explain why you're all so close."
"Especially Bo and Luke. Even though they're all growed up and Bo is married now, they still act like little boys when they're together especially when they get behind the wheel of a car."
"Hey, y'all is it OK to take Bobby for a spin in the General" Luke asked coming over with Bobby.
"I don't see why not. Do you want to go Bobby?" Jess asked
"Is the sky blue mum?" Bobby replied
"I'll take that as a yes then" Luke smiled Bobby grinned back
As they walked towards the General Daisy called out "Bo, Luke Don't scare him to death."
Luke and Bo shrugged and said "Us" as they climbed into the car and roared off.
Kaitlin came back with Gaby, "Boys playing with their toys again" Gaby said to Daisy as they watched the General disappear
"Sure are" Daisy laughed
"Mum you should see the chicks they are so sweet and Gaby has got a horse and there are two dogs that like to chase things..." Kaitlin said all at once sitting down on Jess's lap .
"Hey,Kait slow down. Are you having fun?" Jess asked
"Yeah, its brilliant" said Kaitlin
"Shall we go and get that carrot to feed the horse" Gaby asked Kaitlin
Kaitlin went inside with Gaby then came running out and across the yard Gaby came and joined Daisy and Jess. They continued to chat and find out more about each other.
After a while, the cb crackled. "Lost sheep to Bo Peep or Pretty Maiden you got your ears on come back"
Daisy picked up the CB in Dixie. "This here's Bo Peep I read ya Lost Sheep is every thing Ok?"
"Yeah, were fine, just lettin y'all know we're goin' up to the top forty to let Bobby have a drive." Luke said. Daisy looked at Jess.
She nodded and said "He'll love that"
Back on the CB Daisy said " That's a big pository here Luke "
"10 4 Won't be too long Daisy. We're gone"
Kaitlin was walking back across the yard and Bobby's voice came over the CB to everyone's surprise "Kait, if you can here me, I'll catch you on the flip side" The last bit was in a very good southern drawl.
Everyone laughed and Gaby said "You've let him spend too long with Bo and Luke already"
Kaitlin sulked "He still won't tell me what it means"
"Well, us girls had better stick together. It's about time you learned the local lingo, honey" Daisy said as she went in
"I've been here just over a year and I still have trouble" Gaby said
Daisy came back with two hand held walkie talkies and started showing Kaitlin how to use them and teaching her different phrases.
"'ll go start dinner" Gaby said getting up Jess was invited to stay and went to help leaving Daisy and Kaitlin to their language lesson.
A little while later Daisy asked Kaitlin to call the Boys to tell them that supper was nearly ready,
"Big bruv this is Little sis are you there Bobby come back... Oh this is Kait by the way"
Bo was leaning on the Generals window sill Bobby was in the driving seat with Luke beside him." That's your call Bobby you'd best answer it "
Bobby picked it up and said rolling his eyes " This is big Bruv what do you want little sis"
"I just wanted to tell you that its nearly supper time"
Bobby looked at Luke who said "well I guess we're on our way"
"Little sis we're on our way We're gone" Bo and Luke laughed and slapped him on the back.
"10 4 Big bruv catch you on the flip side"Bo, Bobby and Luke laughed some more and Bobby started to get out when Luke said "Hey where're you goin' You're takin' us home" Bo climbed into the back and they set off.
Everyone in the kitchen was laughing and Jess hugged Kait. Kait said "Well how did I do"
"Brilliant " said Jess
"Great,Sugar. We'll make a southern girl out of you yet" Daisy added.
Later over supper everyone was talking,
"How was the driving lesson Bobby" Gaby asked
"Great" Bobby answered
"The boy's a natural" said Bo "We'll have him racing before you know it"
"Yeah just you wait till he's got his licence" Luke said.
"Not long huh" said Enos "How old are you now?"
"16" replied Bobby
"Hell boy, you can get your licence now" Luke said
"you've been waiting for that for a long time Bob" Jess said
"Well if it's OK with you we can go see Roscoe in the morning" Luke said
"That would be great" Said Bobby
"If you've got the time" said Jess "Or you point me in the right direction"
"No offence but it takes a bit of practise in handling Roscoe" Luke said
"Why "Jess asked
"You'll see" said Daisy "Then I expect you'll want a car like the General"
"More importantly you'll wanna be racin'" Bo added
"Why do you call it the General Lee" asked Kait
"Well its a long story but if I remember right it was because of the southern flag and the Dixie horn" said Bo
"They were important in the Civil war and so was a General called Robert E Lee" said Luke "Did y'all stop in Capitol City? Theres a great place there tells you all about it"
"Not a museum" said Kait
"museums are so boring" added Bobby
"Not this one "said Luke "how about I take y'all there tomorrow if you ain't got plans"
"Don't see why not" said Jess "
"But mum..." wailed Kait
"Can I drive" said Bobby
"maybe" said Luke winking at Jess and smiling at Bobby
"At least a little way" added Jess
"Never mind that " said Bo "Lets get this Boy racing"
"Are you going to be here for the Hazzard carnival" asked Gaby "Isn't there a junior race then"
"Sure is" said Enos "but you'll have to have a car to get a race permit"
"When is it?" asked Jess
"Three weeks "said Luke
"Can we stay mum?" Bobby begged
"I don't know" said Jess "Because we weren't supposed to be here at all"
"Glad you are though"said Luke looking at Jess who was looking back at him
As things went quiet, Bo looked from Luke to Jess and piped up "Yeah its sure fun havin' y'all around"
Enos picked up the conversation and said "if youre up for some more fun, Cletus told me there's a bit of a hoedown at the Boars nest tonight" They all agreed to go Jess and the kids
Then Kait piped up "Whats a hoedown?"
"and whats the Boars nest" added Bobby
"A hoedown is like a party and the boars nest is the local bar" said Daisy
Bo looked at Luke and said to Jess "Do you wanna come? You're welcome to come along"
"Can we mum?" said Kait.
"But the kids wont be allowed in a bar" said Jess wrinkling her nose.
"True" said Daisy "Bo didn't think of that"
"Yes I did" said Bo
"You've been gone too long Daisy" said Luke " Roscoe decided to make it a more family friendly place"
"Well, Lulu decided that Roscoe should, So its no problem" said Bo
"So can we go mum?" asked Kait again
"Bobby?" Jess looked at him
"Don't mind " he replied
"Well ok then" said Jess "Where is it ?"
"Just across town from the hotel. Don't worry Luke can ride with you and show you" said Bo. Luke looked up and exchanged a glance with Bo
In the general on the way to the Boars nest They were talking about Jess and the kids when Daisy said to Bo "Luke likes her doesn't he"
"Sure does "answered Bo with a grin
"But she ain't gonna be around long" continued Daisy
"Don't worry darlin' Luke'll be fine. Anyhow I wasn't gonna be in LA for long and look what happened" Daisy nodded and Bo grinned and winked at Gaby.
At the Boars nest, Jess bought drinks and Luke went to help. Cooter came over "I gotta call to say parts will be here by lunch tomorrow, so you're car should be ready by sundown"
"Thanks Cooter"said Jess as Cooter turned and walked over to the others
"Guess you'll be leavin then" said Luke
"I suppose so" said Jess
"Do you think you'll come back ?" Luke asked
"I don't know" said Jess "we'd better take these drinks"
Later Daisy Gaby Enos and Bo were dancing and Jess was dancing with Kait. Luke was watching then turned to Bobby "You ain't dancin"
"I don't dance" said Bobby making Luke laugh "That's my sisters thing. Any way neither are you" he added with a grin and Luke held his hands up in defeat as Cooter came over and they
started talking cars especially race cars until Bo and Gaby came and flopped into the chairs next to them Luke looked up and then to Jess and Kait dancing as the music slowed down Bo
"Just ask her dance" he said puzzled by Luke's behaviour. He'd never needed prompting to ask a girl to dance before
"But..."Luke started. Bo gave him a look that said don't argue just do it.
Gaby shrugged as Luke looked at her "I can take Kaitlin to play"
Luke sighed and walked over to Jess "mind if I cut in?"
"Kait do you wanna come and play" said Gaby . Kait took her hand and went .
"Having fun" said Luke as they started to dance
"Yeah, I love Hazzard and I know the kids do too. Luke I just want to thank you for taking care of us and all the time you've spent with Bobby. I can't believe how easily he settled here."
"He's a good kid, they both are. You've done a good job"
"Thanks" They continued to dance and talk and have fun. By the time the evening finished, Kait was practically asleep on Jess's lap. "Bobby are you ready to go or I'm gonna have to carry
your sister and she's too big. Kait, don't go to sleep we've gotta go"
"Let me give you a hand " said Luke
"We'll be fine" said Jess "The others are waiting for you"
"We can wait" said Daisy "its fine"
Jess looked back at Luke "But ..."
"Its fine"Luke repeated and picked Kait up. Back at the hotel Luke laid Kait on the bed and Bobby went of to get ready for bed. "You gonna be OK " Luke asked
"Yes thank you I'll be fine" Jess answered They walked just outside the door
"We still on for tomorrow" Luke said
"Definitely"Jess replied "Oh but Cooter needs the jeep"
"Dont worry" said Luke "I'll pick you up in the General and we can pick up a licence for Bobby on the way"
"If your sure" said Jess
Luke took hold of Jess's arms gently and looked into her eyes "I'm sure" They kissed each other on the cheek and Luke started to walk away
"Luke " he turned and she smiled at him "Thank you" He smiled back and left
Luke picked up Jess and the kids and took them to Capitol City, Bobby drove the bit in Hazzard after getting his licence They had a really long fun day and it was dark when they got back
to the farm. Daisy came out when she heard them pull up "Y'all had a good day" she asked They all agreed they had "Well, the coffee's on and there's cookies and milk Come on kids" She
went back in and Bobby and Kaitlin followed . Jess went to go too when Luke grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
"I've really enjoyed today" he said
"So have I" she answered meeting his gaze as he took hold of her hands
"Are you sure you can't stay longer" Luke said
"Not really as much as I would like to" Jess said
"I might not have known you long but Im gonna miss you when you leave" Luke said to her.
Jess dropped her eyes "I'm gonna miss everyone here" she replied "especially you" she added raising her eyes to look back into his and he lent forward and kissed her. He let go of her
hands and put his arms around her waist her hands went up round is neck and they stayed like that until Jess pulled away and laughed "God, we're acting like a couple of teenagers"
Luke smiled "Well. I don't know about you but I feel like a teenager and you sure look as good as one" and he pulled her back and kissed her again
They laughed as she said "Hey, I've heard all about you Duke boys and your lines"
"I must thank Gaby later" Luke laughed
"Come on I'd better go check on the kids" she said. He grabbed her hand and kissed it and lead her indoors As they went in, she let go. Luke went to get coffee and the others looked up
and greeted them before returning to their previous activities: Daisy was working on her laptop, Enos was playing checkers with Bobby and Kaitlin was showing Bo and Gaby what she
had bought. Luke and Jess sat at the kitchen table and talked and laughed. After a while Jess stood up and said that they had better be going and went to gather the kids together.
Then everything started to fall apart.
Gaby said " Oh by the way Cooter called. Your jeep's ready when you are."
"Thanks " Jess said
"Does that mean you're leaving tomorrow" asked Bo. Luke had been listening and stood up to take the cups to the sink, noticing the magazine sticking out of the bin and the front page caught his eye, He pulled it out for a closer look.
"i suppose so " Jess answered. Bo and looked round to see Luke reading the magazine.
Bo noticed the expression he wore. "You'd better come back and see us though, ain't that right Luke " Luke didn't answer "Luke" Bo called him
Luke looked up " Oh er Yeah"
Bo knew that he had no idea what he had agreed to, and he was behaving oddly. Maybe it was because Jess was leaving.
Daisy came over to Jess "Come by tomorrow before you leave won't you"
"Yeah we will" Jess promised. "Come on kids we'd better go" They all got up and moved to the kitchen. Luke was looking out of the window "Luke can you take us back please?"
He turned away "Yeah sure" and went for the door. Daisy and Bo exchanged glances They all said their goodbyes and Jess Bobby and Kaitlin went to join Luke at the General Lee. Luke
didn't acknowledge them and even the kids knew something was wrong. They looked at their mum and she shrugged as she helped them into the car. When they got to the hotel Luke
didn't make eye contact and said a quick goodbye before leaving. Kaitlin looked upset and Bobby stormed off throwing his bag on the bed when he reached the room. Jess decided it
would all be better left till the morning.
When Luke got back to the farm he sat in the car for a minute before going in . Bo was the only one there, sitting at the table like he was waiting for Luke
"D'ya wanna talk about it?" he asked Luke
"What?" Luke replied trying to pretend nothing was wrong. Bo threw the magazine on the table so they could see the front page. Luke looked down at the picture of Anita Blackwell with
her husband and new baby. "What of it? " Luke said
"Are you gonna spend your entire life with what could have been"
"I don't know what you're talking about" Luke spat back
"Don't you. I wouldn't have Gaby if it wasn't for you. What about Jess?" Bo said raising his voice "She don't deserve the way you treated her"
"What about Jess?" Luke said also raising his voice "She's leaving in case you hadn't noticed, Anita left and now Jess is leaving. And there ain't nothing I can do about it Whats the point
in getting hurt all over again?"
"Have you tried" Bo said "You like her right, have you told her? Just coz she's leaving tomorrow doesn't mean she can't come back. Have you given her anything to come back for?"
"'Course I've told her,... sort of " Luke said angrily "But she's leaving anyway"
"Fine if that's the way you want it " said Bo. Then more quietly "but someone once told me not to push away someone who wants to love you." Luke looked up at Bo who said quietly
"Think about it Cuz" and he turned and left.
Early next day, Luke stood with a coffee staring out of the window with a picture in his hand that Kaitlin had given him. Bo came in "Hey Cuz, you're up early"
"Couldn't sleep" said Luke "Want a coffee?" Bo nodded and Luke poured another, handing it to Bo as they sat down. "I thought about what you said"
"What are you gonna do?" Bo asked.
"Well I guess I finally got Anita out of my bones. When I saw her before I thought I still loved her. Now I know that I don't . The picture just reminded me how much it hurt when she left
and I didn't want that again."
"What about Jess?" Bo asked
"Thats the problem. Yeah I like her and I think she likes me but..."
"But is it just another Luke Duke conquest. Or maybe it's time to finally grow up... for both of us." Luke looked at Bo questioningly. Bo smiled "Gaby's having a baby"
Luke lent across the table and hugged him "Congratulations"
"So are you gonna go see her? " Bo asked eventually.
"Yeah I think I owe her an explanation, then we'll see if she's still talking to me" said Luke standing up
"Course she will you're a Duke ain't ya" Bo joked. He walked around the table and hugged Luke ."Anyhow at your age it may be the last chance you get"
Luke pushed him playfully "I may be gettin on but I can still whoop your hide"
A while later Luke was in the General about to leave
"Breaker one breaker one I may be crazy but i aint dumb Crazy Cooter comin at ya. Any Lost sheep out there with their ears on Come back"
"This heres lost sheep whats up Coot"
"Jess's jeeps gone"
"Have you told Roscoe"
"Luke, Bobby took off in it, that kids in a whole bunch of trouble"
"He sure is , we'd better hope we find him before anyone else"
"I'll head up North Road with Jess We're gone"
Bo came running out the house "I heard. Daisy's headin up Highway 19, Enos is taking the County Road and Gaby is gonna sit tight hear in case he shows up and she is keep contact with
the hotel in case he shows up there" Bo jumped in the window "Hit it cuz"
They roared out of the yard and along the Hazzard road.
"This here's Lost sheep any Dukes out there seen anything Come back"
"Bo peep to Lost sheep Nothing here Bo"
"This is Enos Sorry boys no sign here"
"Crazy Cooter to Lost sheep Big negatory here"
Luke took the CB "Cooter Hows Jess doin'?"
"Hangin' in there"
"Take care We're gone"
"This is Deputy Cletus calling Sheriff Roscoe P Coltrane I'm in pursuit of a black foreign lookin jeep high tailin it along the county Road two miles off the county line. Requesting assistance."
"Cletus keep on him I'm on my way" said Roscoe He put the CB down "Hot pursuit I love it. I love it"
"Enos this heres Bo can you head em off"
"I see em Bo I'll try"
"If he crosses the county line he's heading for juvenile court" Luke said
"Well you know the short cut What are you waiting for?"
After cutting across country they had caught up with Bobby and were trying to get him to pull over.
"That boy sure can drive" Luke said trying not to end up in a bush.
"Luke, the county line" said Bo as they saw it. In a last ditch attempt Luke threw the General n front of the jeep which veered off the road into a ditch. Bobby jumped out and took off on
foot with Luke behind him and Bo following.
As Luke caught Bobby and stopped him running. Bobby spun round and landed a punch on Luke and Bo grabbed him from behind.
"I've lost my touch, I didn't see that one comin" said Luke rubbing his jaw and wiping away the blood from his split lip
"Get off me"shouted Bobby still struggling
"No can do " said Bo
"Whats this all about?" said Luke
"What do you care? One minute you're our friend then you wont even talk to us. You're just like everyone. You're just like my dad" Bobby yelled
Luke looked up at Bo and said "Lets get him in the car"
Luke and Bo dragged a struggling Bobby back to the car and shoved him in
"I'll go help Enos with Cletus" said Bo grasping Luke's shoulder and knowing that Luke had to deal with this on his own.
"I don't want to go with you. Let me out " yelled Bobby as Luke drove off.
"No I won't So quit your yellin and tell me what this is all about" said Luke using words he'd heard a few times from Uncle Jesse when he'd been growing up. He wished Uncle Jesse was
here now because he felt way out of his depth.
"No one cares what I think, so why should I. I might as well just not be around" said Bobby still very angry
"That's not true" said Luke "you're ma is real worried"
"Why do you care?" Bobby shouted back
"Because I think it's my fault. You got every right to be mad at me about last night I was out of line and I'm sorry. I was just on my way to see y'all this morning when I heard what you'd
"And I'm supposed to believe that " Bobby yelled
"Thats up to you, but what reason have you got not to believe me"
"Because you might change your mind again. You're just like my Dad, you lie and say things you don't mean,"
"Do you and your dad not get along"
"I hardly ever see him. He's not interested in me or anything I do so why should I care. You acted all friendly then didn't even bother to talk to us"
"I am real sorry, Bobby. I didn't know about your Dad and last night was not about you or Kaitlin. I just had a lot on my mind, I was wrong and I deserved the thumpin"
"Well, I hope it hurt."
"Your dang right it did, but thumpin anyone never solved anything, neither does runnin away. Do you realise how much trouble you could have got into and how dangerous it was?"
" 'Course I did, but I don't care,"
"You should , you've had everyone worried sick especially J ..your ma"
"I bet. She doesn't care what happens to me"
"If she don't care, why is everyone out lookin for you? When we're hurtin we start hurtin the ones we love most."
"I suppose so" Bobby began to quieten down.
"Your mum really cares about you and she don't deserve what you did and she don't deserve what I did. So I guess we've both been a bit hot headed and have some bridges to mend"
"Maybe... You like my mum dont you"
Luke looked surprised " Well... er... yes "
"Thought so. She likes you too"
"She does huh"
"Yeah, I'm not stupid you know. I've got eyes. I've seen how you two are together"
"Does that bother you?"
"I don't know, It does if you do what you did yesterday"
"That really wasn't about you. That was just something I need to talk to your mum about."
"Are you still mad at me? " Luke asked.
Bobby hesitated "I wasn't just mad at you and I'm sorry I took it out on you"
"Just promise me if you get that mad again, you give me your best right hook or even better just talk to me before you pull another stunt like this."
"D'ya wanna tell your mum you're OK? Get it over with?"
Luke picked up the CB "Crazy Cooter, this here's Lost Sheep you got your ears on come back"
"Crazy Cooter back at you"
"Can you put Jess on?"
"I'm here Luke " came Jess's voice
Luke held out the cb to Bobby who hesitated before taking it. Luke nodded and patted his shoulder.
"Mum, it's Bobby"
"Are you OK?" she asked quietly
" Are you coming to the farm?"
"Yes we're nearly there
Luke took the CB back "See y'all at the farm we're gone"
Bobby sat back and looked up at the ceiling "You ok?" Luke asked.
Bobby shrugged and said " Mum was very quiet and that means she is so mad"
"And so scared" added Luke " You just need to take the consequences ... and never do that to her again"
"I won't if you won't" Bobby said to Luke looking over at him
"Deal" said Luke as they pulled into the yard and climbed out
Gaby came out to see them "Is everyone OK?" . Luke put his arm round her as they walked round to Bobby
"Yeah Enos and Bo will be back in a while when they've got rid of Cletus and got the jeep out of the ditch"
Cooter pulled into the yard with Daisy not far behind.
Jess walked over to Luke and Bobby holding Kaitlin's hand. She looked at Bobby then hugged him. As she let go she said quietly "I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you" and hugged him again,
"Mum I ..." he looked at Luke who just nodded and clapped him on the back. "I am really sorry. I was just so mad"
"I know" said Jess. Luke gently put his hand on her back feeling a need to give some kind of moral support. Daisy and Gaby came over and offered to take Kaitlin inside, Jess bent down and spoke to her and hugged her before letting them take her with Cooter following.
Luke looked at Jess " Are you OK?"
"Yes ... Luke Thank you" she replied. He just smiled. "How about you, what happened to your face?" Bobby fidgeted nervously Jess looked at him "Did you do this?"
Bobby gave a very small nod and kept looking at the floor as Luke said "It's OK, Its sorted" looking at Bobby and Bobby looked back at him "Any how I deserved it" Knowing they needed
to talk Luke made his excuses and went inside. Kaitlin was drawing and having milk and cookies in the sitting room Cooter left to give Bo and Enos a hand and Daisy and Gaby came to
the kitchin and Luke gave them a summary of what happened.
"What he really needs right now is Uncle Jesse" said Luke thinking of how sorted out him and Bo after similar scrapes.
"Sounds like he's got the next best thing, Sugar" said Daisy putting her arm round him "he's got you" Luke looked at her quizzically then turned to look at Jess and Bobby through the
window "but right now he needs his mama and I'm sure she'll do just fine" Daisy added.
Luke nodded and went to see Kait guessing that she felt a bit left out at the moment
Jess had been understanding when Bobby told her why he had done it but had also read him the riot act about how dangerous and irresponsible it had been and how there would
definitely be consequences. Then Bobby said something that really surprised her "Well, I suppose I deserve it and mum... I am sorry I worried you I meant it at the time but not
now" "Bobby thank you that takes a lot to say and I do appreciate it" It was a new maturity that she hadn't seen in him before She hugged him but knew he was back to normal when he
said "enough of the hugging already"
They laughed as she went to hug him again "Come on lets go find your sister and you can let her give you a hug too"
Bobby pulled a face but as Jess stood up he looked serious again "Mum"
"Yes" she said
"What about Luke?"
"Well, you and Luke...I don't mind" She looked deeply into his eyes and they understood each other perfectly.
She smiled and rubbed his arm " Well, we'll see what happens but thank you" Bobby nodded
Bo followed Enos into the yard in Jess's jeep. They came over and Bo said "Hey, how're y'all doin'?"
"OK " said Jess
"Better" said Bobby adding a quick sorry. Bo smiled at him remembering his own misspent youth and the trouble he got into afterwards
"That was one hell of a ride you led us on" Bo said patting him on the back as they all walked in. Bo went to Gaby and hugged and kissed her.
"Y'all Ok Sugar "Daisy said coming over to Bobby and rubbing his arm
"Yeah" said Bobby Daisy smiled at him
Jess put her hand on his shoulder and said "And..."
Bobby looked at her and said "And i am sorry for all the trouble I caused" Jess smiled at him.
Luke and Kait came through as Bo said " I guess we know a bit about causing trouble huh Luke?"
"Sure do " said Luke smiling and he winked at Bobby. Kait ran over to hug Bobby and he went to push her away Jess raised an eyebrow at him and he sighed and let his sister hug him
them Jess hugged her. They all chipped in to help with lunch Daisy was worried about Gaby who seemed tired and not herself
"Is Gaby OK? " she asked Bo quietly
"Yeah Gaby is just fine. In fact Gaby is better than fine" he said walking over to Gaby and putting his arm round her. She smiled at him "We're having a baby"
There was a lot of whooping and hollering, hugs and back slapping then they sat down to lunch excitedly talking . Over lunch Jess decided that would wait another day before leaving and
as penance Bobby would help Bo and Luke with some ditching that afternoon. The only cloud was between Luke and Jess. After lunch, Luke dragged Jess outside while everyone was
busy clearing up.
"Jess I need to talk to ya "
"What about Luke 'coz this really isn't a good time. I need to be with the kids "
Bo and Bobby came out "We're gonna head up" said Bo "Catch us up"
"OK said Luke
"Be good" said Jess to Bobby
As they left Luke turned to Jess "I can guess you're probably mad at me"
Kait came out followed by Gaby "Mum Gaby said I could ride her horse"
"If its Ok with you" Gaby added
"Sure, if you don't mind?" Jess asked
"No problem" said Gaby smiling and they set of across the yard. Kait stopping just long enough to hug Jess and for Jess to tell her to have fun.
Luke turned back to Jess "The kids are fine"
Jess threw her hands in the air "OK"
"Come on" said Luke "Let's walk up to the top field" Luke decided to lay all his cards on the table he told Jess all about Anita and the picture in the paper, and he told her how he felt
about her leaving and about the conversation he'd had earlier with Bobby. Jess explained about her ex and how it was with the kids. After which they seemed to understand each other
better. But Jess was adamant that the kids were her priority and she wouldn't do anything to put them through the same thing again. "I can understand that" said Luke "they're great
They had stopped beside a stream running through the trees. "I don't know where this is gonna go Luke. I'm going to be thousands of miles away "
"I'm sure we can work something out" They looked into each others eyes "I am really sorry about the way I acted, I was behaving like a dang fool and it wont happen again" Luke said to
She reached up and gently stroked her hand across his bruised face and his cut lip. "And I'm sorry too, especially about this"
He took her hand and kissed it " Like I said I deserved it, if Bobby hadn't done it Bo probably would've. I needed some sense knockin into me" Then he kissed her and Jess finally relaxed
As they broke apart she said "I suppose we both have ghosts to lay to rest"
"But can we do it together" Luke answered
"I've finished with the past, but I'm not so sure that the past is finished with me."
"I don't care" He kissed her again.
"Let's just take it one step at a time." She said eventually.
Up in the field, Bo and Bobby had started digging and had stopped for a breather. "Wonder what's keeping that cousin of mine?" said Bo
"He needed to talk to mum" said Bobby matter of factly. Bo raised an eyebrow "He told me" Bobby added.
Luke and Jess, eventually met up with Bo and Bobby after stopping to watch Kait ride from across the field "OK Cuz" said Bo smiling at Luke and patting him on the back.
"OK" said Luke looking straight back at Bo. Jess went over to hug Bobby.
"Mum, get off " he complained and they all laughed and continued digging.
Back at the farm, Daisy, Enos, Gaby and Kait were having fun talking and playing games when the others got back and joined in As they arrived Kait ran up to Jess and Luke excitedly
yelling about her riding. They told her that they had seen and how well she had done. Jess hugged her then Kaitlin turned and grabbed Luke's hand to tell him something. Daisy, Luke
and Enos went to do supper and Kait took Jess to see the animals, which would give them a chance to talk about everything that had been going on. Bobby went in to read a nascar
magazine that Bo had lent him.
As they sat on the porch , Bo and Gaby were talking about the baby. " Do you want a boy?" Gaby asked Bo
"I bet a girl would be as pretty as her mama"
"Always lines Bo Duke "
He kissed the top of her head "But you love it" He said smiling.
She sat up looking serious, "Bo, I wanna take that job at the school for a while. Working on the pageant for the Hazzard Carnival"
"Are you sure it wont be too much with all you're doing round here as well?" he asked looking concerned
"I'll be fine but I need to do something I wont be able to ride much" she said
"If its what you want I wont stand in your way, just promise me you wont overdo it?" he said. She looked into his eyes and kissed him. He knew he could trust her. He had waited all his
life for this, a wife and a baby, and he wasn't about to let anything ruin it. He had kissed a lot of girls on a lot of porches but none of them ever made him feel like this. As he continued to
kiss Gaby, Luke came out. He grinned at them. He never thought Bo'd be like this, all settled down.
"Don' let me interrupt you there cuz"
Bo just waved a hand at him. and Luke crossed the yard to the barn looking for Jess and Kait. He never thought he'd get another chance either. It was hard to believe how quickly Jess
and the kds had become part of their lives. A little while later he returned with one arm slung casually around Jess's shoulders and the other hand holding on to Kait's. It felt right.
After supper Daisy and Enos went into town, the farm was full of contentment. Kait was cuddled up to Luke as they read a book, Gaby went out to the horse and Bobby took his
magazine onto the porch and Jess was talking to Bo as he poured some coffees "You and Luke OK now?" he asked
"Sort of " said Jess "we'll have to see what happens after I leave tomorrow, but we'll be back for a few days for the carnival"
"Then we'd best get Bobby a race car" he said grinning
"That would be expensive I suppose " said Jess
"Nah," Bo replied " I know a few people"
"Thank you. I can hardly believe how much you've all done for me and the kids, considering you hardy know us" Jess said
"I guess we all know enough" he smiled at her "and I got a feeling about this."
"Uncle Jesse used to say 'if somethings right, its right' " Bo replied "Luke really likes you ya know" Jess blushed a little "but he's been hurt bad before"
"I know" Jess replied "We talked and I don't know how things are going to work out, but I don't intend to hurt him" Bo smiled at her. She could see he was concerned for his cousin.
Bo looked out the window for Gaby and saw Bobby sat on the porch fiddling with the guitar that he'd left out there earlier. Kait called Jess and she went to see her, patting Bo's arm as
she left. Bo got Luke's guitar and went outside . "Hey Bob. You play?"
"Yeah a bit" he said. Bo sat down with Luke's guitar and asked him to play something. Bobby played a couple of things that he knew Then Bo taught him something else. Gaby joined
them followed by Luke, Jess and Kait They all sat singing and playing, until Jess said that they had to go.
"Come and see us before you leave" said Gaby
"Definitely" Jess answered.
Luke rubbed her arm and she kissed him quickly on the cheek and went. Bo put his hand on Luke's shoulder as they watched her go.
Next morning Jess and the kids dropped in for coffee before they left for Florida.