Chapter 41: Waiting To See What Happens Next


Luke and Jo ran through the downpour of rice that rained down on them by the guests as they made it out of the door and to the Jeep out in the snowy lot. Luke hated that the roads were so slick because that meant that he'd have to drive more carefully than he otherwise would have to drive on the roads that he has driven nearly his whole life. Of course he was still able to drive out to the cabin at a much faster speed than most other folks would have driven on the icy roads.

Once he and Jo reached the cabin, Luke helped Jo out of the car and saw that someone had already shoveled and put salt out on the new driveway for them. When they got to the door, Jo was taken by surprise when he picked her up for the traditional carrying of the bride over the threshold. She knew that Luke had been raised with old fashioned values so Jo really shouldn't have been all that surprised.

Once inside, everything became a bit of a blur as the two made their way toward the bedroom of the small cabin. When the two fell onto the bed, Luke began to work the zipper down the back of Jo's long dress. When he finally got it unzipped, Luke started to push the dress down off of Jo's shoulders and past her breasts. Luke broke the kiss and worked his way down and indeed began to fulfill his promise of cleaning the cake crumbs and icing off of Jo from where he'd put the slice of cake down the front of her dress during the reception.

Right frankly, Luke by far preferred eating the cake off of his new delectable bride than the plate that he'd used at the reception. Although he wasn't sure who was enjoying his light snack more, him or Jo.

As Luke continued to remove every tiny crumb and bit of icing from Jo's chest, she squirmed and breathed heavily as she felt Luke's warm mouth work its way around her breasts while he sought every single morsel that he'd put down her dress. Finally, she couldn't take anymore teasing so she began to tear Luke's shirt off of him which spurred him to push her dress the rest of the way down past her hips. In no time at all, the rest of their clothes were shed and abandoned in heaps on the floor.

Even though Luke had been with Jo in this very cabin only yesterday, it seemed as if it had been a lifetime ago. Both of them had so much time to make up for since Jo had spent most of their engagement in New York. Not to mention, they'd spent years thousands of miles apart with only letters between them.

Now the blonde angel in his arms would be his and his alone from here on out. Soon, so much heat was radiating off of the two newlyweds, they never felt the chill of the cabin as it cooled. They had not bothered to stoke fire in the living room before heading to the bedroom. In fact, both newlyweds felt as if they were going up in flames.

~01~

When the family had finished cleaning up after the reception everyone headed back toward the two farm houses and tried to calm down enough to get some rest. Though it was clear that very little sleep would be gotten by anyone named Duke tonight. Each were still running with a full head of steam. Jesse decided that there would be no point in trying to send the younger folks on to bed so he didn't even try. The fellas seemed to have an inside joke running between them and there were sounds of laughter and chuckles coming from the boys' bedroom.

No, not boys'. Now it was just Bo's bedroom. That room was no longer Luke's anymore. He was married and, even though he still lived on Duke land, this farmhouse would no longer be the home that he went to at the end of the day. He now had a place that he'll call his own and share with the one girl who had finally gotten that boy to settle down after all of these years.

Somehow, Jesse felt the house would be a bit quieter than it had ever been, despite the fact that Luke had never been much of a talker. No, he'd been the schemer. He'd always been one to observe his surroundings first before speaking his mind. Even so, a ruckus could be heard from time to time coming from either the upstairs bedroom that he'd shared with Bo since they were little or out in the yard when those two would have a row. They'd been raised like brothers so it was only natural that they'd fight like brothers. But like brothers, they always would come around afterwards even closer (if that had been possible) than they'd been before.

Looking up toward the stairs, Jesse wondered how Bo was taking Luke's absence from the farm house. Oh he'd try to brush off any concern that others might show for him. He had been happy for Luke but his small speech tonight had shown Jesse that Luke wouldn't be the only one adjusting to life in the coming months.

In fact, the whole impact of Luke's marriage probably wouldn't even fully hit his youngest for a while yet. For now, he had his other cousins here for the next few days to distract him from the now empty bed upstairs. It will be those first few nights when Bo would head up for bed without the usual chatter that had long been a common practice while he and Luke had gotten ready for bed that it will really hit him.

Well, his boys had to start growing up sometime. Part of that growing up will be learning to live separate lives. His boys would be going through some growing pains in the coming days. Especially Bo. Luke could console himself with what he'd gained in the new arrangement. Bo couldn't. He would feel a bit lonely and unsure of what to do with his free time from now on. Luke would still be around, they'd hang out; but it will never be the same again. Bo is bound to feel a bit empty once everything really sinks in.

Jesse headed on up to bed to try to get some rest before breakfast; he was getting too old to stay up all night. Though if he was really honest with himself, he will probably have a hard time adjusting to not having all of his kids under one roof anymore. He had to keep reminding himself that this is precisely what he'd been wanting for years.

~01~

Upstairs, the remaining single Duke Boys were still wired and had brought out a jar of 'shine that they'd stashed upstairs before the wedding. Truth be told, they'd all drank a few sips from the jar before heading out this evening. Though Luke's sip was much closer to a swallow, but no one had called him out on it before he left. He was heading out to get married after all. So if he needed a little liquid courage none of them would give him any grief about it.

It was while the men had all been drinking the night before after the rehearsal that Coy and Bo had hatched out one final jab at Luke. All of the men had helped to take the last of Luke's things over to the cabin earlier in the day Monday. When they had finished, Luke had done his last minute packing for the trip to the Caribbean that the general was springing for as a wedding present for his daughter and new son-in-law. When Luke had tossed in a box of condoms in with his other stuff before closing his suitcase Bo and the other men teased him to no end.

The cousins all joked with him about how now that he was going to be a married man, he wouldn't have to worry about using them anymore. In fact, Jesse would probably have a cow if he knew that Luke was taking them. They all knew that Jesse had been itching for grandchildren for years, and while Jebb and Kira had the boys, it wasn't quite the same. He'd raised Luke, Bo, and Daisy as his own kids. It would be when one of them had kids that he'd finally get to be a Grandfather.

Luke had just let them all continue in their picking without explaining that he and Jo had decided that they should wait a little while before thinking about having a family. Honestly, Luke had never even thought about having kids before Jo's miscarriage. It was like he didn't know he wanted any until the one that he was going to have was taken away. Of course knowing all of the trouble that Kira'd had during her pregnancy, maybe he didn't want to risk Jo having a similar experience. For now, though, just being with Jo would be enough.

Somewhere along the way, before the wedding, Bo and Coy had figured that it would be a hoot to tamper with Luke's stash. A prank that seemed funnier while drinking moonshine. They figured that it would be funny to see just how observant Luke could be under, shall we say, rushed circumstances. While Bo had kept Luke busy before the ceremony, Coy took the salt over to salt the driveway along with one of Daisy's sewing needles.

With the needle, Coy had taken out the box from Luke's case and left a few surprises in its contents. Oh, some of the poke holes were less noticeable than others but surely the man who claimed that he never missed a thing would notice at least the larger holes left by the needle.

Of course, neither Bo nor Coy filled any of the other cousins in on their little prank. It would be some time before they knew whether or not it would have any repercussions. Bo doubt that anyone would really mind regardless of the outcome; even if they never knew of his and Coy's conspiracy to go ahead and send Luke picking out nursery furniture. After all, at his age, he shouldn't wait too long.

~01~

While the couple was away on their honeymoon, Cooter had been helping them out by looking for a good car that would be Jo's. Up until now, she'd rented cars when she needed one or borrowed Stephanie's and drove down but she'd need one of her own if she was going to live in Hazzard. When they'd come back, both sporting winter tans, Cooter had one ready for Luke to look at over at the garage. He had already taken care of the minor maintenance needed though he knew that Luke would still want to go over the car before taking it home and letting Jo drive it.

So here he and the car sat. Waiting for his favorite customers in all of Hazzard for their usual Saturday morning breakfast, though there would be nothing quite so usual about it today. There would still be beer and doughnuts, but the topic of conversation would be a bit different. This would be the first Saturday morning get together since Luke and Jo had gotten back from their honeymoon and there would surely be a lot to talk about it today.

When Cooter heard two power engines, he looked up to see both Bo and Luke (Luke driving) coming up in the General Lee with Jebb right behind them in his own blue charger that he'd recently dubbed the Stonewall Jackson after General Robert E. Lee's right hand man Lieutenant-General Thomas J. Jackson; also known as Stonewall Jackson. Jebb planned to have the confederate national flag painted on the roof this summer much in the same way that the General Lee had the confederate battle flag on its own roof. Then his car would look just like it's counterpart on the twins' baby blanket that Kira had made when she was pregnant.

By the way the two cars came in, Cooter guessed that the boys had raced all of the way from the farms. When the two Chargers pulled up they both slung sludge as they parked in front of the garage.

"Well, Luke, I wasn't sure if you'd make it out of the house just yet or not. Have any problems gettin' permission from your C.O. to come out here this mornin'?"

"Very funny, Cooter. Is that the car that you found?" Luke said as he climbed out of the stock car and walked toward the black Mustang that looked to be roughly the same year as the General. Cooter had it in the bay area of the garage. The men all went in and closed the bay doors to block out the winter's chill.

"Yep. Sure is. This beauty was just sittin' in the junkyard just as pretty as you please. Funny how some folks are so willin' to ditch a car just because they had an accident. Brought her over and since it's been a bit, slow me and the fellas knocked out the dents and fixed her up."

"Well let's take a look and see what all we have here," Luke said and walked around the two door car and then popped the hood. When he saw the supped up engine, he looked up and gave Cooter a questioning look.

"Well, if a Duke's gonna be drivin' this thing, a standard factory engine just ain't goin' ta cut it. Now would it?" Cooter grinned.

"Nah, I guess not," Luke said as he turned his attention to the car's innards. When he was satisfied with what he saw, he slammed the hood down and figured that he'd crawl underneath next to check it out from the underside. Before he could do so though, he saw that all three men had found a place around the garage to sit and were all staring at him with a look of expectation on their faces. "What?"

"You know what, Cuz. We've waited all this time to hear all the details about your honeymoon. So spill," Bo said with a cocky grin on his face.

"Ain't you the one that didn't want Jebb to share any details about his honeymoon?"

Bo made a face as he answered, "That was different, Kira is my sister. Jo ain't. So? Have fun?" Bo asked though he knew the obvious answer.

"Yeh, Luke. You know that you ain't gettin' out of here without tellin' us everything," Cooter added from his perch on a stack of tires.

"Or should we assume that age took its toll on you and there ain't much to tell," Jebb threw out from his own place on an upturned bucket that was serving as his own seat. He knew that it would only take a remark like that to get his oldest cousin to talking. Luke made a face at Jebb but conceded that he was going to have to at least share some of his stories from the honeymoon.

"Alright, I ain't sayin' I'll tell ya everything, but what'cha want to know?"

"Well, knowing you, even if you can remember the actual wedding night, you ain't sharin' none of that; so you can start with everything that happened after you left Hazzard," Bo said hopping up on the hood of the Mustang.

"Well, let's see, it rained the first two days that we were down in the Caribbean."

"Not that it mattered since you weren't likely to leave the room anyway," Jebb said from across the room.

"Probably not," Luke acknowledged with a grin. "But at least it gave us a good excuse to not go anywhere."

"Uh-huh. And?"

"And when the rain let up, we hit the beach some. The island we went to had a few out of the way areas that let me and Jo spend some time alone on the beach. Nearly got arrested for skinny dippin' in the ocean, though. Fortunately, the officer that caught us cut us some slack since we were newlyweds. Even whispered to me about a place that folks don't usually go to since the main roads didn't go there. Said that if we didn't mind a bit of a hike, we could go there and not worry about being interrupted."

"He didn't?" Cooter asked. How did Luke luck up with getting a cop like that? He'd been calling for someone to wire some bail money for sure if it had been him.

"Well, actually she did."

"A woman?" Jebb asked as he chuckled.

"The Duke luck helped a bit I guess. Not sure a man would have let me go."

"No, likely enough though, I'll bet she stayed and watched you and Jo leave. Or should I say, she watched as you left," Bo said knowing that both of them had been known to stop a few hearts when they went swimming with a girl or two. Luke just shrugged, not really commenting more on the officer.

"So, should we be expecting for Jay and Mikey to have any new playmates in the near future. If I don't ask, you know someone else will," Jebb asked as stood up and grabbed a beer out of the fridge.

"Actually Uncle Jesse has already asked."

"Well?" Jebb said as he twisted the top off of his beer.

"I don't think so. Not right yet anyway. I mean, it's only been a few months since Jo's miscarriage and all. Not to mention, I remember everything that you had to deal with when Kira was pregnant with the boys. I ain't so sure I want to risk that."

"So, that would be no to havin' any rugrats around anytime soon?" Cooter asked. "Then you'd better be real careful."

"You think?" Bo heard Luke reply. He and Coy hadn't thought about the miscarriage when they'd tampered with Luke's stash of condoms. "We're bein' careful, Coot. I think I know what I'm doin'."

"Cuz, I don't care how careful you are. You might still end up bein' a daddy."

"Speakin' from experience, Jebb?" Luke chuckled as he flipped the box of donuts open and grabbed one out before reaching for his own beer.

"Kira was on the pill when she got pregnant. So, yeh, I'm sayin' that if you don't want kids, short of surgery, there is only one way to do that. And frankly, Cuz, I don't think that you would survive long trying to live that way," Jebb laughed as he saw Luke take in what he'd said.

They had never really told the rest of the family much about what method of birth control he and Kira decided to use both before and after the boys came along. Especially after. Jebb didn't need any grief about being neutered. In fact, his mother had already commented about how the boys could use a brother or sister or two around. Too bad, there wouldn't be any more Dukes from his branch of the family tree.

"I didn't know Kira was on birth control. I thought that stuff was a sure thing," Luke said as he thought about his and Jo's discussion about what kind of birth control they should use.

"Nope. I think prayer would probably do ya better. You know how Uncle Jesse always says that if the Good Lord decides on it, won't nothing stop him from doin' what he wants to. You better tell him that you ain't ready for kids. And hope that he agrees."

"I don't know. I think it'd be fun watchin' Luke tryin' to figure out how to be a daddy. Jebb, maybe you and Kira should let Jo and Luke practice with the boys. They can babysit for ya then you and Kira can plan that trip to Mobile for the bike rally in May," Bo chuckled.

"Hey, that's not a bad idea," Jebb said. True, the family always tried to help out with the boys when they needed a sitter but this summer Kira didn't plan to be nursing them as much. That meant that they could take an overnight trip. Even hit a few races that they hadn't gone to last year.

"You're that sure that we'll need the practice, huh?"

"We'll see. How about we take the Mustang out and see what it's got?" Bo smirked at his cousin while changing the subject.

Since none of the men had even finished one beer, all of them climbed into their cars (Cooter rode shotgun in the Mustang with Luke) and all headed out of town for a quick race around the flats so they could let the cars go and show what they had. And being Dukes, they even had the Mustang make a few short jumps as they were seeing just what its horses could do.

By the end of the morning, the black car passed the Duke Road Test. Though it was no General by far, Luke could see havin' fun in this car when he wasn't off with Bo. Though he still intended to race his fair share of races in the General this upcoming racing season.

~01~

That night, after Jo had fallen asleep in his arms Luke laid there beside her thinking about everything that Jebb had said earlier. About how he and Kira had done everything right to avoid pregnancy and yet the twins were proof that sometimes God could have other plans. After all, if you really looked at it, them boys should have never been born.

First off, Kira was on the pill, then there was the wreck that nearly killed Kira (not to mention the boys). Next, there was the Eclampsia, the kidnapping, then being born weeks too early. And yet, they were now two healthy and active little boys.

Pulling Jo a little closer to him, Luke decided that while he and Jo still planned to wait a while before thinking about trying for any kids, if they ended up not having to try, Luke could live with that too. Provided that Jo didn't have half of the complications that Kira'd had during her pregnancy. For now though, Luke would just sit back and see what life had in store for him