The Unexpected Hero

by: Kristy Duke

Sitting alone in a cold and dark jail cell, Luke can’t remember ever feeling as alone as he does now. Normally, his cousin, Bo would be standing in the cell besides him, looking at him for guidance on a way out of the trouble he had brought them both into. But not now. Now Luke finds himself sitting in the jail alone and this time he has his own self to blame for the trouble he found himself in. Which only made it worse in his mind. No, it wasn’t suppose to be like this. He was the thinker of the family, the one that thought of the plans that would get them out of the trouble that Bo would so conveniently bring upon them. Yet, now, it was himself that brought the trouble upon himself and he is left with little to no thought on how to get himself out of the trouble he has found himself in. If only he had listened to Bo. . .

Sighing heavily, Luke slowly walks away from the thick metal bars to slowly sit upon the hard and rough cot that lies bolted to the cold brown bricks as once again his thoughts begin to run rapidly within him. Thoughts of the events that has led him to where he is now to thoughts of his dreaded future as he attempts to estimate just how long he may be locked up before he will be able to return home again. To return home to apologize to Bo for what he has done to him. For what he has done to his family. Only to enforce the guilt to grow within him once again.

Guilt formed  by throwing the first punch at Bo that had sent Bo falling into the kitchen table or by failing to give into Hogg when he refused to hand over the pristine engine that Hogg was demanding.  If only he had listened to Bo and given Hogg the engine he was demanding, they wouldn’t have had that fight. He wouldn’t be in jail on the false charges of stealing the engine that could easily ensure him years behind bars in Atlanta.

            Lying down upon the old cot, Luke closes his eyes as the past couple days’ events vividly flash behind his eyes as he feels himself surprisingly falling asleep. . .

“Wow! Look at this, Luke!” Bo yells over his shoulder at his cousin who was still a few feet behind him, lacking the enthusiasm Bo had held over the past couple of days from seeing the add in the paper.

            Luke finds himself taking a long deep breath in attempt to calm his nerves as he eyes the large amount of people that has now surrounds the old car. The large amount of people that Bo had shoved through, too excited to see the engine that was in the add to pay any attention to anything else around him. Deep down, Luke can’t help but to smile at his cousin’s child-like ways or his child-like excitement that seems to capture him at any moment throughout the day. Child-like ways and child-like thoughts that Bo isn’t afraid to let shown in public, but of which often times embarrasses the older Duke cousin. Any other person would had hid their excitement and wouldn’t have been too blinded by their excitement to recognize the herd of people surrounding the open hood of the old model car. Not Bo though.

            “Hurry up, Luke,” Bo says as he looks away from the open hood to finally glance back at his cousin who is now only a couple of feet away.

            Upon seeing the excitement in his cousin’s blue eyes, Luke finds himself smiling at him as he excuses himself past a couple of people before reaching Bo. Placing a protective hand upon the younger Duke, Luke says, “I’m here.” He nods at Bo before he glances over his cousin’s shoulder to take in the well taken care of engine that holds everyone’s attention. “That is something pretty alright…though The General already has a well working engine.”

            “Not like that one Luke,” Bo pleads, “that one’s bigger and stronger than The General’s on account we didn’t have enough money to make it any bigger at the time. Remember? But this one…this one could earn ourselves a spot at Daytona come February. Just think, we could pay off Jesse’s mortgage plus fix the place up if we ever make it the NASCAR level and perhaps give him and Daisy a new vehicle to drive.”

            Luke hears himself laughing momentarily before he takes a last look at the engine, attempting to think of something to say to argue any of the points Bo had just brought up. Coming up with nothing and starting to catch a hold of Bo’s excitement, he slowly backs himself out of the crowd to find a man leaning upon another car a couple of steps away. “May I help you?” the man stands up as Luke approaches.

            Luke eyes the seller of the engine for a long moment as thoughts of caution runs rapidly within him towards the stranger that has penetrated himself within the town he grew up in. “What makes you want to sell such a pretty engine as that?” Luke finally asks.

            The seller smiles at the younger man while taking him in himself. “Well son,” he finally states as he runs his thickly callused hands over his brown bearded face before he eyes his beloved car before eyeing Luke once more. “I built that there car and the engine from the ground up in hopes of racing on the NASCAR circuit. Racing against the best. But then life got in the way and well…truth be told, I’m too old to do much racing these days. Figure I might as well as pass it onto someone else who could use it to accomplish their dreams.” He goes silent once more as a hint of sadness seems to melt across his thin body as he eyes his prized car. “Figured I’d keep the body of the car and put an older engine in it’s place just to give me something to work on. I just can’t bring it upon myself to sell the whole car. Silly, I know.”

            “It’s not silly at all,” Luke shakes his head as he eyes the dark orange car parked across the street that Bo and him had built from the ground up with the same dream, “me and my cousin built our car and our engine with the same dream. I can’t imagine getting’ rid of The General when that dream evaporates. It’s too much a part of the family to just get rid of when we get older or what not.”

            The man nods. “Well, I’m Jack Urven from Capital City,” Urven introduces himself, “and if you and your cousin are the owners of that there orange car across the street, then you two are well known around these neck of the woods. I’ve heard a lot of good things about your racing, about your car. . .” he lets his words linger as he cuts himself off as he finds himself looking across the street at the orange car that he has raced against on several occasions and know enough to know that he wasn’t the only one dreading racing against the car and it’s drivers. Dreading racing them in full knowledge of their smart and intense racing ability and their almost unbreakable record. “You’re the Duke boys everyone talks about.”

            “That’d be us,” Luke smiles as he protectively glances over at Bo who remains in front of the car, but is turned and talking to another prospective buyer. Turning back to Urven, he says, “I’m Luke and my cousin over there is Bo. We have a great engine as it is in our car, but like he just pointed out, your’s is bigger and stronger than ours,” Luke pauses as he silently asks himself what is he doing. After all, the only money they have is the race winnings they earned yesterday that was suppose to give the house a new roof come summer. “We were wondering how much you are asking for your engine.” Luke finally finishes.

            Jack nods while smiling at the young driver.  “Well my original price was a thousand dollars,” he states and Luke feels disappointment raising within him. They’d never be able to afford that kind of money, especially when the engine they had already works well for them as it is. And having a bigger or better engine didn’t immediately give them any guarantee into NASCAR. “but I’m thinking of giving you and your cousin a special offer, if you don’t tell anyone.”

            “My lips are sealed,” Luke states confidently.

            Once again, Jack nods.  “I wasn’t racing yesterday, but I was in the grandstand watching it since my nephew was in the race. So I know you and your cousin won the race by a long shot,” he explains, “I’ll sell the engine for your race earnings of seven hundred dollars.”

            “Well Mister, that’s a deal,” Luke hears himself saying, feeling irresponsible as he brings out his billfold where he holds his and Bo’s money at. “Here’s the money we got from the race.”

            Jack grins as he accepts the money. “Thanks Luke. I am excited to see where this deal will take you. I wish you both the best of luck.”

 

                        *                                  *                                  *

 

            Hearing the awkward silence fill the small kitchen, Luke silently eyes his family members that sit around the table. Questions implode within him of the deal that was suppose to bring excitement among them all. First Jesse was upset at the deal for the engine. After all, that money could have been put to use around the farm as they had all agreed upon, even if it was Luke’s and Bo’s money that they won. Then Hogg had made it well known that he knew they bought the engine and had demanding to know how much they paid for the engine. After all, they still owed him on un paid parking and speeding tickets that they could have paid him with the money they bought the engine for. When they refused to tell him the price, he accused them of stealing the engine but with little proof, for once, he had left them alone.

            And now, Hogg has just left their farm after coming by and demanding them to sell him the engine for two hundred dollars. After all, that would be better for them than him having them arrested only for Sheriff Coltrane to confiscate it himself. After paying seven hundred dollars for it, there was no way Luke was going to sell it to the law for only two hundred dollars. Plus, what would they need it for? Forget that, why would Hogg, who is the greediest person alive, offer to buy the engine when he’d normally just have his loyal sidekick confiscate it as he was threatening to do? More surprising than that, to Luke, was the fact that Bo actually agreed to sell it to Hogg after being threatened with being arrested. Why?

            Luckily they left easy enough when Luke put his foot down and refused to sell the engine and snapped at Bo for even agreeing with him. He wasn’t going to sell the engine and Bo had little to say with it, after all, it was Luke who had bought the engine. Not Bo.

            Which was the reason behind the thick silence that holds in the kitchen over Daisy’s lunch that she worked to prepare for everyone.  The threat of being arrest hangs heavily in the air along with the loud argument Luke had with Bo once the law left before Daisy quickly interrupted by saying lunch was ready. Jesse had firmly stated to end their fighting and eat the lunch Daisy made for them.

            “Why Bo?” Luke finally asks to break through the silence, “You were the one so excited about the engine…remember, it was our golden ticket into the NASCAR circuit? Remember it is bigger and better than the one we already have? When did a little threat from the law ever scare you away?”

            Bo looks up from his sandwich with unfaltering eyes. “You said it yourself. We already have one that works well…heck it won us our race the other day,” he states as he shrugs, attempting to ignore his cousin’s anger towards him. “And yes I was excited about it and I did…do want it. But is it worth all that?”

            “Well whether it’s worth it or not is besides the point. We already paid seven hundred dollars for it…and Hogg is only offering two hundred, which is probably bogus since he is offering it to begin with. Seven hundred dollars we’d be throwing away for nothing!” Luke snaps as he pushes his plate aside, no longer able to eat.

            “What you mean we paid for it, Lukas? Last I knew, it was you who paid for it…paid for it with both of our earnings!” Bo snaps to bring confusing rapidly within Luke.

            How could Bo be so excited about it and yet be so angry at him for buying it when it was Bo who wanted it first. It was their golden ticket he had said.  “What is your problem, Bo? I bought it because you were so excited about the engine…you said it was our ticket onto the circuit and you were right…it is our ticket. We could pay for the farm and so much more when we reach our dream and in order to do that we need an engine like that to do it!” Luke finally snaps, “Our current engine has failed to keep up with anything beyond the local level of racing and is in constant need of repair and work.  And yet you are just willing to give it to Hogg when he threatens to arrest us over it…since when are you scared off by such threats?”

            Bo eyes Luke for a long moment with thoughts of anger rapidly running through his mind and for once he attempts to swallow them back as he shoves his chair back. He had spent his life looking up to Luke and trying to do what Luke does, yet now he struggles to feel where Luke is coming from. Sure he was excited at the prospect of buying the engine, of seeing the engine in The General. But the engine they had in The General already was an engine that they had worked hard to build; together. It wasn’t something they just bought, it wasn’t an engine someone else built, it was their creation that they built. Together. And yet Luke is willing to just throw that one out for an engine that looks better and bigger. If only he hadn’t gotten so excited, if only he had ignored the bold fact that, that engine Luke had bought would help gain them their momentum towards the NASCAR circuit.  If only he had kept his mouth closed. . .

            Taking a deep breath, Bo pulls his eyes away from Luke to grab his untouched sandwich and cup of water to place the sandwich in the fridge while dumping out the water. “Where you think you goin’ Bo? Daisy made that for you,” Jesse says, his voice stern as he looks forward at the closet door that stands across the table from him, refusing to make eye contact with any of upset nephews.

            “I’m sorry Daisy, Jesse,” Bo looks back at the table as Luke stands up from his seat, “I’m just not hungry right now. I’ll come back for it when I am. Thanks Daisy for lunch.”

            “Yeah me too,” Luke chimes in as he follows Bo’s steps. As he reaches the sink, Bo begins to walk away from him and Luke eyes him harshly for a moment before turning to the sink to dump his water down the drain. “I asked you a question, aren’t you gonna answer me?” Luke finally asks Bo to force Bo to a halt.

            “Didn’t know your pathetic question warranted an answer to. I’m not scared off by Hogg’s threats nor do I have a problem. It’s you that has a problem, Luke. Not me,” he states to fuel Luke’s anger that he refuses to let go of towards his cousin. Why would Bo be so bitter towards him for trying to help accomplish their dreams? “I’m sorry that I made you go out and see the engine. I’m sorry I got so excited about it. I’m sorry that I pointed out the obvious about the potential about that stupid engine that you bought! Yes it could help us get into the circuit, but guess what Lukas. If we’re in jail for it, we’re not going to be going anywhere but perhaps Atlanta to the state pen. And I ain’t going there again. And on top of it all, Boss would eventually get the engine at the end of it all. So no, it’s not worth it. So if you wanna go to jail for it, that’s your own sorry business. Not mine.”

            “I can’t get you Bo…I thought it was something you wanted. You were so excited about it. So into the fact that it could help us get into the circuit, that we could afford to fix up the farm and buy off the mortgage for Jesse plus new vehicles for them! It was your idea and now. . .” Luke cuts himself off and shakes his head in frustration towards his cousin.

            “I already tol’ you I was sorry for all that so you can either take it or leave it,” Bo spits back at him, “fact is, I like the engine we already have in The General. We worked together to build it. Urven didn’t build it. We did. I am more than willing to spend the rest of my life doing what we are doing now if that isn’t enough to earn our way into the circuit. I tried explaining that to you on our way home after you bought the engine. You are just too deaf to hear me.”

            Upon hearing the anger within his younger cousin’s words and all that he has said, Luke’s anger unexplainably accelerates within him and before giving a single thought behind it, Luke feels himself powerfully throwing out his fist. Pain quickly registers within his right fists upon contacting Bo’s face with it and dread builds within himself for what he had just done, what he just started. Bo’s baby blue eyes tear up in pain and shock as Luke’s fist harshly lands upon his face before he is thrown backwards and he falls violently into the table, knocking the table over on top of him as he lands on it. Jesse and Daisy quickly are thrown to their feet in surprise while Bo cries out in pain and anger just as he reaches the floor.

            “Bo!” Luke hears Daisy and Jesse yell out in unison as they look accusingly at Luke before running over to where Bo lies on the floor.

            “I’m fine,” Bo shakes them both off as he  unsteadily gets to his feet as Luke reaches the door, blood fall from his nose while the right side of his face begins to clearly swell from Luke’s fist. “You’re just going to hit and run, huh, Lukas? Too chicken to face the consequences to your actions?” With that, Bo quickly rushes Luke and tackles him to push open the door and Luke lands upon his back on the threshold of the farm and the porch. Holding Luke down, Bo sends his own punch into Luke before Luke shoves him off and onto the porch. They both stand up to face each other just as sirens begin to wail loudly in the near distance to catch both of their attentions. Bo eyes Luke for a short second. “That’s more than what I can say for Lukas here,” as he says this  he throws a right hook to punch Luke’s left temple and Luke swaggers a step back.

            Luke eyes Bo momentarily, watching Bo’s movements as Bo moves in for another strike and as Bo goes for another punch, Luke quickly ducks to send an upper cut into Bo’s chest and Luke hears Bo hiss in pain as he takes a step back. “Nah I’ve never felt better,” Luke says as he quickly takes a couple of steps forward to take advantage of Bo’s pain and sends another harsh punch at his face.

            “Luke!” Luke hears Daisy scream his name in anger and fear as Bo crumbles under Luke’s punch to fall backwards off the porch a few feet to fall onto the hard ground below. Watching Bo fall, Luke feels his heart come to a halt and as Bo lets out another cry of pain, harsh realization of what he had just done hits him. He had just purposefully hurt his baby cousin who he had looked out for and protected for as long as he remembers. Luke numbly watches as Daisy and Jesse walk past him, giving him a dirty look on the way past him, to quickly run down the stairs to check on Bo.

            As Luke makes it to the stairs of the porch, Rosco’s familiar patrol car comes to a halt besides The General and the aging sheriff quickly gets out to run over to Bo. “What happened?” Rosco demands as he approaches Jesse and Daisy who are bent over to help Bo up.

            “Listen Rosco, I … I didn’t mean for it to -” Luke stammers, full of emotion, before being interrupted by Bo.

            “I fell,” Bo quickly inserts as he allows Jesse and Daisy to help him to his feet. He slowly sends a hurtful look towards Luke and Luke guiltily takes in the injuries he has caused his cousin. Bo slowly turns back around to face the sheriff. “Luke and me got into a fight. So I got upset and went to run out to The General and musta tripped over my own feet and fell off the porch.” He pauses to shake Daisy’s and Jesse’s hands off of him who both eye him questionably. “Thanks for the concern. But I’m fine.”

            Sheriff Coltrane eyes them all for a long moment before shrugging. Deep down it was obvious that something other had happened than what the youngest Duke was saying, obviously he was protecting Luke of which assumed was a fight gone bad. But he was sent to the Duke farm to retrieve the older of the Duke cousins on account of his harsh words he spoke to Hogg earlier, to arrest him for stealing the engine. All false charges, of course, but all the same, he’ll have fun arresting the older Duke. Enjoy watching the protest from the other Dukes and them having nothing to say about it since Hogg has strong evidence against Luke. Of course they all know Luke hadn’t stole the engine, he paid with his winnings, but Hogg was able to pay Urven into constructing his testimony onto saying Luke stole it from him yesterday. Now Luke was going down for theft with little he can do about it.

            “If you say so,” Rosco shrugs again as he moves over to Luke, “Luke Duke, you are under arrest for stealing the engine. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. . .”

 

*                      *                      *                      *

 

“Luke,” Luke is abruptly thrown away and for a long moment, he stares up at the old stained ceiling as his thoughts stick upon his dream that had happened within the last couple of days. His guilt steadily grows within him as Bo’s angry words run rapidly within him, angry words full of hurt inflicted upon him by Luke himself by wanting to change the engine they had built together. Luke had saw and tasted the dream they both had since they were children that he was willing to ignore Bo’s pain and feelings about changing out the old engine; he didn’t even care of the hard work they both had put into the old engine. Now with Urven’s testimony, lie or not, will place Luke behind bars for who knows how long. ‘Perhaps by then, they all will forgive me for what I did. Perhaps by then, they will forget my uncalled for temper and all that I had done,’ he begins to think.

Luke jumps as a loud clinging sound echoes within the dark basement where his cell is and he takes a deep breath to calm his emotion of surprise to glance at the bars. His surprise accelerates within him to find Rosco standing there, opening the cell door to send questions rapidly within him. “That was quick,” Luke states as he thinks in the past. In the past it has always taken a few days before they transported their prisoners to the Atlanta jail, yet only a day has passed since Rosco locked the door on him. Taking a deep breath, Luke slowly stands up to eye Rosco for a long moment who patiently waits at the door for him to join him. “Can’t I at least tell my family good-bye?”

Luke notices the look of surprise register in the sheriff’s clear blue eyes before it quickly disappears and a smile crosses his face. “Why?” he finally asks as he hangs up the keys several feet away before coming back to the door where Luke now stands, “Where you going, Duke?”

Luke eyes Rosco questionably, wondering what kind of games the sheriff is playing with him now only to create impatience within him. “I’m glad you are enjoying yourself here, Sheriff,” he finally states calmly, “because I’m sure you are well informed on where I am going. Even though I didn’t do anything wrong. I bought the engine fair and square and I know if you were honest with yourself, Rosco, you’d know that too. You need to stop being Boss’ puppet and become your own man…be your own sheriff, as you once were.”

Rosco sadly nods as he looks away from the dark haired Duke. Looking back at Luke he regains his strength and shakes his head at Luke before saying, “I’m sorry you think I’m enjoying myself here or that I’m playing some kind of game with you,” he pauses as he places a hand upon Luke’s shoulder to receive another questionable look from Luke, “I guess I just assumed you’d be going home, but if you’re not going home, I was just was wondering where else you are going that you’d need to tell your family good-bye for.”

More confusion streaks through Luke as he stares at Rosco for a long moment, trying to come to a full understanding of what he was saying or of where the trap lies at.  “Going home?” he finally questions, “Last I knew, I was under arrest, falsely mind you, and was on my way to the state pen in Atlanta.”

“See what happens when you fall asleep? You miss out on things,” Rosco smiles before he quickly swallows the smile, reminding himself that he is suppose to be dreading letting the Duke out; as he has been told and taught year after  year from Boss.  Becoming serious, he continues, “Lucky for you, your sorry little family felt pity for you and has bailed you out.” He pauses for a long moment. “Actually didn’t even bail you. They found a way to change Boss’ mind completely about the charge. Though if you ask me,” he pauses once more as he takes a step towards the stairs before turning around to face him once more, “if I was them, after what you did to Bo yesterday, I wouldn’t have any pity on you at all. If I saw what I think I saw, he could press charges against you for assault. . .” He lets the thought linger for a short moment before he turns and walks up the stairs.

“Yeah, I know,” Luke sighs as he slowly follows the sheriff up the stairs in the narrow stair way as questions of how, what, and why rush through his mind. How did his family change Boss’ mind and so quickly? Boss would do anything to keep any Duke in jail and knowing that with Urven’s false testimony against him, that he had Luke good. What did his family have to do in order to reverse Hogg’s mind? They obviously didn’t have any money to pay Hogg to change his mind, so it had be something that he wanted to be done that they could do. But what? And whatever it was, why would any of his family want to come to his rescue after what he did to Bo?         He was way out of line yesterday with what he had said and done. He had intentionally hurt Bo physically and mentally with all that he had said and done. Bo was right, it was him that had the problem, not Bo. Luke was the calm one of the family, the thinker of the family; he was the one that would think before he said or did anything and yet he allowed an engine to tear him away from his family. An engine to hurt his cousin. And why?

“So why? What they have to do to get me out?” he finally asks as they get to the top and at first he is disappointed not to see anyone there before he sees them at the door, looking at the bulletin board with their backs to them. Seeing Bo with Daisy and Jesse, more guilt engulfs him and he begins to wonder if he’ll ever be able to face him again without feeling such strong guilt. Or such strong hatred towards himself for what he did to his cousin, to his best friend.

“You’ll have to ask Bo,” Rosco responds as he turns to block his view and at hearing Bo’s name his heart comes to a halt. “Yes, Bo.” Rosco answers Luke’s unasked question. “Until next time, Luke, stay outta trouble.”

“Yeah, OK,” Luke nods at Rosco as he watches Rosco walking over to Boss’ closed door to knock on it before opening it and for a moment, Luke can see Boss sitting behind his desk, talking on the phone, before Rosco closes the door on him. Luke takes a deep breath before he slowly turns his attention to where his family stands to find them all turned and watching him. Once more, he feels his heart come to a painful halt as he takes in Bo’s darkly bruised right eye and right side of his forehead, the harsh looking cut that crosses his left side of his mouth and his bruised chin. “Bo,” he hears himself saying in horror in knowledge that he did that to him.

A small smile crosses Bo’s bruised face as he boldly steps away from Jesse and Daisy who remain in place, looking at Luke with traces of anger remaining in their eyes.  Luke finds himself searching Bo’s baby blue eyes to find it lacking of the anger that is in Jesse’s and Daisy’s and to find happiness and excitement once more in them. Once more the question of why washes through him. Bo should be mad at him, more than mad at him, he should hate him for what he did to him. Yet his eyes are void of any anger or hatred towards him. “C’mon Luke,” he finally states to interrupt the silence, “let’s go home.”

“Why?” he finally asks, standing in place.

“Why what?” Bo asks, a look of questioning enters his face.

“Why are you here? Why are you doing this?” Luke hears himself asking the questions that play in his mind, “After what I did to you. To all of you. You all should hate me. Especially you. Look at you. You look awful and I did that to you! Not only that I spent our money on the engine without asking you…I just assumed and then got upset at you when you got upset at me. I said a whole lot of stuff I should never have said. I said a lot of things to hurt you. Then I punched you and threw you off the porch. I hurt you Bo. And yet here you are to take me home after what I did to you. Why?”

Bo patiently and openly listens to Luke rant with his questions of guilt as he pushes back the night he had just spent full of pain, physically and mentally. Finally he shrugs. “Why not? You’re Luke,” he states as if in explanation, “you’ve helped me out when I’ve gotten into trouble. Heck,” he laughs momentarily, “it’s normally me that gets us into trouble, not you. At least you only get yourself into trouble and not both of us.”

“Look Bo,” Luke finally states, “I’m sorry for what I did. For what I said. I’m sorry for everything. For once, I can say, that you were right and I was wrong. I’m sorry, Bo.”

“I know,” Bo states before he tightly hugs Luke and Luke quickly hugs Bo and Bo hisses out in pain at the touch to send them both taking a step back. “Let’s go home, Luke.”

Luke nods, wanting to ask more questions, but knows better to ask now in the police station and he joins Bo at the door with Jesse and Daisy. Eyeing them both, he says, “I’m sorry for everything.”

“Well if Bo can so easily forgive you, so should we,” Jesse states patting Luke on the back, “Just don’t let it happen again.”

“Trust me,” Luke nods, “it won’t.”

Daisy silently hugs Luke in her acceptance of his apology before they all turn to follow Bo out into the hallway of the court house. A moment later they are outside and a smile forms on Luke’s face as he sees The General parked in front of Jesse’s truck. “Wanna drive, cuz?” Bo asks to break the silence.

Luke eyes Bo questionably. Normally Bo would never ask him if he wants to drive, but taking the initiative upon himself to drive. Then again, the past couple of days, things have seemed to have been backwards for them so why should this be any different. “Yeah, sure,” he states to take out his keys and quickly climb into the driver’s seat just as Bo climbs into the passenger seat. As he pulls away from the curb, he turns and asks Bo, “Well,” he looks back at the road a head of him, “how you change Hogg’s mind upon the charges?”

Luke hears Bo take a deep breath besides him. “Don’t be mad, Luke,” he starts as he looks out of the passenger window, “I gave it to Hogg.” He goes silent for a moment before continuing. “Well I did more than just give it to Hogg. I put it inside of Rosco’s car as he instructed me to…mainly because Cooter refused to do it for him and that left only me to turn to, to do it for him. So I told him the only way I’d do it for him would be for him to let you go free of charge.”

Luke goes silent for a long moment. “Thanks Bo. You really should have left me locked up…I deserve it for what I did to you,” he finally states as he watches the familiar scenes go by the windshield. Scenes he thought would be years before he would be seeing again. “If not for you, I’d be looking at years in the state pen. Thanks.”

Bo nods. “Look we all know you would have done the same if the roles were reversed and I couldn’t stand losing you for that long or any longer than already. The room or the farm is way too quiet without you,” he states, “I’m sorry about the engine. It would have helped us to get noticed and probably into the circuit if we gave it the chance it deserved.”

“Yeah maybe,” Luke sighs heavily, “I looked too much into what may have happened and not what we already had or what we did to get what we have.  I just saw how excited you were when looking at the engine and knew you were right about it being our chance at the circuit.”

“I was excited and trust me, I wanted it when it was looking at it. Especially when I thought of what it could mean for The General and perhaps racing in the NASCAR circuit, but then when you bought it,” Bo goes silent for a long moment as he watches the farm come into view, “then it hit me. It hit me that we’d have to take our own engine out to put in the new engine and all the work we did together on it. Don’t mean to get all sentimental about it, but it has a lot of meaning behind it. At least to me. I mean we had the engine before we had the car. . .”

Luke nods as he pulls The General into the drive way. “It does have a lot of meaning to both of us. I am just thankful that you reminded me. As I said, I just got so wrapped up in what you said. About it being the golden ticket to racing the circuit that I forgot about it all, forgot what The General stands for,” he pauses as he pulls to a halt in front of the porch and he goes silent as he eyes the place where he had punched Bo off the porch to enforce the anger towards himself within him once more. “I’m sorry, Bo. For everything.”

“So you’ve said,” Bo grins as they climb out of The General, “and you’re forgiven…it’s over and done with.”

“But you gave the engine to Hogg?” Luke asks as they all join each other on the deck, “Why?

“Because I’d rather have you home and free than to be driving some fancy ol’ race car on a race track with a bunch of professional drivers,” Bo nods, “you’ll always be more important than our dream. Family is what matters to me. Especially when I think The General is perfect the way he is.”

Everyone nods in agreement and Luke gently gives Bo another hug. “Thanks cuz. You’re the greatest,” he pauses as he lets go and places a caring hand upon Bo’s shoulder, “though you do know what this means now that you put it in Rosco’s car, don’t you?”

Bo places a naïve look upon his face as he asks, “No, what?”

“He has a bigger and better engine than ours,” Luke starts with a smile, “and it is generally us that he is chasing. You’re going to have to find ways to outsmart him and out drive a faster engine.”

Bo grins while shaking his head in disagreement. “Nah we don’t have to do any such thing,” Bo finally says and Luke sends him a questionable look, “seeing on how I kinda broke the engine upon putting the engine in the car. Ol’ Rosco’s in for a surprise when the engine starts and then dies only for Cooter say it is beyond repair when he brings it in to get it fixed.”

A wave of laughter washes over them as Luke gives Bo another gentle hug in excitement. “That’s great Bo! I wish I could see their faces when Cooter tells them the news!” Luke states as he finally feels himself relaxing while placing his guilt of what he did and failed to do slowly gets shoved aside. Gets shoved aside as he is filled with love and pride for his family and of the life he has been given to live in such  a great as Hazzard to live in.

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