Families Stick Together, pt. 2

by: Essy Jane

That night the boys went out to give the girls makeovers. We won’t concentrate on that though. You see, if we did, you might die of shock to see how good Jesse was at applying make-up. Who wants to see two girls getting gorgeous for crooks? Besides, there was something a little more interesting that was about to happen at the Duke farm. We don’t wanna miss the good stuff now do we?

Cooter walked into the house. He straightened his sleeveless shirt. You could see his muscles through it. Bo and Nancy-Lou were sitting at the table. They looked up at him and grinned. Bo was always a little bit nervous of Cooter. They’d been friends for years but ever since Bo asked for Nancy’s hand, well, Cooter began to treat him just a little bit differently.

It was always nice to have a visit with your family. Bo loved having Cooter around as much as he was. It wasn’t only good for him but it was really good for Jesse and Jo Anna. They got a chance to be with someone special. Someone who could direct them in the right place; Cooter was good for that. He made a lot of mistakes in his life and he wasn’t about to let his Grandkids make the same ones.

“Hey Dad,” Bo said. Cooter shuttered at the sound of being called Dad by Bo. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate having Bo as a son-in-law. Cooter didn’t think of Bo as a son…and that was the truth. He was always a close friend…always helping out where he could. Bo was just like that. But he wasn’t a son…that’s all there was to it.

“Bo, I told ya, you don’t have to call me Dad. How many times to I have to tell ya that? Don’t call me Dad,” Cooter replied.

“You know that’s kind of hard.”

“Why is that?”

“Well you’re my dad-in-law and it is a sign of respect.”

“Now Bo Duke, I may not be as crazy as I used to be but we could still settle this in a drag race.” Bo laughed. He thought of Cooter’s car and the General Two. He could beat him without any problems. “What’s so funny? I could take you in a drag race.”

“You would loose Cooter. I have an advantage over you. The General Lee two is one of the best cars in Hazzard.”

“The General one could take him. He could take you all the way to Nashville. Jesse would let me if I asked him. That’s the good thing about having a grandson.”

“Jose wouldn’t part with it as easily. That car is his too you know. How are you gonna get out of that one Dad?”

“I would find a way Beauregard.”

“Don’t call me Beauregard.”

“Then don’t you be calling me Dad.”

“You’re not winning like that, Dad.” Bo laughed and looked at his wife. His smile was wiped off his face. Nancy-Lou sat uneasy as she stared at the door. “Hun, is there something wrong?” Bo could always tell when something was going on. Nancy didn’t want to hide anything from her family but sometimes it just happened that way.

Her mother was coming into town…someone Cooter hadn’t seen since he was 15 years old. Nancy-Lou’s mother, Beverly was Cooter’s date that stormy night. They were both tipsy…but not tipsy enough. Beverly became pregnant. She didn’t want to give up the baby.

At the time Cooter hadn’t stayed in a city for more than a year with his father. So you can imagine where this guy was going. Of course she told her sweet boyfriend but he wasn’t willing to leave his father. Beverly had to leave town because of all the shame she got from living where she did. It became too hard for her…but she raised Nancy-Lou on her own.

She never thought of Cooter the same way again. Beverly was married again. The man was a nice father but could never replace the one Nancy could have had. Beverly wouldn’t tell her daughter the good stuff about Cooter. She told him how wild her Dad was and how horrible the guy could be.

There was no way Beverly wanted Nancy-Lou to be near that man. Cooter was a bad influence and Beverly didn’t want anything to happen to her girl. She wanted Nancy-Lou to stay respectable. To do that, Beverly figured that she needed to be as far away.

Nancy’s step-dad had died and now Beverly was coming to see her in Hazzard. Was this a good idea? She didn’t really know. Nancy-Lou just wanted to have one big happy family. However, the ex-lovers still had problems with each other. Now wouldn’t it be interesting to have Cooter and Beverly in the same room?

“Nancy? Honey, are you alright?” Cooter asked.

“Umm…” Nancy was about to explain. But as the car parked and the doors of the farm house were opened she had no choice but to have her parents cross paths.

“Well, well, if it isn’t the creature from outer space,” Beverly snapped. She looked at Cooter like he was a piece of trash on a Porsche. He nails tapped slowly on the wall in a rhythmic motion.

“Nice to see you too Beverly,” Cooter replied.

“What are you doing here? I mean shouldn’t you be moving to another town? I would expect to see you in a drag race or something…not sitting here.” Nancy’s face turned red in embarrassment. She hated when people fought.

“This is the home of my daughter and my son in-law. Why wouldn’t I be welcome in their home?”

“I am surprised she let you in at all considering you aren’t house trained. You are a bum Cooter.”

“I was a senator ma’am and I don’t think anyone should be calling me a bum.”

“A senator…well I guess you hid your bad side from them then huh?”

“Now see here…”

“You must’ve not been all that good.”

“I was good…there was just someone that was much better. He got the votes for the last election I was in and now I am here.”

“Yeah and now what are you? Commissioner of Hazzard or are you superman?”

“No and if you would really like to know I have a good job that I love…I am not a poor man. I love what I do.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah that is so. I am helping one of my in-laws mine open a chain of Garages in Hazzard. We have got two so far. I am a respected man here. People Change Beverly…sometimes for the good and other times for the bad.”

“Don’t give me that! You couldn’t stay long enough to support your own daughter.” Nancy couldn’t take anymore of this. Beverly was hurting her father and she knew it. Although Cooter hid it very well…Nancy-Lou could see right through her.

“Mother, that’s enough! You have no right to say those things to Dad,” Nancy screamed. Bo just sat there quietly. He figured there were enough people fighting as it was. Bo tended to be a peace maker. Now friends I guess that shows how much he calmed down.

“He wasn’t your father until just a while ago!” Beverly screamed back.

“I am a changed man,” Cooter replied.

“Not a chance. You know as well as I do a crazy man stays crazy.”

“I will show you how much better I am compared to how I was. I will show you how much different I really am.”

“Oh…I bet you’ll do it by sitting me on a tire and eating oil from my car engine? Give me a break Cooter, you aren’t a changed man nor will you ever be a changed man. I can’t even picture you with manners.”

“I will make you a home cooked meal. I will light some candles and such. You can sit there and regale me with stories of the late what’s his name.”

“His name was Marvin.”

“Okay…Marvin then…we’ll talk about Marvin. We’ll see who is the pig, me or you.”

“You have got a bet.” They shook hands and smiled. It seemed as if one fight had turned into a romance case between the two of them. Now folks, remember what I said earlier…nothing makes sense in Hazzard. It was so unbelievable that they could do something like that. Beverly batted her eyes slowly and blushed. Cooter looked at her in puzzlement. They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment. “You still have it.”

“Have what?”

“That look that you have me…that sparkling look in your eyes that made me fall in love with you.”

“You still have that boyish charm Cooter.” He smiled as he looked at her. Beverly touched his chin with her velvet hands. She pulled away wondering what Cooter would do.

“You still have that beautiful smile and those eyes…a knock out. You’re still as pretty as ever.”

“You’re just as handsome.” Cooter’s eyebrows rose as she winked.

“You’re eyes are like a poem. The words echo forever and ever—like the ending of a song being repeated.”

“And you’re so hot you make steam look cool.” He pulled on his collar.

“Is it just me or is it…”

“Getting really…hot.

“Yeah, really hot—in here I mean.”

“Do you want to…?” It was too late; both were already locking lips before they knew it. It was puppy love all over again. Lost feelings that should never have been lost; it was magic and neither of them could deny it. That very kiss was still going on. Cooter pulled her closer.

Bo and Nancy looked at each other and blushed. She couldn’t believe how wonderful her husband was at that moment. Nancy-Lou took this man to be hers always and he was there. Nancy pulled her chair side ways and lies upon Bo’s lap. He runs his fingers through his wife’s hair. Almost immediately Nancy closed her eyes and smiled. She rubbed her stomach and held her breath. With all that was going on she didn’t want to mention that she was pregnant…three months pregnant.

.“I love you,” she whispers softly in his ear.

“Not as much as I love you,” Bo replied.

“I am glad I got you…I am glad that your Uncle and Essy locked us in there.”

“I am too…I love you.”

“You already said that.” It was unbelievable! It was like a gas came into the house and infected everyone with the love bug. Now friends I think that this is what we call Hazzard phenomenon either that or love never dies.

Cooter would still have to show Beverly how wonderful he was. It was Davenport pride at steak after all. He had to show that he was a respectable member of society with that dinner. He would do a lot to make it a good time. Beverly would see the difference in him. Nancy-Lou accepted her father for who he was.

We better to go to Lilly’s garage before we get too mushy. We’ll leave the rest of this behind closed walls…if you know what I mean. Sure I like romance but if we would stay there we’d miss the good part. Besides, we don’t wanna see all this kissin’ and sweet talk to we?

As I said before, Jesse had an odd talent of hair and make-up. Jose teased him for it but it really was amazing. He could do anything in an hour. Jose watched in awe. “You know, I thought you were crazy when you first started,” Jose mumbled.

“I would love to see you do this Jose,” Lilly snapped. Jose crocked one eyebrow and looked at his cousin. Jose and make-up…that just didn’t work…kind of like putting a soccer ball out for a chess player. First off, Jose wasn’t a girl. Jose and a football…now that’s another story; he was good with those. Jose would pretend he knew how to do something until he would go blue in the face.

“What’s there to know? Paint the toe nails and put on some blush.”

“There’s way more to it than that you bone head.” Lilly-Rose laughed. Jose grinned. He loved to tease his cousins more than anything. However, when they got mad, they were dangerous. “You know what? You would be great at a girl’s slumber party.”

“Lilly, would I really make a great candidate for one of those?”

“Sure, you would be the one burning your hand on the curling iron.” Jo Anna rolled her eyes and looked at Lilly-Rose.

“That was a brain dead comment,” Jo snapped.

“Oh come on cuz, cheer up. I know you never went to a slumber party.” Jo Anna glared at her.

“Do you think I would want to go to one of those make-up fests?”

“Sure you would…it is a way to meet people Jo Anna.”

“Yeah right Lilly. You would never see me at one of those. I mean really, they sit there and play truth or dare. They sleep in their Unicorn sleeping bags and talk about boys. Why would I want that?”

“Why, what would you rather do?”

“I want to go winter camping in the Rockies and just survive on my own wits. Kill my own food.” Lilly-Rose nodded her head.

“Well I’ll take ya to the Rockies. I have been saving up on air miles. I could defiantly go with ya if you want.”

“Sure…sounds fun.” They spit and shook on it. “Done.”

“Done…Lil.”

“Would ya girls quit talking? I mean honestly, I am trying to work here,” Jesse exclaimed. Jo and Lilly laughed. It was pretty funny. Jesse had one hand on his hip and lipstick in his other hand. Jesse laughed a little but soon he got back to work.

Lilly-Rose was the first to be done up. He had done her hair in a half braid and did ringlet curls with the rest. They dropped softly to her shoulders. She was wearing a tight thin black dress that went to her knees. Jesse hated women that were too revealing. He wouldn’t let his cousin go around dressed in anything that showed too much.

Let me tell you now, Jo Anna was harder to do stuff on. She hated makeup and avoided it like the plague. That was just fine though for her. She inherited this very natural beauty…something that some girls only dream about. Jo Anna thought of it as a curse. She hated being pretty. It the thought of men drooling all over her. Jo Anna couldn’t stand having to drop kick every man that came her way.

Jesse applied the make-up very light though making sure that she didn’t look like a horrible person. Jesse got Jo a red dress that covered up everything. It went straight down to her ankles and had a slit that went to the back of the calf of her leg. Her shoes had barely any heel to them. Jo Anna’s blonde hair was all pulled up in a bun with pieces hanging down. They were curled of course.

“You two look wonderful,” Jose commented.

Jose took a deep breath as he saw the look in his cousin’s eyes. Jo Anna looked so unsure of herself. She’d never been into her mother’s closet and played with her clothes. Jo Anna went into her Dad’s closet and put on his clothes. She was always a tomboy. Jose could remember doing many things that just didn’t feel right but he went with the crowd…the wrong crowd. “Then why do I feel so…odd?” Jo asked.

“You are doing something you have never done before…I would feel odd too.”

“I just don’t feel like me in this you know? I really don’t. I feel like I am doing something wrong…like robbing a bank and yet I am only in a dress.”

“You know what Jo Anna? I am proud of you. You are doing something that should never have been asked of you. You’re brave.” Jo Anna looked into his eyes and saw the sincerity of what he said.

“You really think so?”

“I sure do. Just think of this as a survival training exercise.” She laughed as tears rolled down her face. “Come on Jo Anna…you’re too wonderful to cry.”

“Jose…I want to…thank you.”

“Forget it Jo Anna. I want to say I’m sorry.”

“What in the world do you have to be sorry about?”

“I am sorry I treated you so awfully when I first met you. I mean you needed respect and I gave you nothing but horror and pain. I didn’t mean to be so awful to you.”

“Are you ready for operation gorgeous?” Jesse interrupted. Jo Anna punched him hard in the arm. Jesse rubbed his arm. “Owe! That hurt.”

“Good! When I get out of this dress you’ll really have something to cry about!” Jo exclaimed.

“Okay, I’m sorry. Are you guys ready?”

“They both are I think,” Jose replied.

“Now this is a dangerous mission. We want to take them out and keep them out. Did you get the ether?”

“Yeah I did…it was hard to get out of Doctor Solomon. You know how he is. I explained that this was to save his money and I had it in my hand.”

“You’re good Jose.”

“Oh I know I am good.” Jose handed Jesse a bottle and a mask. The mask was made out of gauze material and was surrounded by stainless steel metal. Jesse grasped it in his hands and looked at it. A smile arose on his face…that mischievous smile that he got when trouble was on its way.

“This is going to work better than anything I have ever seen.” The hunt was on…well sort of. The bank robbers were already in place. They were the same men as before…Scott and Eric. Don’t these people ever learn? They send the same men to do the same job.

Scott and Eric both were feeling much better since seeing the doctor. These boys had been picked on good. Eric had his back faced to the road as he looked above. The Duke boys could’ve used the same plan with some people like Rosco but these people were too smart.

“You know what? I have this strange feeling that they know that we’re trying it again. I don’t know why I would even think about something like that but the thought has been in the back of my head for a while. I think they know,” Scott commented.

“How would you know?” Eric questioned.

“Those Dukes seem smart. You remember what Jason Steele said. I mean those guys are intelligent. They don’t think like those stupid cops do. I think they know what they’re doing.” Jose and Jesse listened to the conversation carefully both were laughing under their breaths. Jose elbowed Jesse and Jesse returned the favour.

“They couldn’t be that intelligent…could they?”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Aren’t I always right?”

“Yeah…I guess you are…you’ve lived longer than me.” Jesse tapped Jo Anna and Lilly-Rose on the shoulder. Both knew that was the signal to start walking. Jo was a little weary about walking on high heeled shoes but she was doing fine. As Scott looked at the young Jo Anna he fell in love with her almost instantly.

“Oh…my gosh you are missing a show. There are two women…so beautiful.”

“You’re dreaming again aren’t ya?”

“I am not dreaming…they’re gorgeous.” Scott turned towards Eric and was about to smack him in the head. He stopped and took a deep breath letting it out slowly.

“They’re probably townies if they are there. Townies aren’t the best people to hang around with even if they are pretty. If they are fakes then I suppose they are really dream girls and in that case they’re visiting from the Miss American pageant.”

“They aren’t fakes! They look nice enough and you haven’t seen any girls like this…not even in the cities. Both are so…”

“Keep your mind on your work.” Eric turned around. He looked at Lilly’s beautiful brown hair. Her eyes shone out to him. Her beauty and grace was remarkable. Oh and that tan! Who could resist a Duke? They had that beauty. Jo Anna wanted to drop kick Scott so bad she could feel it in her legs. Lilly knew that Eric was drooling over her.

“I told ya that I wasn’t making it up.” Eric barely paid any attention to Scott. He was mystified by the girls.

“I get the brown haired one!”

“What happened to keeping your mind on your work?”

“Be quiet or I will hit you.”

“Okay…geeze, I am sorry Eric. You just told me though…oh forget it.” Jo Anna could see Scott coming closer and closer to her. The blood inside her ran cold. She was ready to attack him if it had to happen. Could she manage her karate in this dress? She took a deep breath and glared at Scott. Lilly looked at her third cousin. She grabbed onto Jo’s hand and smiled. Lilly-Rose knew the drill.

“Hey boys how are you doing?” Lilly asked. Both of them looked at each other and then back at the girls. The men seemed to straighten up. “You seem too hot.” They both began to melt as Lilly-Rose began to touch their face. Lilly and Jo Anna straightened their shirts and pushed back their hair.

“Great,” They both said at the same time. Jo Anna laughed. She couldn’t believe that men went all gaga over girls. Jo loved to watch it but thought it was stupid. Jesse and Jose got behind them and doused the mask with ether.

“Do you want to go out with me brown haired beauty?” Eric questioned.

“The real question is can you handle me?” Lilly commented.

“Oh I am sure I could.” Jose dropped the mask and froze. The man was about to turn around when Lilly grabbed his hand.

“You would have to do a lot of things to be with a woman like me.”

“Name them off sweet thing and I will do them all. Your wish is my command.” Jose picked up the mask and dusted it off. Jo Anna tapped her foot. She was wondering what was taking her cousin and her brother so long. I mean they should have grabbed them by now.

Finally Jose and Jesse jerked the two men backwards. They applied the masks of ether. Eric and Scott struggled to get free. Scott stepped on Jesse’s foot and he yelped. Eric and Scott tried to hold their breath but just couldn’t. The effects of the ether were already set in place and soon both men were asleep.

“Took ya long enough,” Jo snapped. Jesse rolled his eyes and tried to wrestle his sister.

“Would you two knock it off? These boys have a lot of work to do and little time to do it in,” Lilly hissed. Jo dropped Jesse on his head. Lilly helped him up as Jo Anna grabbed a pair of pants from the General and put them on. She tucked in the dress and got in the passenger’s seat. Jo Anna crossed her arms and waited for Lilly.

“Well that worked nicely. Now to strip our little friends…we have got to look exactly like them. Jose, you’re going to have to wear a fake moustache. I know that you don’t like wearing those kinds of things but for this we need to,” Jesse commented.

“Oh I know…I just don’t want to that’s all,” Jose replied. They stripped the two men into their underwear and tied them up in case they woke up. The girls would be following in the General Lee. They would make the switch after Jose and Jesse figured out their plans. Would they get caught before then? Who knows folks…but please stay for the ride will ya?

The men got out with the money. “Scott, Eric, let’s go!” Troy screamed. The five men piled into the car. Jesse swallowed hard. He was sure they would catch them. Jose on the other hand played it cool.

“Do you want a smoke?” One of the men asked.

“Yo, you know that neither Scott nor Eric smoke. Howie, you must be smarter than that. Mel won’t let them smoke.”

“That’s only because we need two healthier boys around. I can’t quit smoking…been doing it since high school. I think that these boys would credit from listening to my advice…besides, I will shoot them if they do,” Mel mumbled through clenched teeth. Jose studied the men as well as he could. How they talked was an important aspect. They weren’t stupid. They all seemed smarter than most of the goons they had dealt with.

Their names were now known. If they didn’t say their names Jose and Jesse would be killed before they got there. Now it might’ve been pretty obvious that they were spies if they didn’t know each other’s names.

They entered the abandoned barn and Jesse held his breath. He prayed that he could pull it off. Jesse didn’t want to be caught. Life would be over for both of them if that happened. “Jason, there weren’t any problems this time. We weren’t even bothered by those Dukes,” Mel commented.

“Don’t ever say that! Dukes are crafty…back when I was a private investigator it took a lot of effort to catch them. Don’t ever under estimate them. They got out of my van with the bars. I know that they are going to be good at what they do just as I expect you to be. I don’t ever want to hear something about Dukes being dumb,” Jason answered.

“Jason, we did everything we could to make sure that they didn’t follow us.”

“How do you know that? They could have turned their lights off to follow you.”

“Look, Steele, we did our best. You can’t expect us to have eyes in the back of our head.” Jason slammed his hands down hard. The men jumped at the sound. His twisted ways scared even Jose and Jesse.

“Well your best just might not be good enough.” Jason looked outside the barn doors. He saw no one. Jason had looked at both Jesse and Jose. He didn’t give them a second thought at first but then he took a second glance and knew that they weren’t it. Jason ripped off his moustache.

“Oh my…”

“That’s right…so you weren’t able to see through their disguises. You two aren’t my men in training.” The goons backed up hoping they wouldn’t be seen.

“You’re observant,” Jesse replied.

“Who are you?”

“I am Jesse Duke, son of the famous Bo Duke. This here is Jose Duke, son of Lukas Duke. Now, I have to get out of here before I get killed.” It was a little too late for that. All the men were after them. Three against two…Jason stayed out of it of course.

Jose took on Troy. Jesse always seemed to like to take on two at the same time. They were trained well though. Both got the advantage of Jesse and had him almost strung up by his armpits. He got punched in the face. Jesse kicked one in the face and made a break away for the door. Mel grabbed him and chuckled. “Going somewhere?” Mel asked.

“I thought I would go home,” Jesse joked.

“Wrong answer Duke Boy…you’re gonna get it.” Mel kicked him in the back hard. Jesse was slammed to floor of the barn. He moaned as the other man came to hit him.

“This sucks.”

Jose was doing alright for himself. There was only one thing that Jose did like his father, took boxing. He was one of the best out there. One good hit in the stomach had Troy down for the count.

“Loosing again are we?” Jose asked as he jumped on Howie’s back. Howie began to swing Jose as hard as he could. He managed to get the poor young Spanish boy to the ground.

“Yes you are, I had this under control until you came along,” Jesse answered. He jumped kicked the man in the face and he was down for the count. Both Jose and Jesse started to run when they head the familiar sound of the gun loading.

“Well I don’t think we’re going anywhere.”

“No, you ain’t,” Jason laughed. He looked at Jose carefully. “Luke’s son…I haven’t looked in on you too much. I know that you have been caught steeling in New York.” Now he looked at Jesse who just stood there turning almost white with fear. “You have a pretty clean record. There’s only one thing though that Boss Rosco stuck you for and I am sure I don’t have to mention that again. However, you both can be framed as easy as your fathers were.”

“You leave my father alone!” Jesse exclaimed.

“Oh I ain’t here for revenge…I gave up on that after the explosion on my office. I already had him in my hands once. Your Dad was pretty smart though. He made the moves on my girl Annie. I am sure that he was proud of himself. I got him good…chained him to the wall.” Jason chuckled and turned away from the boys for a minute.

“Well you won’t get him again I can promise you that.” Jose shook his head. He was sure that Jesse was going to be in big trouble for that comment.

“Oh and what are you gonna do about it?”

“I don’t know maybe I could…”

“You know what? I want you to stick around.” Jason hit Jesse over the head hard. He fell to the ground. “Now for you, since you boys like our get-away car so much, let’s have some fun.” Jose looked up at Jason and went for him. Jason grabbed Jose’s arm and twisted it hard. Jose held in his scream. He wouldn’t give Jason Steele the satisfaction of hearing him scream.

“You will never get away with this.”

“Oh I already have.” Jose saw the big piece of wood held by Mel come towards his face. Jose fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Now these boys are in trouble don’t ya think?

When Jose came to he found himself drooling on a steering wheel. His body sprung up as he remembered where he was. Where’s Jesse? Jose thought to himself. He turned and sure enough Jesse was still unconscious.

Jose looked at his surroundings. He was in the red neon and the hood was straight up making it impossible for him to see what was forward. Jose had his right hand duck taped to on the gear shifter and his left hand handcuffed to the steering wheel.

He began to struggle to get out of the binds he was in. Jose pulled and pulled but it was too hard. He couldn’t get his hands free. Jose finally had to give up. He didn’t understand what was going on. The hood of the car was slammed down hard.

Jason looked in the car and smiled. He swiped his right hand over his left a few times. Jason grabbed a rag and wiped off his hands. Jose knew that something was wrong…something was horribly wrong. “What have you done?” Jose asked. Jason smiled and let out a devilish cackle. It almost sounded like a totally different person.

“I am giving you a fair warning, you’re going to have trouble waking your cousin…the drugs I gave him will last for a while,” Jason laughed.

“What did you give him?”

“Oh, that doesn’t matter now, all you need to know is he’s dead weight and you’re in big trouble.”

“Doubt it.”

“You are your father’s son. Cocky as ever but Jose you’re not going to get out of this that easily. You may have the heart of a Duke but your Mother’s side makes you weak.” Jose struggled to get his hand off the gear shift but couldn’t seem to do it.

“What did you do to me?”

“You’re gonna have a fun time Jose Duke. When you start up the ignition, and drive you won’t want to shut it off again.”

“What are you talking about?”

“There’s a bomb inside the car and the minute you stop you will have 30 seconds to get away from the car and carry your tired cousin.”

“What if I refuse to start the car?”

“Then you and your cousin will die!”

“Why don’t you just kill us now?”

“This is more fun. You get to struggle and your last thought will be of me. Don’t worry about a thing. Your father won’t find enough of you for a funeral.” Jose struggled and struggled.

“Let me go!”

“And have you two go and ruin my plans? Forget it Jose. So start the engine already.” Jason took out his gun again. The metal was dark ebony black; it looked almost like a toy. It was small enough but also deadly enough to kill a lot of people. Jose knew his guns very well. He used to have one in his possession.

Jose recognized the gun instantly…it was the one his old best friend used to carry. As he heard it load, Jose gulped. Hot tears made their way down his eyelids but he pushed them back. He couldn’t show his fear. He was a Duke and as a Duke, Jose wouldn’t give up no matter what. He had to be strong for himself and for his cousin.

Jose clenched his hand around the steering wheel hard. The anger seemed to flow through him faster than ever before. He was angered by Jason’s actions. Jose had a hate in his heart that could have killed a man. He didn’t want to die. The second that engine stopped he would die.

He started up the engine. “Keep your foot on the gas or you know what will happen,” Jason reminded him. Jose shifted it into drive and began to drive it away. Jason waved goodbye and closed the barn door.

“Jesse, please wake up!” Jose screamed. “Jesse, come on, you’re untied and I am not.” Jose waited for a minute hoping his cousin would respond. “Okay…I will take the General’s engine apart if you don’t wake up.” Jesse didn’t move. Now friends, you know it is pretty serious when Jesse doesn’t move for the General. The General was a family car. Bo expected both of them to take good care of him.

Jose had a cell phone in his pocket before. However, it was in the glove box…too far for him to reach. Jason did this just to taunt me, Jose thought to himself. Of course he was trying to taunt Jose. I mean he left a cell phone in the car.

Jesse could dial the phone and ask for his dad to help him, that is if he wasn’t tied up. However, the poor kid was drugged beyond all reason. He wouldn’t be able to pick his nose let alone grab a cell phone. What about Jose? Well with one hand on the steering wheel and the other taped to the gear shifter, Jose couldn’t touch it or even reach it.

It looked pretty hopeless folks. Jose knew that if he wanted to pull over that he would die. Jason set this one up well…a little bit too well. He was a smart man of course. Jason would die for this if Jose ever got his hands on him. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight y’all…the young Duke Boy would do. Just as Jose was loosing hope, there was the General and the two girls. “Oh my goodness…that red car is out again. What if…?”

“Don’t think that way…its bad luck,” Lilly-Rose replied. Jo Anna looked at her cousin. She saw the fear in her eyes.

“They could be though…both of them. Maybe they’re back at the barn tied up and ready to be flambéed.”

“I think we should go look huh? I don’t want to predict what happened to them…I just want to see.”

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“I don’t think it is but I also think we have no choice.”

“All right Lilly.”

The two bad guys had been dropped off and now the two cousins were racing towards the neon. Lilly-Rose pulled up to the car and saw Jose driving. They looked at each other with confusion and soon looked back at the car. He had his window open.

“What are you doing here? Ah forget about explanations. Slow down already so we can talk about what happened.” Jo screamed. Jose shook his head. You know if he could slow down he would tell her everything but that wasn’t happening right now. “Okay? You’re not slowing down. Slow down and pull over!”

“If I do I will get blown up! There’s a bomb in the car and I can’t move!” Jose screamed back.

“What?”

“If I put it into park I am dead okay?” Jo Anna’s eyes went large. She didn’t know what to say. What were they going to do?

“Look, I am gonna get in there and do all I can!”

“Okay.” Lilly backed the car up to the window rear door of the neon. She tried to open it…however it was locked. What could she do? If Jo just sat there she would never be able to get them out of there. She had to find something to break the glass. She couldn’t find anything besides a large branch…but that was in the middle of the road. It was a couple “Slow it down Lilly Hogg!”

“You’re the boss, loud mouth.” Lilly smiled when Jo didn’t react to her comment. Now you see folks, had this been any other moment, Lilly-Rose would have been in a wrestling match. Jo went out of the car and moved out upside-down. She slid slowly like a slithering snake. Jo gasped the branch in her hands and brought it up.

“Now speed up Lilly…even Alma the oldest woman in town can drive faster than you.” They sped up just enough to get to the back window.

“Concentrate Jo, you need to get them out of there.”

“I know I do, but I can’t concentrate when you’re blabbing woman.”

“Don’t talk to me that way.”

“Okay I won’t now be quiet.” Jo Anna concentrated strictly on her breathing as she had been taught. She aimed at the window, striking it so it would break. The glass shattered and Jo cleared the access with the dress she once wore. Now, she was in the car. “Miss me, Jose?”

“I missed you like I missed a big zit,” Jose snapped. Jo Anna glared at him for a moment. She seemed to become like a cat, growling and hissing. A sneer rolled across her face.

“Do you want me to leave Jose? I mean I could get Jesse out and leave you here. It ain’t that hard to do.”

“No…don’t do that.”

“Then treat me like the General not like the garage floor.”

“Alright…alright, just help me okay?” Jo Anna reached for her pocket knife and began slicing off the tape. “You know what? Jesse’s gonna be dead weight.”

“Was he hit in the head again? I swear he’s gonna get brain damage.”

“Yes—no, that’s not the reason why he’s out.”

“Then why?”

“Just get us out and I’ll tell you all about it.”

“I ain’t helping you until you spill the beans.”

“Jason drugged him.”

“Who is this Jason character?”

“Supposedly Cousin Bo knows him but I don’t know the guy. He seems a little too crafty. I don’t know but something tells me that there was bad air between Jason and our parents.” Jo Anna cut the last of the tape off. Jose moved his fingers slightly. “Now how do we get my other hand free?”

“I don’t know…We have to figure something out.”

“We have bolt cutters in the back of the General. My cell phone is in the glove compartment. Call up Lil and tell her to slow down.”

“Okie dokie smokie.”

“Man, I just hope we don’t run out of gas before then.” Jo made the phone call and now she was reaching to open the General with the spare set of keys. She hung out of the neon and opened the trunk from there. It would be difficult to get into the tool box. Jo didn’t have much of a choice though. Jose had to keep driving and Jesse was out like a light. She grabbed the bolt cutters after about three times of trying.

“You got them?”

“I don’t know did you?”

“Stop clowning around! Bomb…in car…go boom. Do you know that saying? Those who blow up ain’t living?”

“Okay, okay…I got them but it wasn’t easy.”

“Don’t cut the handcuff, just cut the chain. That way it’ll be faster. We can get the rest off when I’m out.”

“Jose you are really bossy. I don’t get where you get this from.”

“My dad…I get it from Dad.” Jo cut the chain in half. “Now, hand me the bolt cutters, we had to do this earlier.” Jose put the cutters on the gas peddle and instantly the car sped up. The General stayed in sync with the car. Jo took the rope off of her belt that she brought along. Jose used it to tie on the steering wheel to keep it steady. “Ladies first, you need to get in there to receive Jesse.”

“You’re a brat! You know as well as I do that my brother is bigger than me in more ways than one.”

“So what Jo Anna?”

“I am saying…why can’t you do it?”

“Well that’s easy, I want to drive.” Jo Anna grumbled but pushed herself out the backseat of the car. Jose picked up Jesse. “You are one heavy little boy.”

“I want to go home,” Jesse mumbled.

“Oh my goodness, you’re awake?”

“Mom, it’s no fair! Why does Jo get to lead the monkeys?” Jose laughed as he shoved Jesse out the window. He did it slow as he could so Jess’ sister could grab him. Jose got out of the neon. Well that was about it. Jose did a type of knot on the steering wheel that it would come apart on one end.

It would release the bolt cutters off the gas. Now the General began to speed in the other direction as fast as it could possibly go. Lilly-Rose pulled a u-turn and put on the breaks. They watched as the car exploded into a million different pieces.

“Well that was the end of that,” Lilly-Rose commented.

“I don’t know, something about those people tells me that this is far from over,” Jo replied.

“Well wait a minute, you think these guys are gonna try it again? I mean that they’re just gonna waltz up and take on the Dukes for a second round? No one usually tries that…not lately anyway.”

“I think that Jo’s right. These slippery characters look dangerous to me. I mean, they took on Dad and Bo and I don’t know what happened but with the way Jason was describing the revenge on Bo…I don’t know,” Jose added.

They all wondered about what was going to happen. After all, they were left to live. How did Jason know that the Dukes could get out of this? How did he know so much about them? Something about it scared them.

Now the Dukes would head home and figure out who they were dealing with. What kind of a man was this Jason Steele? He was too crafty for one person to handle. “Is this the end of the midnight capers?” Lilly asked.

“I suppose it is only the beginning,” Jose answered.

“Hazzard County, watch out.”

“Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…don’t honey,” Jesse mumbled. Jo looked at Jesse in bewilderment.

“When is that stuff gonna wear off of him?” Jo questioned.

“It better be soon, because I am gonna kill him!” Lilly exclaimed. Jesse looked up at the crowd and waved. No one understood what he was doing. Jesse was pretty out of it. They looked at him. He sat up and knocked his head against the window.

“Yeah…he’s bothering me too,” Jose finally commented.

“How can he bother you too? Don’t you guys sleep in the same room?”

“Yeah well at least I can throw something at him when he talks in his sleep. If I threw something at him now he would laugh.”

“You’re probably right.” Jo looked at her brother. He looked like he had been to one of those New Year Parties. The only thing was that Jesse doesn’t drink. When he has some pills I would watch out ladies and gentlemen because you will be in for a ride.

“Somewhere over the rainbow…” Jesse began to sing. Lilly-Rose turned on the radio and cranked it. It was an oldie to them but a classic to the world “Sweet Home Alabama” I love to hear them country tunes, don’t you? Even Jesse began rocking to it. The Dukes were on their way home.

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