by: Cousin Shilo
Christie looked out the window of the small airplane. The turquoise water below
looked surreal, and she could hardly believe her dream was about to be turned to reality.
She glanced at the blue folder on her lap. Its contents spelled out the details of her
request. Smiling to herself, and shaking her head she glanced at the other passengers on
the plane. It was the first time she could remember being on a flight where most the
passengers were awake. Their expressions held the same excitement as hers. Sighing, she found herself wondering what fantasies they were about to embark on. She was sure more than a few were trying to visit lost loves. Not surprisingly, there weren’t any couples on board. Not to say they were all single,…just traveling alone.
Christie had never been married. At 28 years old, her mom was getting worried.
Not that there hadn’t been offers, but she was enjoying the freedom she had as a single
woman. Her blond hair now tied up in a clip and wearing a sun dress because of the heat,
she had turned a few heads at the airport. If her petite five foot, five inches and blond hair
didn’t catch their attention, her aqua colored eyes did. Now it was all accented by a deep,
Pressure started to build in her ears, telling Christie they were beginning their
decent, though she couldn’t yet see land out the small window she had her forehead
leaning against. She glanced about her again, and noticed others were beginning to shift in
their seats, feeling the excitement of what lie ahead of them.
It was only a few more minutes before Christie got her first glimpse of Fantasy
Island. Palm trees lined the white beaches, and the rest of the island from this view looked
heavily covered in rainforest.
The plane touched down on the calm water with barely a bounce, and immediately
began slowing down, eventually coming to a slow crawl as it made its way to the pier.
Two men stood on shore, side by side. Christie smiled at how out of place the pair looked,
standing in the sweltering heat in their matching three piece white suits. Then there was
the contrast of the two men. One was tall, a little over six feet, of European decent, with
slightly graying hair and a warm smile. The man at his side was much shorter, a midget in
fact, and had dark hair and also a warm smile. He looked decidedly more excited than his
As the passengers disembarked the plane, they were greeted much the same way
Christie remembered having done on her trip to Hawaii two years ago. One by one the
pretty dark haired native woman dressed in a grass skirt, bikini top, and her tanned legs
accented by flowers around her left ankle, placed a fragrant flowered Lei around every
passenger’s neck, planting a kiss on a cheek as she did so. From there they gathered on the shore, near the two men.
The tall man that Christie knew to be Roarke from the brochures, said in his
pleasant sounding accent, to the group in general, “Welcome to Fantasy Island!”
Though Christie had thought herself too nervous to eat at all, she found she
enjoyed the meal they had prepared, of fish, tropical native vegetables and fruits, and wine,
When she was finished eating, it was time to meet with Roarke about her requested
fantasy. As she entered the elegant office, She placed her hands in her pockets to stop
them from shaking so badly.
The door to the office was ajar, and at a large desk of varnished cherry wood,
Roarke sat in a comfortable-looking high backed chair. Tatoo stood beside him smiling at
her when she entered. On the desk in front of Roarke was her blue folder, opened, one of
the papers in his hand.
Smiling as she entered, he said, “Have a seat, Miss Ramsay.”
Nervously she sat in the chair nearest her.
“You have made a most unusual request, Miss Ramsay.”
“Please, call me Christie.”
“Okay, Christie.” Looking again at the paper in his hands, he said, “I haven’t run
into this particular request before.”
Feeling crushed at his words, she said, “But you’re letter said it would be okay.
Now you say I can’t do it?”
“Oh, I didn’t say that, Christie. It just might happen in a way that is quite different
than is spelled out in your letter here.”
“I don’t really care how it is done. I just want…well, my dream has always been to
meet…” She stopped a moment as she realized how silly it sounded.
“To meet the Duke family.” Roarke finished for her.
Tatoo spoke up for the first time, talking excitedly. “I used to watch it too, Miss
Ramsay! The way that car jumped over everything to get away from Rosco. And Boss
Hogg always trying to frame them for everything-” He was cut short by a stern look from
“It says here you especially wish to meet a certain person.”
Christie felt her cheeks redden.
Reading from the paper before him, he said, “Luke Duke.” Looking up from the
paper, he said, “I assume from what you wrote, that you wish this meeting to have involve
“I realize how crazy that sounds-”
“Not at all. I see thousands of requests, and I’m not surprised at them at all.”
Christie let out the breath she had been holding.
“You have to be aware that these fantasies can be very real, and it is possible to
get hurt, just like real life, and you have a limited time in which to complete your fantasy.”
“I read the papers you sent, and I understand all that. I’m ready to face whatever
“Well, then, I hope you enjoy your fantasy, Christie Ramsay.”
As she stepped through the fog, Christie found herself stepping into the cafe at the
hospital where she was a nurse. Nurses, doctors, auxiliary staff, as well as visitors milled
about the room or sat at tables eating. It was business as usual at Reinz General.
“Roarke…!” She called out loud to the room.
“Hey, Christie, who are you talkin’ to?”
Christie looked up to see Tanya holding a plate containing a tuna sandwich and
some french fries. “No one, really. It’s just been a really stressful day.”
Finding a seat and sitting down, Tanya said, “I know what you mean, there. I didn’t
think we’d get any break at all after that construction site explosion.”
Picking up her fork, Christie began to eat her Caesar salad that Tanya had bought
her, wondering to herself if it was too late for a refund. She didn’t take vacation to go to
Suddenly the overhead pager crackled to life.”WOULD ALL EMERGENCY
DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORT TO ER STAT!”
As they ran towards the ER, Tanya sighed, “Like I said, I didn’t think we’d get
“We knew that when we became nurses.”
“Actually…I think they left that important part out.”
As they rushed through the double doors, Dr. Martin was barking orders to all the
“Christie, assist Dr. Franklin in ER 5, Tanya, you go to ER 3.”
They rushed to the sinks to scrub,
Christie was still steamed about how she was spending her vacation, but she never
had been one to turn her back on an emergency situation.
Scott, a young intern who was new to the staff, joined her at the sink. “No rest for
“Do you know what this one is about?”
“The NASCAR race they were having over in Masterson had a huge pile-up.
We’ve got twelve drivers heading over in various states of need.”
“Great. I’m supposed to be on vacation!”
Holding her hands out front and held up in front of her, she entered ER 5, pushing
open the door with her shoulder, and put on a pair of sterile gloves. The driver laying on
the table had a compound fracture of the left femur. A quick glance at the heart monitor
told her that he was in a life threatening situation. His BP was a dangerously low 50/20,
his pulse was 130. There was more to his injuries than first met her eye.
Turning back to the sight before her, she saw that one nurse was cutting through
the thick layers of the fire-resistant coveralls. Christie took out the IV start tray and
prepared to start an IV, in anticipation of the physicians orders.
As if on cue, Dr. Franklin, who had been listening to the young man’s now naked
abdomen, stood and said, “We’ve likely got internal injuries here! Start him on D5W
normal saline, standard drip rate, and contact OR. He may need surgery stat!”
After hanging the IV bag, Christie took out a butterfly needle, and turning to the
man, she took his arm and began to search for an insertion site. His arms were well
muscled and he had nice prominent veins. Plenty of choices for an IV site. He began to
groan now, regaining consciousness. For the first time since entering the room, she saw
who her patient was. Even through the mud and blood caking his features, Christie
couldn’t mistake the handsome face of Luke Duke. She had only hesitated for the barest
fraction of a minute before her professional mind once again took over, and she continued
starting the IV.
“It’s okay, honey. I’m going to start an IV in your arm here, then we’ll see about
getting some pain meds in you. I know you’re hurting bad, but I won’t let anything happen
Their eyes met for the briefest of moments, then he lost consciousness once again.
“Christie…?” Darlene was looking at her friend with a concerned look. “You look
like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“Do you know this guy?”
“Um…know of him, anyway.”
“Do you want to switch cases with someone?”
“No.” She said a little quickly. “I’ll be fine. I just didn’t know who it was until
What was Roarke trying to pull, anyway. She had requested a fantasy with Luke,
but what good was this going to be? Was he to be injured during most of her fantasy?!
Next time she would have to spell out her fantasy down to every detail.
As she helped Dr. Franklin explore the fractured femur, she found herself
wondering if Bo Duke had also been injured in the accident. She forced her professional
mind back in the forefront. If she let herself get all mushy now, she wouldn’t be of any help
to Luke .
On further inspection of the damaged leg, it was decided that the best chance for
complete recovery lie in surgical intervention.
“Would you go out and see if he has any family in the waiting room?” Dr. Franklin
said solemnly, “Tell them that when we get him stabilized, we’ll operate.
“What do I tell them his chances are…?” She wondered this herself.
“75%…maybe better. He looks like he was in good physical condition,” he sighed, “but we
just don’t know the extent of his internal injuries.”
The moment of truth, Christie thought, as she took a shuddering breath and
headed for the waiting room.
The room was busy, with several race car drivers and lots of concerned family
members. Glancing about the room, she searched for familiar faces, but found none.
“Is there a Luke Duke family here?”
No answer. Just as she was about to return to ER, a blond haired young man
headed her way with a concerned expression on his face. Christie almost fainted, as she
recognized Bo Duke. At least he was safe, she told herself.
“My name’s Bo. I’m his cousin, Ma’am. Tell me, how is he?” His eyes were
bloodshot, his face caked with the same dirt his cousin wore, and there was a blood stain
on the front of his t-shirt.
“Come with me.”
Christie lead him past the double doors, away from the melee of the waiting room.
She stopped walking and faced him, thinking how much cuter he looked standing before
“Taking a deep breath, she said, “He’s hurt bad. He fractured his left
– “-his what?”
“His thigh bone.”
He looked down at the floor. “I know. I saw the bone sticking out.”
“That’s not all.” She placed a comforting hand on his arm. ” He has some internal
injuries. We need to take him to surgery as soon as he’s stabilized.” She paused a moment.
“He has a 75% chance to survive.”
Bo met her gaze. “Can…can I see him?”
“He’s hurt pretty bad, and he’s unconscious. Can you handle seeing him like that?”
“I was the first one to get to him when he lay there hurt on the track…” his voice
trailed off at the memory.
Studying him worriedly, she said, “I think I can arrange for you to go in to see
him. Come with me.”
The reality of who she was walking with hit her and she felt herself trembling with
nervousness. Glancing sideways at him, she noticed Bo was very tall. His physique was of
someone used to hard physical labor outdoors. Christie felt guilty for studying him like
that when he was so full of worry over his hurt, maybe
even dying, cousin.
As they entered the room, a quick glance at the monitors told her Luke’s vital signs
had improved somewhat, though he was far from being out of the woods. Leading him up
to the stretcher, she watched his face get even paler than before. Tears held carefully in
check threatened to spill, and he looked sadly at his cousin, fear very evident in his eyes.
Rubbing his shoulder in comfort, Christie said quietly, “You can touch him. Don’t
be afraid. It might help him if you speak to him. Let him know you’re here.”
The quick disbelieving glance he threw her made her smile. “I’m serious. They say
hearing is the last to go, and chances are it will give him strength.”
She watched his eyes travel up the IV tubing to the two bags of fluid draining into
his body, to the multitude of monitors and machines, then back to his cousin’s dirty but
peaceful looking face.
“Hey, there Luke…” his voice wavered.
Christie urged him on with an approving look.
“Um…I told ya I was a better driver, and better lookin-” His voice broke at the
mention of their ongoing joke between them, his face not showing the humor the words
“See that monitor there?” Christie pointed out the heart rate monitor.
Bo tore his eyes from his cousin’s bruised face. “Yeah?”
“That shows his pulse. When you just spoke to him it went down some.”
“He heard you. It helped calm him down some. Maybe even helped ease his pain.”
He studied her to see if she was putting him on, but her face was sincere. He
found himself wondering what his cousin would think of having such a beautiful nurse in
charge of his care.
Just then, Dr. Franklin entered the room and said, “Call OR 2 and tell them we’re
sending him up.”
“I’m afraid you’ll have to go now. We’ll take good care of him, and we’ll keep you
Bo looked one last time at the lifeless body on the gurney, fearing he would never
see Luke again. Slowly he backed out of the room, knowing to stay out of the way of the
emergency room personnel was the best way he could help his cousin now.
Going quickly to the phone, Christie relayed all the pertinent information. She
hung up just in time to help wheel the stretcher towards the elevators. Taking a spot at the
head, she stole another glance at the handsome face. It tore her heart out. He now wore an
oxygen mask , though his features were decidedly more relaxed than previously.
Shaking the icy fear that threatened to overwhelm her, she reminded herself that
Roarke surely wouldn’t let him die…would he…? He must know, from what she’d said in
her request that she’d had candlelight and wine in mind…not this…!
After treating all the patients from the race car accident, the rest of the shift flew
by uneventfully, and when her shift ended, Christie headed up to OR.
After stealing a glance at the schedule board, and not seeing Luke’s name there,
she headed to the recovery room, passing the waiting room on the way. Glancing inside,
she didn’t see Bo, and she found this frightening. Maybe he went for a cup of coffee, she
“Hi, Christie!” Joan greeted her when she had entered the recovery room. “What
brings you to my department?”
“I was coming to check on a patient we sent your way earlier.”
“Luke Duke.” She braced herself for the worst.
“He’s been sent to 3 North.”
Sighing, she said, “Oh, good.” At least he wasn’t in intensive care.
“Did you know him?”
Not wanting to have to explain herself again, she simply answered, “Yes.”
After checking with the nurse supervisor, she entered room 305N quietly, finding it
odd that Bo wasn’t there. Glancing at the heart monitor, she noted he was doing better
than he had been earlier. though his pulse was still elevated.
She walked cautiously up to the bed. He looked like he was sleeping, though the
supervisor had told her he had not yet regained consciousness. Pulling up a chair, she sat
at his side and gently picked up his hand, encasing it between both her own. It felt large
and strong in her small hands. She studied first the strong fingers, then let her eyes travel
up well muscled arms to his handsome face. There was no reaction to her touch
outwardly, but another glance at the monitors told her in the decreased pulse that he found
her touch comforting. Taking a shaky breath, she tentatively reached out and brushed a
stray hair from his forehead.
“I’m here, Luke. You’re going to be alright, now.”
Feeling only slightly embarrassed, she cautiously raised the covers to check the
dressing on his leg. A large dressing covered the surgical site and a small amount of blood
was beginning to seep through the gauze. Satisfied with what she saw, she once again
settled back into the chair, holding his hand again. The events of the day taking their toll.
“Roarke!” she said aloud to no one in particular, “it isn’t supposed to be like this!”
She wasn’t sure how long she’d slept, but when she awoke she saw a pair of
sapphire eyes studying her. Embarrassed, Christie sat up straighter in the chair and wiped
the sleep from her eyes. Smiling sheepishly, she said, “Hello.”
“Hello. I aint never had my own personal nurse before. I must have hurt myself
worse than I thought!”
“I’m the nurse who took care of you when they brought you into ER.”
Laughing, he said, “You must be the angel I was dreaming about.”
Luke smiled at her reaction, “Do you always show this much concern over your
“Christie.” Getting up from the chair, she went to the window. She knew her
uniform was probably crumpled from sleep, and she didn’t exactly look her best now. It
was the moment of truth. Why couldn’t Roarke pick a better way for them to meet?
Meeting his gaze again, she finally answered. “Only in certain cases.”
“Like…?” he prompted.
“Like…” she took a shuddering breath. “Like handsome, blue-eyed, dark haired
strangers.” She smiled nervously.
“You have a mighty original way of picking up men.”
“Would you believe I’m a fan of yours?”
“You watch car racing?”
This was so difficult!
She saw him grimace slightly. Returning to his side, she said, “You’re hurting,
“You don’t lie very well.” She smiled at him. “It’s okay to admit you hurt. You
were injured pretty badly. I’m a nurse. I’m here to help you.”
He looked at her a moment. “Yes, it hurts.”
“I’ll go get you something for the pain.” She left the room to find the nurse in
charge of him. She returned a moment later with a syringe filled with a small amount of
amber colored liquid.
Eyeing the needle she held in front of her, he said, “You couldn’t find any pills?”
Smiling, she said, “This is stronger. You’ll thank me later.”
“I’m not so sure…”
“A famous race car driver isn’t going to let an itty bitty needle scare him, now is
“It doesn’t look so small to me.”
Smiling, she said, “I’m good at this. Just relax.”
“Uh…where do you have to give that thing?”
“In your hip.”
“Can’t you just give it in my arm?”
Laughing, she said, “Not this amount. Roll over.”
He looked apprehensive, but obeyed.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, now was it?”
“Didn’t feel a thing, did you.”
“I told you I was good.” She sat down on the chair again. More seriously she
asked him, “Do you remember what happened?”
He studied the blanket that covered his legs, deep in thought. “No. Last thing I
remember is I was racing. Was I in an accident or something?” He met her gaze.
“Yes. There were several of you brought in here from that accident, so I assume it
was quite the pile-up.”
Luke’s eyes widened in fear. “…BO…!” Immediately he threw the blanket off his
legs and tried to sit up. His face instantly drained of color at the effort and pain this
sudden movement caused.
“Whoa! ” She reached for him, putting her arms around his shoulders to prevent
him from falling out of bed as he nearly passed out. “Bo is okay.” She continued to hold
him, fearing he might still pass out as his color had not yet returned.
“You’re sure?” He asked weakly.
“Yes, he was here with you earlier.”
“I wish I knew. He probably didn’t expect you to wake up so soon. I’m sure he’ll
return. Do you want me to call anyone for you?”
“I’m sure Bo already called them. Don’t want to worry them any more than
necessary. How bad am I hurt?”
“You have a fracture of your thigh bone, several cuts and abrasions, and you were
“That doesn’t sound too bad.”
“Your thigh bone was a compound fracture. That means the bone penetrated the
skin. You run a greater risk for infection because dirt and bacteria enter the wound, and
can even cause an infection of the bone. That IV bag has an antibiotic in it to prevent this
from happening. We had to send you to surgery to repair your leg.”
At that moment, a tall blonde man appeared in the doorway. “Well, aren’t you a
They looked up to see Bo enter the room.
Christie slid off the bed, letting go of Luke.
Luke grinned at his cousin. “And where have you been? Out chasing the nurses
while your cousin lay injured in the hospital?”
“Well, you certainly weren’t being much company. And I see you have been doing
some chasing yourself, cousin.” He grinned at Christie, who blushed in return.
“Why don’t I leave you two alone.”
Luke looked at her. “Don’t go.”
Laughing, she said, “I have to go home to shower and change. I’ve been here all
“Will I see you again?”
Smiling, she said, “Yeah, I can come back later today, if you like.”
As she turned to leave, Bo excused himself and followed her into the hallway.
When they were out of earshot, Bo turned to her. “So what’s up?”
She stopped and faced him. “What do you mean?”
“Is there something you aren’t telling me?”
Smiling, she said, “We were just talking.”
“But why did they send you up to watch him?”
“Send me up…? Oh, I just came up here on my own to check on him.” Seeing the
worry in Bo’s eyes, she placed a hand on his arm and said, “Relax. The doctor can tell you
more, but I think Luke will fully recover from this.”
She saw him search for reassurance in her eyes. She smiled and said, “I’ll see you
later.” She could feel him watch her walk up the hall to the elevators.
When she returned to the hospital later that afternoon, she stepped into the room
and stopped short. The bed was empty and stripped of all sheets and pillows. The now
quiet monitors displayed blank screens. An icy chill went down her spine as she quickly
searched the floor for wrappers of items used in a resuscitation situation. To her relief,
the floor was now empty of such clues. Had she been wrong to assume that Luke would
Christie found the head nurse for the ward, and inquired about Luke’s
“Let me check,” she said. The dark haired, 58 year old woman looked through the
cardex system of patient information in front of her. She tilted her head so she peered
through the lower portion of her bifocals to better see the writing before her. “Luke was
moved to 608E just about an hour ago. He was upgraded to satisfactory condition by Dr.
With relief, Christie headed to room 608E. She stepped into the room, saying,
“How do you expect to get visitors if you keep moving to other rooms?”
Smiling broadly, Luke looked up from his dinner he was eating. “I told them I was
expecting company. The Doc said I’m too healthy to keep the other room. I guess that is
supposed to be a good thing.”
“It will be a better thing when you are released from here.”
Looking down at his plate, he said, “I’m not so sure.” Meeting her gaze, he said,
“If I go home I won’t have my own personal nurse to check on me.”
“I’m sure you have a wife or girlfriend back home…”
Doctor Jones entered the room on evening rounds. “Hello, Christie.”
“You know, if you are having that much trouble keeping away from here, we can
put you to work.”
“That’s okay, boss.”
Laughing, he shook his head. “You have a strange way of spending your vacations,
dear.” Opening Luke’s chart he held, he read the notes the nurses had made on his
progress, and said, “You could have been released tomorrow,…”
“I have a feeling there is a ‘but’…involved.”
“The dressing changes to your leg and surgical site needs professional care. It
doesn’t make sense for me to send you home and have you come back every day to have
the wound cared for. We were only able to place a half-cast on your leg, therefore it isn’t
very protected from further injury.”
Christie’s heart began to race. This was her chance! “If he had someone with him
who could…do the wound care…”
Dr. Jones smiled at her, “This wound is too delicate to trust to a family member
changing it. We need a trained eye to see the first sign of any infection.”
“Bo has had some first aid training. CPR and stuff.”
“We need a professional eye.”
“But he could have a home nurse.”
Luke smiled at her, “I don’t know if Hazzard County has any.”
Taking a deep breath, she said, “I could do it.”
Dr. Jones and Luke looked at her in unison. “Well, I’m on vacation, now.”
Smiling and shaking his head, Luke said, “Why are you so willing to help me?”
“I told you, I like racing, and I’m a fan of yours.” She only half-lied.
“I couldn’t ask you to-”
Cutting him off, she said, “You didn’t. I offered, remember?”
Studying her a moment, he asked, “What’s in it for you?”
She froze, thinking of a response that would not give her away. “Bo told me you
live on a farm….”
“I’d love to see what it’s like on a farm.”
“There’s nothing glamorous about it.”
“Not to you because you live there all the time.”
“I hate to have you work on your vacation, but not as much as I hate the thought
of being stuck here another day, so if you are sure about it…”
“I am.” She almost grinned.
Dr. Jones smiled at Christie. “When can you leave?”
Turning to Luke, he said, “You are one lucky man. I’ve seen others have to stay
here as long as a month because they had no one to help them at home.”
Winking at Christie, Luke said, “Yes I’m very lucky.”
Bo showed up, and Dr. Jones discharged Luke to Christie’s care. Bo had to go
home to get Daisy’s jeep, Dixie, because they couldn’t get Luke through the window of the
General with his cast on.
Christie pushed Luke out to the car in a wheel chair, in spite of his protests.
“Hospital policy.” She explained.
Standing up, he hesitated before getting inside.
“Here, cousin, let me help you.” Bo offered.
“I’m fine. I aint never needed no help getting in a car before, and I don’t intend on
Bo shot a curious glance at Christie, but stood back as asked.
Awkwardly, Luke hoisted himself up into Dixie, and began to struggle to crawl
into the back seat.
“I’ll sit in the back!” Christie said.
“That’s okay. You sit up front.” Settling in the passenger side of the back seat, he
stretched his leg forward between the seats.
Bo and Christie exchanged glances, then shrugging their shoulders, they got in the
When Bo looked over his shoulder to check for traffic, Christie adjusted her side
mirror so she could steal glances in her mirror at Luke. Not only so she could admire him,
she smiled at the thought, but so she could keep a close medical eye open for his
well-being. The pain med that she gave him for the trip just might make him ill, and she
wanted to know at the first sign of it.
“So why does a city girl like you want to go live on a farm for two weeks?” Bo
asked, his warm smile melting her heart.
She met his gaze. “How am I gonna know if I want to stay in the city unless I
sample the country life?” She noticed how much more handsome he looked without the
worry he carried for his cousin on their last meeting. His blond, wavy hair blew in the
wind from the open top jeep.
Looking at her disbelieving, he asked, “You aint never been to a farm?”
“No, I ‘ain’t’ ,” she mocked his southern drawl, laughing.
Bo tossed back his head in laughter at her poor imitation. “To really sample the
country life, you have to do chores.”
“I’m up to that.” She smiled at him, accepting the friendly challenge.
“You mean to tell me you don’t mind shoveling…manure?”
“Not if that is what it takes.” Smiling as he laughed again.
Stealing a glance in her mirror, she saw that Luke sat there with his eyes squeezed
tightly shut. Turning in her seat to face him, she noticed his hands were tightly clenched in
his lap, and he was white as a sheet.
Bo, noticing her concerned expression, glanced in the rear-view mirror at his
cousin. “Hey, Luke, What’s wrong?”
Christie said, “Please pull over, Bo.”
Reaching over the seat, she touched his ice-cold hands. Nudging him gently, she
asked, “What’s the matter? Are you feeling sick?”
Keeping his eyes tightly shut, he shook his head slowly. Bo looked at Christie with
a questioning gaze.
“What is it then?” She noticed the way he was shaking, and in her mind she ran
through the possible causes for his distress, from adverse side effects to the pain drugs, to
psychological trauma. “Is it being in a car again?” She asked the question gently.
Taking immediate offence, Bo asked, “My driving…?!”
Luke’s eye shot open in a heated stare at his cousin. “If you didn’t drive like a
Bo just stared in shocked silence. Then, hopping from the jeep, he walked over to
stand by a nearby tree, facing away from them.
Ignoring Bo for the moment, Christie said, “You know, you’re not the first person
to come away from an accident like that without having some sort of repercussions. You
have every right to be scared.”
Raising his eyes to meet her gaze, he said, “But I ain’t never been scared of no car
“I bet you’ve also never been hurt in one like this before. Am I right?”
Slowly he nodded in response.
“I will help you work through this. It won’t be easy, and it will take some time.”
Sighing, she said, “I’m going to go talk to Bo, now.”
Climbing down from Dixie, she took one more glance at Luke. Seeing he was
visibly more relaxed, she headed over towards Bo.
His back to her, he didn’t hear Christie’s approach.
Turning, he had a long blade of grass clenched between his teeth.
“He isn’t really mad at you.” She tried to explain.
Nodding towards the jeep, he said, “It sure seems like it. He’s never snapped at me
like that before over my driving. Heck, I weren’t even going fast!” The hurt was evident in
“It’s not really the issue. After an accident like his, he might be scared just to be in
Concern quickly replaced the hurt in Bo’s eyes. Meeting her gaze, he asked, “You
mean he might never be able to…” , his voice trailed off and he swallowed noisily, “…race
“We won’t know that for quite some time. One thing’s for sure. He’s going to need
lots of help.”
With a pleading look, Bo asked, “Can you help him?”
“I’ll do all I can for him.” Smiling, she tried to ease his concern. “Let’s get him
“But you heard him. He’s afraid of my driving.”
“How about letting me drive.”
“How’s that gonna help?”
Shrugging her shoulders, she answered, ” I dunno, maybe you are a reminder of
race driving or something.”
“Okay, if you think it will help.”
They convinced Luke to sit in the front seat, and Christie tried to keep him
engaged in conversation about farm life to distract him. Smiling teasingly, she said, “So,
the chickens wake us up at…like what? Three-thirty, right?”
“Not quite that early.” He smiled at her seemingly total ignorance of farm life. ”
Usually at dawn.”
“Which is at what…four?”
He was beginning to laugh now, and Christie felt much better.
“Probably five or so, depending on the time of year.”
“Keep laughing at me, and I’ll take you to the city and see if you can find your way
around on a subway…alone.”
It didn’t seem long at all before they pulled up to the Duke farm. Parked in front
of the house was the General Lee. Christie stared at the familiar orange car and farm
house in nervous excitement, her heart beating wildly. Chickens scrambled from the path
of the jeep’s approach.
As they were helping Luke out of Dixie, Uncle Jesse opened the screen door and
came out to greet them.
Christie turned and felt immediate warmth for this big man coming down the front
steps. His eyes twinkled when he smiled, reminding Christie of Santa Claus.
“Well, ” he offered his hand, “you must be the kind-hearted nurse I have heard so
much about. Just as pretty as Bo said, too.”
Shaking his offered hand, Christie felt the heat rise in her cheeks.
“And you must be Uncle Jesse.”
“I want to thank you for taking such good care of my boy, here. Daisy will be back
soon, and she has a good dinner planned for you tonight.”
“I don’t want anyone to go out of their way while I am here.”
“But you are going out of your way by spending your vacation helping our Luke.”
“I have ulterior motives.” She smiled and winked at him. “I have always wanted to
know what it is like to live on a farm.”
“Well I am much obliged to ya’ miss.” Looking up and seeing that the others had
gone out of earshot, Uncle Jesse cleared his throat and asked, “So how bad is he?”
Christie looked in the man’s kind eyes and knew honesty was in order. “He was
hurt bad physically, but I think he will heal with only nasty scars as reminders. He may
have a permanent limp, but I am betting he won’t.”
“There’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there.”
“To be honest with you, I am more concerned with the psychological trauma. The
accident was bad, and I think he may be afraid to…drive again.”
“He doesn’t have to race. He could do something else for a living.”
Looking at the house, then glancing at the General Lee in front of the house, she
said, “It’s more than that….he may never be able to drive at all.”
Uncle Jesse looked at the house, deep in thought. “I love them boys like they was
my own. If he can’t drive no more, we’ll make the best of it. I just ain’t sure he would be
able to deal with that. You see that orange car? That there is his life. It would kill him to
be too scared to drive him again.”
“I’m going to do my best to see that doesn’t happen.”
“Me and my family really appreciate your help.”
With that they headed up the steps to join the boys in the house.
Making sure that Luke was comfortable in the big easy chair, Christie checked his
vital signs. Satisfied that his vital signs were all within normal limits, Christie looked at
him and asked, “On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, what’s your pain level?”
Studying her a moment, he answered, “That depends.”
“On what level I have to be at to avoid the big needle.”
Laughing and shaking her head, she said, “You have to admit it helped, didn’t it?”
“After the initial sting, yes.”
“I just want you to be comfortable. I have to change your dressings in about a half
hour, and I want you to be able to tolerate it.”
Sighing, he admitted that after the ride there and the jostling he had endured, the
pain was at an eight.
“Then I’m afraid you need the Demerol. I promise not to hurt you. It will be a
whole lot better than if I do the dressing change without the medication. I guarantee it.”
After drawing up a syringe of the solution, Christie asked him to roll to the side in
the chair, then, pulling the top of his pants down a little, she expertly injected the fluid.
“I told you it wouldn’t hurt.”
As soon as Christie was finished, Daisy walked in. “Hi, Luke!” She came over to
give her cousin a kiss on the cheek. “How do you feel?”
“Better now that I’m home.”
Turning her radiant smile on Christie, she said, “You must be Christie. Bo told me
all about you. I am so happy that you offered to take care of Luke so he could be with his
family. That’s mighty kind of you.”
Looking at this willowy woman standing before her, Christie was envious. The girl
was bubbling with personality, and Christie felt like one of the family around her. “It’s no
“I’m fixin’ catfish stew tonight for dinner. Bo told me you are staying with us for
“Just until Luke gets better.”
“You can stay in my room.”
“I’ll be fine on the couch. I don’t want to put anyone out-”
“Nonsense!” Swatting Bo on her way to the kitchen, she said playfully, “Now I
won’t feel so out-numbered against these boys!”
Following Daisy to the kitchen, she asked, “Can I help you with anything?”
“Well, sure, sugar. If you want to cut up some celery for the stew, I’d sure
The friendly small-talk continued between the two women during the dinner
preparation. After they had the stew cooking on the stove, Christie asked, “You wouldn’t
happen to have a strong stomach, by any chance, would you?”
“I do okay. What is it you need me to do?”
“I could use an assistant when I change Luke’s dressing on his leg.” Making sure
Bo wasn’t near, Christie added quietly, “I would have asked Bo, but from the look he had
on his face in the hospital emergency room, I’m not sure he could handle it.”
“He always was the squeamish one. I’d be glad to help. When do you want to do
“We better do it soon. The pain medicine I gave him is at it’s optimum benefit to
him now. It will make it more tolerable.”
“We have an hour before dinner will be done.”
Going over to Luke, Christie asked, “How are you feeling now?”
Looking up at her sleepily, he answered, “Tired.”
“You know what it’s time for.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement.
“Where do you want to do it at?”
“We could do it right in this recliner, here.” She saw a nearby table. “I could use
that to set my equipment on.”
While Daisy arranged the table for her, Christie began to remove the bandages that
were in place. Carefully she removed the half-cast, the unrolled the gauze covering the
wound. Only two layers down, the blood was soaking the gauze. Daisy gasped, “Is there
supposed to be that much blood?”
Christie met her shocked gaze. “It’s bound to bleed a lot at first. As long as it’s red
and not yellowish in color, it’s healing well.”
When the last bit of gauze was being removed, Christie watched Daisy to make
sure she wasn’t going to pass out, but found the girl watched with curiosity, and only a
mild look of disgust at the jagged-looking wound.
Luke had been watching as well, and he now searched Christie’s face for her
reaction to how the wound was healing.
As Christie prepared to clean the site, she cautioned, “This is gonna be cold, and it
might sting a little. Let me know if it hurts too bad.” She poured a little of the Normal
Saline over the stitches, catching the drips with a gauze sponge. Gently she patted the
wound, noticing how Luke’s jaw muscles tightened in pain. Knowing he was trying to be
tough in front of his cousins and uncle, who had gathered to watch over Christie’s
shoulder at a safe distance, she used his body language to tell her if she was hurting him
Gently she felt the skin beside the stitches. Satisfied that there was no heat,
redness, or swelling, she applied new sterile dressings and reapplied the half- cast.
“How does that feel?”
“Fine.” Meeting her gaze, he asked, “How does it look?”
“It looks like it is healing just fine. You may not even have much of a scar.”
After the supplies had been put away, Daisy announced to everyone that dinner
was ready. When they had finished washing up, they all sat at the old wooden table that
Daisy had set while Christie had put away the supplies. Christie found herself seated
between Bo and Luke, and as they all bowed their heads while Uncle Jesse said Grace,
Christie found it hard to concentrate. Her left knee was touching Bo’s right thigh, and her
right elbow could feel the tickle of Luke’s hair from his forearm. She felt a thrill run
through her. Feeling guilty, she realized that she never heard a word Uncle Jesse had said.
Cautiously she tested the catfish stew, and to her surprise, found it quite delicious.
“This is really good, Daisy. Can I have the recipe?”
“Sure you can, sugar.”
Everyone tried to make small talk throughout dinner, covering everything from the
weather to Daisy’s encounter with a couple of unsavory characters at the Boar’s Nest that
morning. Christie was sure everyone was as aware as she about Luke’s silence. He
scooped up the stew on his spoon from time to time, but Christie never saw him take a
bite. He never even seemed to look at anyone during their conversation. Christie noticed
the worried glances that shot his way, but no one was quite sure what to say.
It was Uncle Jesse who first attempted to bait Luke into the conversation. “Luke,
that man from Masterson County Race course called. The Doc told him you will be healed
up by next year, and he says he wants you and Bo to come back to race again.”
Bo looked up, surprise evident in his blue eyes. “Well, alright, cousin! I knew they
would decide you could do nothing to avoid the accident.” He stopped short as Luke gave
him a look full of anger and resentment.
“I ain’t interested.” He answered flatly.
Bo looked over at him, a little wounded by Luke’s reaction to the news. “Luke, I
know you’ve been hurt and all, but you can’t quit racin’ just like that! A Duke don’t quit
Luke stared at Bo. “Bo, I don’t want to talk about it! I don’t have ta justify my
reasons to you.” With a warning look, he added, “I don’t want to ever talk about this
again. Do you understand me, cousin?”
Bo tried a new tactic, “If you don’t wanna race, you could pit for me and the
General.” He suggested hopefully.
In a stern voice, Luke said, “I ain’t goin’ at all, Bo! And as for the General,….you
can have him!”
Bo got up from the table and just stared at Luke, who glared back at him. Turning,
he headed for the door.
After the screen door slammed, Uncle Jesse said, “Let him be. He needs time
Christie placed a hand gently on Luke’s forearm. “Would you like to talk about it?”
His gaze softened as he met the compassion in Christie’s eyes. Glancing at her hand
on his arm, he answered softly. “There’s nothing to talk about, really. I was gonna quit
before, and now I realize it’s time.”
“But the car…” What the rest of the family didn’t realize is that she knew exactly
how much that car meant to him.
He shrugged. “I don’t need it.”
Apprehension hung heavy through the rest of the meal. After the dishes were
cleared, Christie made sure Luke was comfortable and headed out to talk to Bo. She
found him sitting on the hood of the General, chin resting on his hands, elbows propped
on his knees.
“Are you okay?” Christie asked.
“I guess so.” He answered quietly.
Not quite knowing what to say next, Christie gestured at the hood, “May I…?”
When he nodded, she sat down next to him. Looking up at the stars, she said “This must
be so hard for you.”
“I know it must be difficult to believe that Luke isn’t mad at you.”
Meeting her gaze for the first time since she came outside, he said, “How can you
say that? You saw him. He was glaring at me ever since we got home.”
Taking a deep breath, Christie said, “Bo, you are a reminder of what he fears he
has lost. He’s quite likely jealous of you, even.”
His expression full of hope and regard, Bo asked, “What can I do? Luke is more
than a cousin. He is also my best friend. It would kill me to lose his friendship.”
“What happened out there?”
“What do you mean?”
“Tell me about the accident. I need to understand if I’m to come up with a way to
“I have been trying to forget what happened.”
“I wish it were that easy.” Looking at him, she asked, “What can you tell me, Bo? I
know you’d rather forget, but I have to know.”
Bo stretched his long legs out front of him and sighed heavily. “We were in the
fifth lap. About fifteen of us were all bunched up. Luke was in front and to the left of me,
at about fourth position. Stan Fenella spun out, and Luke ran into him. Then there was the
huge pile up.”
Christie waited a moment. When Bo didn’t continue, she said, “I suspect there’s
more to it than that.”
“What more could there be?”
“He didn’t get this scared from just a simple pile up on the track. There must be
something else. More details you’re leaving out.”
Bo closed his eyes and let his mind slip back to that terrible day. His eyes snapped
open as a sudden realization hit him. There was a lot of smoke.” He looked at Christie,
and continued painfully. “Stan’s engine blew and I think he panicked.” Looking up at the
stars, he shuddered and continued. “Stan’s car went into a spin and went right into Luke’s
path.” He looked back at Christie, “I bet from Luke’s position he couldn’t even see the
other car.” He watched Christie’s face to see if she thought this might be the key.
Studying the earth at her feet, Christie thought it over. Luke is traveling along, and
while driving through what he assumes to be a simple wall of smoke, he is tragically and
nearly fatally injured. Finding himself trapped inside a potential fireball, the smell of race
fuel all around him, while minutes turned into hours as rescuers rushed to the scene. “I
think that just might be the answer, Bo.”
Still visibly shaking from reliving the awful nightmare, Bo asked, “So now what?
How do we help him get him over it?”
“I’ll think of something. You have to be prepared that he may never get over it.
But I will do all I can to help him.”
The next morning Christie was startled awake by rooters crowing outside the
window. Looking at the clock on Daisy’s night stand, she saw it was only 4:45. Groaning,
she pulled the pillow over her head. She could hear someone moving around in the house.
Looking over at the bed across the room, she saw that Daisy was already up. ‘You wanted
to see what life on the Duke farm was like’, she reminded herself.
Walking out to the kitchen, she found Daisy cooking breakfast. “Good morning.”
“Good mornin’. I didn’t wake you, did I, Sugar?”
“No…the roosters did,” she said, laughing.
Bo stepped from his room, clad only in blue jeans, stretching and yawning. “Good
Christie couldn’t take her eyes off him, his muscles rippling on his bare chest.
Stammering, she said, “Good… morning.”
“How’d you sleep?”
“Great, actually. I would still be sleeping if it weren’t for that darned rooster
outside my window.”
Smiling and shaking his head, Bo said, “Welcome to life on the farm.”
Luke came limping out of his room on his crutches, clad only in shorts, and
Christie nearly choked on her cup of coffee. His body was covered in dark soft fur that
matched the hair on his head. Before, when she had gazed upon his near- naked body, it
was while she was trying to save his life. Now she studied him appreciatively. He was
toned and fit, his stomach taught, his legs were well muscled like his arms, and the rest of
his anatomy was pleasing as well.
Taking a sip of her coffee, she took a deep, shuddering breath and tried to divert
her thoughts. “How is the leg?” She finally managed to ask, sure that her cheeks were red
and would give her away.
Pouring a cup of coffee, Luke smiled at her. “It hurt some during the night.”
“Do you want something for it?”
“Not if it comes in a syringe.”
Laughing, Christie said, I think I can make an exception this time. But I don’t want
any screaming when you can’t tolerate the dressing change.”
“It’s a deal.”
After they had eaten breakfast, Bo said, “I guess I better go get started on the
chores.” Looking at Luke, he said, “You sure go to great lengths to get out of chores,
“Let me help you.” Christie said.
“Are you serious?”
“What, you think a nurse can’t get her hands dirty?” She challenged. “I’m sure I can
toss a bale of hay as well as the next gal.”
A smile lit his face, “My kind of girl! Let’s get to it.”
A quick glance over her shoulder told Christie that Luke was a bit jealous at his
cousin’s obvious attraction to her. She smiled at the reaction.
Christie had visited a horse farm that a friend had a couple times, so she knew a
little about the work that went with what one would call “chores”, but she found she was
unprepared for the chickens milling about her feet, nearly attacking her in their eagerness
for food. She hung at Bo’s elbow, dodging the clucking birds. “First you wake me at an
ungodly hour, then you eat me alive!”
Smiling, Bo said, “They won’t hurt you. I usually feed them first and they know
that. Do you want to feed them?”
“What would be my second choice?”
“Milking Bonnie Mae.”
“I think I’ll take my chances milking the cow.”
“Bonnie Mae is a goat.”
“Have you ever milked a goat before?”
Having seen it on television many times, Christie figured it couldn’t be too hard to
figure out. In an animated tone, she answered, “For your information, I have milked
dozens of cows…and goats, for that matter. Why, I bet I could do it with my eyes closed!”
Laughing now, Bo pointed her to the milking bucket and went to the feed barrel
for the chickens.
Christie went to the goat and first had to fight to keep her shirt on, as the goat
seemed quite intent on eating it for breakfast. Christie decided she should have braved the
chickens, . . .at least they didn’t have teeth. Finally an idea hit her, and she got a flake of
hay to occupy the goat’s attention, Christie put it in front of the goat, and as she had
hoped, the goat lost all interest in her clothing. Kneeling in the straw, Christie looked for
the goat’s teats. Just as she was about to get down on all fours on the straw and look, she
heard Bo reenter the barn. To her embarrassment, he began to laugh so hard that he
couldn’t speak. Tears were in his eyes and he was doubled over, clutching his belly.
“What are you laughing at?”
“When he nearly found his voice, Bo asked, “How many goats did you say you
Humiliated, Christie admitted, “This will be my first.”
“You ain’t gonna get no milk from that one.”
Between laughs again, Bo explained, “Because…that one is…a male!”
Christie felt the redness rise in her cheeks, then she began to see the humor in her
situation and laughed along with Bo. “That explains a lot. I guess that is what I get for
trying to lie about my farming skills, huh?”
“You got that right.”
The rest of the morning Christie learned to work beside Bo, who was impressed
with her ability to toss about the bales of hay and to clean a stall full of manure without
making a face at the stench.
Two weeks went by, and Christie had taken Luke to see Dr. Jones to be fitted with
a walking cast that morning. Dr. Jones was impressed by Luke’s progress to healing, and
Luke expressed his gratitude by inviting her out to dinner that night.
Walking beside him now, Christie asked, “How does that feel?”
“Better that the crutches. I can help with some of the chores now.”
“You don’t want to overdo it.”
They stepped into the dimly lit barn and Maude nickered at Christie as she came
near the mule.
“She likes you,” Luke observed, watching Christie kiss the velvety soft nose.
Taking a deep breath, he added, “I ain’t blamin’ her none. I like you too.”
Feeling her pulse quicken, Christie said, “Are you sure you’re not just grateful for
the way my healing touch has kept you out of the hospital?”
“No…it’s more than that.” “Swallowing noisily with nervousness, Luke leaned
closer, and when Christie didn’t pull away, he brushed her lips in a soft kiss.
Sighing shakily, Christie said, “I don’t know – it feels a lot like the Florence
Nightingale effect to me.” She smiled mischievously at him. “I need more convincing than
Stepping closer, Luke placed a hand gently on the small of her back, pulling her
closer to him. He caught her mouth in a hungry kiss full of passion and promise.
Christie was struck speechless, her knees becoming weak as a dizzying euphoria
overcame her. Her heart fluttering crazily in her chest.
“Does that convince you?”
“I…I guess so, ” she said breathlessly. Smiling sweetly at him, she said, “One
thing’s for certain.”
“I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time.”
Placing both his arms about her, they embraced and their kisses increased in their
Christie was very aware of the solitude the barn afforded, and she knew that if the
innocense of the moment were to continue, it would not be while standing here in Luke’s
Clearing her throat nervously, she said, “Um…I could use a glass of iced tea about
Reluctantly, he released her from the embrace, though her hand remained encased
in his large strong hand. “Yeah, that does sound good.”
Hand-in-hand they headed back to the house. They spent the rest of the afternoon
sharing the chores and sitting on the porch, talking.
Dinner that evening was at a nice little restaurant just outside of town. Christie
admired Luke from across the table in the glow of the candle, silently thanking Roarke for
making it possible to have this fantasy. She couldn’t help but notice how handsome he
looked, and she knew it was going to be no easy task to leave Hazzard in two days.
Luke gazed at her and asked, “What are you thinking about that has you looking
so sad, honey?”
Returning his smile, Christie replied, “How much I am going to hate leaving.”
“So life on the farm was all you’d hoped it would be?”
Taking a deep breath, she answered, “It’s more than that.”
The waitress brought them their dinner at that moment, and when she left them
alone again, Luke said, “Then . . . what?”
“I dunno. I guess it’s the family values and the love I feel when I am with your
“You mean you ain’t got that in the city?” He sounded surprised.
“Not like this, no.”
“Why don’t you stay?”
Christie’s heart ached at the question. She knew this would be a problem. Looking
into his appealing features, his sapphire eyes studying her, she sadly replied, “I only wish
that were possible, Luke.”
“You could stay at the farm until you found a job.”
Fighting back tears, she answered, “I have a job waiting for me back home. I have
a life. As much as I would like to, I know I can’t leave it all behind.”
They ate in silence a few moments. Luke finally broke the silence by asking, “Do
you have someone back home?”
“If by that you mean a husband or boyfriend, . . . the answer’s no.” Knowing why
he asked, she added, “But I still have to return.”
Sadness hung like a heavy cloud over the rest of the meal.
After they returned from the restaurant, Christie excused herself to take a walk
outside. With only the moon lighting her way, she followed the narrow path through the
trees to the pond. Sitting on it’s banks, she let her mind wander and the tears she had been
holding escape to run freely down her cheeks.
Why did she have to fall in love with someone she could never have? It was all so
unfair! Her intentions when she developed this plan was to quell her insatiable crush for a
fictitious character, maybe find out that he has irritating habits that prove to her he isn’t so
perfect after all. Instead, she finds out he is more perfect than she ever imagined, and can’t
help but fall in love with him.
Hearing a twig snap behind her, Christie turned and saw Bo walking towards her.
“Are you alright?” He asked in a concerned voice.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, she replied, “I’m fine, . . .really.”
He approached her and, seeing the tears, sat down on the soft grass beside her. “If
there ain’t nothin’ wrong, then why are you crying?”
“You know women. . .” She smiled weakly at him, trying to shrug it off.
Taking a deep breath, Bo asked, “Did something happen between you and Luke?
He ain’t been acting right. He won’t tell me what’s botherin’ him, but he sent me to make
sure you was okay.”
Christie looked out over the calm pond, the moonlight reflecting over it’s smooth
surface. “It’s just that. . .I don’t want to leave tomorrow, but I know I have to.”
“You can always come back to visit.” he suggested.
Fresh tears slid down her cheeks. If only it were that easy, she thought to herself.
“I feel right at home here with your family.”
“We all like you, too, and we’re very grateful for helping Luke out like you did.”
“I didn’t do all I promised, though.”
“What do you mean?”
Looking him in the eyes, she said, “He isn’t any closer to driving a car again.”
“You did what you could. He’s alive, and his leg is nearly healed. I’d say you did
your fair share.”
“But I don’t feel like it was enough.”
“That’s why you should come back to visit.”
She studied his cute, boyish face in the moonlight. If it weren’t for Luke, she knew
she could easily fall in love with Bo. “Can I confess something to you?”
“Of course you can.”
She felt the need to tell someone. “I think I’ve fallen in love with Luke.”
Laughing, he said, “I don’t think ol’ Luke will complain none about that!” He
looked into her eyes, “Are you gonna tell him?”
Her heart breaking inside, Christie said, “What would be the point? I can’t stay. I
have a life and job back home. There’s no way Luke would leave the farm.”
Bo was quiet, knowing she was probably right.
It was Christie who broke the silence. “We should go back to the house now.”
“Yeah, Luke might think we are out here making out. He’d clobber me for sure!”
Christie blushed at the thought.
Christie woke up the next morning to the smell of frying bacon and freshly brewed
coffee. After dressing in her robe, she headed out Daisy’s room for breakfast.
Luke was standing at the stove in his shorts and T-shirt, his feet bare, turning the
“A man that knows how to cook! I’m impressed.” She teased. “Where’s everyone
Turning from the stove to pour her a cup of coffee, he answered, “Uncle Jesse
made sure us Duke men learned to cook, and as for the others, Daisy had to work today
and Bo went with Uncle Jesse to pick up a load of hay.”
Taking the offered mug of steaming coffee, and looked out the window. “It sure is
foggy out there.” She observed.
Luke followed her gaze out the window where just the grill of the General Lee was
barely visible in the grey mist. Christie saw a shadow pass briefly over his expression, and
she wondered if it had something to do with the accident. Placing a hand gently on his
arm, she asked, “Is something wrong?”
Shaking his head in quick response, Luke answered. “No.” Changing the subject,
he asked, “How do you want your eggs?”
As Christie ate her breakfast, she was trying to devise a plan. She would be forced
to leave tomorrow evening, and today was her last chance for helping with the only
problem remaining from the accident…Luke’s fear of driving. She couldn’t leave knowing
she hadn’t completed this task.
In between bites of breakfast, she asked, “Is Maude trained to ride?”
“Yeah, but she ain’t been ridden in awhile.”
Perfect, she thought to herself. “Can I ride her this morning?”
“I don’t know if that’s safe, Christie.”
“Luke, I have to leave tomorrow, and the only thing on a farm that I haven’t done
yet is go riding.” She gave him her best pleading look.
Luke studied her a moment. “Okay, but don’t say I ain’t warned you none.”
Christie found a bridle hanging on a nail in the barn, and went to Maude’s stall. The
mule accepted the bit easily, and when she mounted her, she only showed the slightest of
nervous excitement. Luke stood at the barn door, watching her. Christie headed towards
where she knew the field was, even though she couldn’t see it from where she was now.
His voice full of concern, Luke called out, “Don’t go where I can’t see you.”
“I’ll be fine! Really.” Christie hollered on her way past him.
Steering Maude towards the pond she kept the anxious mule to a slow walk, not
wanting to endanger the animal with her desperate plan.
When she got out away from the house, the world took on an surreal quality. In
any direction she could see nothing at all except the ground at Maude’s feet. Christie didn’t
want to venture out too far, because she didn’t want Luke to have trouble finding her in
Just past the General, Christie slid from the mule’s back, and landed with a loud
Christie lay on the ground as still as possible, hearing the footsteps rapidly
approach. Maude stood above her sniffing her hair, as if to say “How did you manage to
fall off that easily?”
Luke reached her side and knelt down in the dirt beside her. “Are you okay,
Christie slowly opened her eyes, hoping she was doing a good imitation of
someone in pain. “I. . .don’t think. . .so.”
“Where are you hurt?”
She met his concerned sapphire gaze. Clutching her stomach, she said “Here.”
Looking about him, he said under his breath, “Why couldn’t this happen when
someone else was home?”
Christie watched as he looked at the General Lee, then back to the house. Turning
his gaze once again upon her, he asked, “Do you think you’ll be okay until I call Daisy
home to take you to the clinic?”
Christie did her best effort at shuddering as if in great pain. “. . .Maybe.”
“I can’t take that chance. We have to get you to the Dr.”
“I might. . .be able to make it. . .over to the car.” Christie suggested.
Luke stared at the car a long moment, then back at Christie. “We really have no
choice, do we?”
As Christie hobbled with Luke’s supportive arm around her shoulders, she clutched
tightly at her mid section, groaning appropriately at times. With his help, she slid into the
window of the General.
Luke crawled into the other window and hesitated before starting the engine.
Christie watched as he leaned forward, trying to see out the front window, but could
barely see the road in front of them. To hurry him on a little, she doubled over in her seat,
groaning as she did so. Luke accelerated out of the driveway, still leaning forward in his
seat somewhat to see the road in front of them.
Soon they hit a clearing and Luke sped the car up, gaining speed as his confidence
returned. As they were nearing the pond, there was another thick patch of fog. Christie
saw his foot go for the brakes, his hands clutching the steering wheel so hard that his veins
swelled up in his hands and arms, and his knuckles turned white. If her plan was to work,
she couldn’t let him go slow through this fog.
In what she hoped was a good imitation of a fainting episode, she suddenly
dropped her head back against the top of the seat. The effect was as she hoped. Luke kept
the speed of the car up. His fear for Christie’s safety over-riding his fear of driving.
Christie felt the car race ahead, and her heart raced with nervousness. This plan
had to work. She watched him through barely a slit in her one eyelid, and saw him glance
her way a few times, and his grip on the wheel seemed to loosen somewhat. Satisfied that
she had accomplished something, Christie moaned and began to raise her head, rubbing
the back of her neck.
“Hang in there, Christie. We’re almost there.”
The car sped into a parking lot, spraying gravel as it sped to a stop. Luke slid out
and ran around to help Christie slide out of the car. A nurse had been standing where she
could see the car outside the small clinic, and she came out with a wheel chair.
Christie groaned, “I can walk.”
The grey haired nurse with the wire rimmed glasses said, “All our maternity
patients have to be in a wheel chair. It is standard procedure.”
Luke and Christie exchanged glances. Christie echoed, “Maternity…?” Trying to
hold back her laughter, Christie said, “I’m not pregnant.”
The nurse halted and for the first time noticed that while Christie clutched her
abdomen in pain, it was a flat abdomen, not that of a woman in labor.
The nurse stammered, “I’m…sorry. I just…saw him speed into the parking lot, and
the way he rushed around to help you, he looked like all the anxious fathers I see pull up
with wives in labor.”
Christie felt her cheeks redden, and she smiled at the nurse’s embarrassment. “It’s
okay, ma’am.” She saw a little redness in Luke’s cheeks as well, and took comfort from
The Dr. diagnosed Christie as “just got the wind knocked out of ya”, and sent her
home with Luke, after making her promise to be more careful riding animals in the fog.
Christie took satisfaction in that Luke didn’t ask her to drive on the way home. He
seemed confident as ever.
The next day Daisy had to work at the Boars Nest, and Bo went into town with
Uncle Jesse. The house all quiet, Luke asked, “Would you like to take a walk?”
“I really should pack-”
“You don’t have to leave until this afternoon. I want to talk to you.”
Studying him a moment, she decided she couldn’t turn him down. “I guess my
packing can wait.”
Hand-in-hand they headed out across the yard, Luke having mastered getting
around in the awkward walking cast. “I don’t suppose I can talk you into staying, can I?”
She met his hopeful gaze. “I don’t fit here any more than you would where I’m
“I don’t know, Bo says you can throw a mean bale of hay!”
They both laughed at that.
“My job is back home. I miss it. I like the farm life, but it’s not for me.” She hoped
he couldn’t see through her to the truth.
Placing a hand gently on her arm, he turned her to face him. “I’m gonna miss you,
Her eyes moistened as she fought the tears. “I’ll miss you too. I’ve really enjoyed
staying here with your family.”
“Will I ever see you again?”
Her heart felt like it was breaking in two. “I’ll come back to visit.” She brushed a
tear away. “Anytime you want a tour of something other than the hospital, just let me
“I aim to.” Taking her into his arms, he brushed her lips in a soft kiss.
Christie leaned into the comfort of his embrace, enjoying the feel of his strong
arms wrapped around her. She knew Roarke would have to tear her from this place,
because she certainly didn’t want to go willingly.
Looking into her eyes, he wiped a tear gently away with his thumb. “You are so
Feeling the redness rise in her cheeks once again, she said, “Thank you. You’re
quite handsome. I’ve always thought so.”
They continued walking down to the pond, Luke’s arm around Christie’s shoulder.
“You keep saying things that indicate you have known me for longer than the three
weeks you have been here.”
Christie looked at him, and saw that he was aware there was more to her visit than
she had admitted. “I feel like I have.”
“I ain’t been racin’ all that long. Where could you possibly know me from?”
They had arrived at the pond, and Christie stood looking at the calm waters. She
met his curious and expectant gaze. He would know if she was lying. “It would sound too
“Have you heard of Fantasy Island?”
“Isn’t that a place you go to live out your fantasies?”
“You wanted to be stuck on a farm for three weeks…?”
“No. I wanted….” she wrung her hands in nervousness, “My fantasy was to be
“I can’t explain all that. Please don’t ask me to. I just knew of you and wanted to
meet you and your family.”
Digesting all the new information, he studied her and said, “I am very flattered,
Christie.” He took her into his arms again and held her tight.
She leaned back and met his gaze. “Now you know why I can’t stay any longer.”
“Did you plan for me to be your patient?”
“No!” Shocked that he would think that she could wish him harm, she added,
“That came as a surprise to me as well. I just wanted to be with you for awhile.”
“It’s rather ironic. I was wishing for someone beautiful to come into Hazzard
County that I could fall in love with.”
“It looks like I got my fantasy for free.” He kissed her again. “I can never thank
you enough for all you have done for me.”
“It was my pleasure,…really.”
They spent the entire day alone, laying on the grass by the pond. Christie savored
every moment. The feel of his muscles beneath her hands, his taste as they kissed, the
scent of him. She wanted to remember these feelings forever. Her heart ached that she
couldn’t be with this man always, and she knew he would be a tough act to follow. But if
she never found another, at least she had these three weeks.
Her bags at her feet, Christie looked at Luke’s family gathered on the porch to see
her off. “I have really enjoyed being with you all. Thank you for letting me stay here.”
Tears in her eyes, Daisy said, “You can come back anytime, sugar.”
Christie hugged her, then turned to Bo. “Thank you for showing me how not to
milk a goat. I really enjoyed myself.”
Giving her a hug, he said, “Anytime you want a refresher course, just come on
“I’ll keep that in mind.” She kissed him on his cheek.
Uncle Jesse also gave her a big hug. “I sure appreciate all you done for Luke. Yer
welcome back here any time!”
Luke took her hand and walked with her out to the awaiting taxi cab. “I sure wish
you would change your mind and stay with me.”
Seeing the pain in his eyes, Christie said, “Me too. But it just wouldn’t work,
Luke.” She sniffed, and brushed away an escaped tear. “You’ll come visit me in the city?”
“You can count on it.”
They kissed one last time, then Christie slid into the cab. Tears ran down her
cheeks and she waved goodbye as they drove away from the Duke farm.
The cab took on a fogginess, and before she realized it, Christie was sitting back in
her room on Fantasy Island. If only this were the beginning of the fantasy, and not the end.
Hearing a noise behind her, Christie turned and saw Roarke standing there. “I trust
you had an enjoyable fantasy, my dear?”
“Very. Is it always so hard to leave?”
“Only if one is enjoying their fantasy and they wish to continue it.”
Turning sideways on the bed to face him, she asked, “Would it be possible to have
Luke visit me in the city?”
“Anything is possible at Fantasy Island.”
“Well, then I guess you haven’t seen the last of me.”