Disclaimer: I don't own anything recognizable from the Dukes of Hazzard. Just Jim Bob Hamilton.
Reason: some mild violence
Summary: We all know Bo Duke was a lady-chaser, but what happens when the woman he's chasing doesn't want to be his next catch? It seems he's found himself the most spitfire little lady in all of the South.
Jim Bob Hamilton is just a spitfire country gal playing hard to get, and she does it with fists and harsh words.
Author's Note: This is my first Dukes fanfic, so please go easy on any flames. I haven't read many Dukes fanfics either, so I don't know the common style... If it's common to use the balladeer, I'm sorry, I didn't. Anyway, read and hopefully enjoy!
Just a Spitfire Country Gal…
Hazzard County, Georgia always had the most beautiful wide blue skies in the South… Obscured by trees half the time, and clouds of dust leaping out behind speeding cars the other half, but when the sky did peek out, no one could deny it was beautiful.
Bo Duke could only glimpse it now, out from under the edge of the trees to his left, and through the cloud of dust that the General Lee was leaving behind. It was your average day in Hazzard, with the General speeding along back roads on the way out to the Duke farm… Bo had just run into town to pick up something for Uncle Jesse. Luke was in Capitol City with an old Marines friend for the weekend, so ole Bo was left driving the General alone.
As he passed Darryl Jenkins' field, he glimpsed a truck sitting on the side of the road, hood popped and a shapely figure hiding halfway underneath that hood.
Quickly, he hit the brakes and backed up to the broken down truck, its driver leaning obliviously over beneath the hood. He'd slid out of the General's window in a heartbeat, and was right beside the owner of the dark red, rusting old Ford pickup truck.
She withdrew from beneath the truck's hood for a split second as Bo strode over, giving him a nice view of the little woman. She was a little on the short side, thin but shapely, with long strawberry blonde hair pulled back into a tail from which a few wispy curls hung loose. And of course the ever so common tight, faded blue jeans and button-up flannel shirt.
Instantly, Bo's smooth instincts leapt into motion about just how he was going to get himself a date with this pretty little lady.
"You sure look like you could use some help, Miss," he began, already moving to help.
"I'm fine by myself," she snapped nastily in return. Despite the harsh words, Bo couldn't help but love the deep slurred Southern accent that tainted her voice.
A tendril of smoke drifted up out from under the hood to say otherwise. "But I don't think you quite know what you're doing under there, let me help…" He moved up right beside her, consciously brushing against her side.
Before he could even lean over towards the engine, a small elbow hit him in the gut, hard. He doubled over forward, and a shove sent him sprawling out on his back. He opened his eyes to find a boot on his chest, firmly pinning him to the ground.
Immediately, he suspected the worst. How had he managed to get himself in trouble without Luke here? Because of those lady-chasing instincts, that's how.
"I told you I'm fine by myself," the woman snapped. "Don't you go pulling something like that again near me, or I might have to use a fist instead of an elbow. My dad and brothers taught me more than enough to kick your butt, too." With that, she turned back around, and resumed poking around underneath the hood.
Whoa, that had been close.
Rubbing the already sore spot on his stomach where she'd hit him, he stood up, and took up a position well off to the side of the feisty blonde. After a few minutes, Bo heard a fairly loud clunk, and a string of none too gentle and definitely not lady-likewords come out of the woman's mouth.
"Sir, would you get my other toolbox out of the truck bed?" she asked Bo.
"Sure," Bo said, gambling that if he denied, she'd give him a mean punch. "And my name's Bo. Bo Duke." He strode around the edge of the pick-up to the bed, noticing the words "Ol' Red never let me down" written across the side. He guessed that was the truck's name, and that the statement was being defied at this very moment. As he retrieved the small black toolbox, he also noticed the Confederate flag painted across the tailgate. Sweet.
The woman took the toolbox quickly, muttering, "Thank you, Bo."
So maybe she wasn't quite as nasty as she appeared to be.
"Oh, great," she groaned after another moment's tinkering. "That's just great, Red!" She slinked out from under the hood, slamming it down with a single fist. "You just had to let me down now of all times!"
"Do you know what's the matter with it?" Bo asked, helping her gather up the scattered tools.
She looked up with fire in her bright brown eyes, not the least bit dimmed by the gentle wisps of blonde hair that framed her pretty face, nor the grease and grime streaks across it. "Of course I do! Did you think I'd be poking around in there blindly?"
"No, I just don't know too many lady mechanics. What is wrong?"
"That old girl's just bound and determined to clonk out on me today," the woman said, not answering quite outright. "I had to change the oil a couple of miles back, refill 'er with water from a pond and now the dadgum fuel pump's broken and I need an all new carburetor, since this one's shot. Where's the nearest garage around here?"
"It's called Cooter's, and it's all the way in town," Bo answered. "It'd take you way too long to walk…" He trailed off suggestively.
"Well, then, I'd appreciate a ride, Mr. Duke," she said, closing her toolboxes and returning them to the cabin of the truck, retrieving the keys and a small satchel and locking the doors.
"And I'd be happy to give you one," Bo said, feeling one of his heartbreaker smiles light up his face. Maybe he'd manage to reel in this one yet. It had momentarily crossed his mind to tell her that she could call Cooter with his tow truck on the CB, but that had vanished quickly in light of the alternative.
He was over at the driver's seat quickly, hoping that the woman wouldn't dare ask to drive the General. However, she took her time coming to the passenger door, running a finger across the bright orange paint job along the General's body.
"Orange paint on a '69 Charger," she muttered. "Interesting."
"Now, you'll have to slide in the window," Bo informed her, hiding how amazed he was that a woman had just easily identified the year and model of his car. "The doors are welded shut like—"
"—a race car," she finished as she expertly swung her legs in through the window. For a moment she sat on top of the door, looking at the Confederate flag painted across the General's roof, probably comparing it with the similar one on her truck's tailgate. "You've even got Old Glory on the roof," she said as she slid onto the seat beside Bo. "And I see it's named the 'General Lee'. Very nice."
First she knocked him flat on his back for trying to help, and now she was complimenting his car? Strange girl.
But that just made her more and more appealing.
Bo cranked the General, and his passenger's eyes drifted slowly closed for a moment as he sped off down the road—a little slower than normal for her sake. As much as he longed to impress her with his quick, NASCAR reflexes and handling behind the wheel, it might not be a good first impression that he was a reckless speed demon.
Her words momentarily interrupted his thoughts of impressions. "Oh, a 456 Hemi with a four-barrel Holley. Very, very nice pairing there. Eldebrock intake on that Hemi too, if I'm not mistaken."
Bo looked at her in shock. Without even glancing at it, she'd just described the General's engine and carburetor perfectly. "How in the world did you…?"
She opened her eyes and gave him a smile that made his heart pound. "Well, I've worked in my dad's garage since I could talk, and after these 20 or so years, I pretty much developed the ear for that sort of thing."
Shoot, she'd just demonstrated that she knew more about cars than half of the men he knew. She just kept getting weirder and weirder… And more and more interesting.
"And I'm gonna suggest that when we get to Cooter's, you take a look at that Holley. Sound's like you might've gotten something caught up in there."
He nodded. And the surprises just kept right on rolling. "So… What's your name, Miss?"
She pushed a couple of blonde curls away from her face. "Jim Bob Hamilton," she answered.
He chuckled. "No, really, I'd like to know your name."
"And I just told it to you." Her face was entirely sincere, and slightly irritated at Bo. "My name is Jim Bob. My parents were expecting to have a son when I was born—I have three older brothers, mind you—and they were going to name me James Robert, call me Jim Bob. And then wham, they have a daughter, and no name for a daughter. So my name is Jamie Roberta, the feminine form of James Robert. And still Jim Bob for short."
"Can I call you Jamie instead of Jim Bob? It's a little strange calling a woman Jim."
"No," she said flatly. "My name is Jim Bob, case closed."
"Okay, Jim Bob," Bo said quickly. Jeez, it was getting harder and harder to stay on this lady's good side. Maybe she just wasn't worth the effort… "Where are you from? I don't recall any Hamiltons in Hazzard."
"Down south quite a ways, near Vidalia. It's a little fringe town called Kibbey, probably even smaller than this Hazzard place."
"Lady, Hazzard's pretty dang small."
"Well, Mr. Duke, Kibbey's so small, if you blinked while driving by, you'd miss it."
"Please, don't call me Mr. Duke," Bo said. "I'm about the same age as you are—twenty-two. My name's Bo."
Jamie glanced back over her shoulder out of the General's rear window. "Well then, Bo, either pull over or step on it, 'cause you've got a po-po on your tail."
"A what?" Bo asked, glancing back. Aw, shoot. It was Rosco, following him as he always did, probably on the claim that Bo was speeding, or "impeding traffic".
"A po-po. You know, police, cop, etc?" she explained.
"Yeah, that's Rosco P. Coltrane…" Bo half-mimicked Rosco's rising and falling tone. "He's the sheriff of Hazzard County… Stupid as a mule's rear too." Bo threw another glance over his shoulder, then looked to his passenger. "If you don't mind, Jim Bob, I'm gonna step on it. I don't rightly have the time or patience to deal with Rosco right now."
Jamie gestured. "Be my guest! I haven't been part of a good chase since I left Kibbey a week ago."
So she was one to feud with the law too. If Bo didn't know any better, he'd say she was a feminine clone of him. With her consent, Bo happily pushed the gas pedal all the way to the floor.
Jamie—or Jim Bob—felt the acceleration hit as the Hemi roared into action and the General Lee sped down the road. The police car trailing behind accelerated in turn, its siren switching on and lights flashing. It was a pretty good car, she could tell, with an awful driver. As Bo expertly guided the orange Charger around tight turns and across bumpy stretches of dirt road, Sheriff Coltrane's car zigged and zagged back and forth all over the road. It didn't take several of the turns sharp enough, taking out small trees and anything else that got in its way.
That didn't discourage the Sheriff from keeping up with the General, though.
And it didn't seem to Jamie that Bo Duke had any special tricks up his sleeve at the moment to lose his pursuer.
"Do you have a pistol or even a shot-gun in here?" she asked, already glancing about.
"No… I'm on probation," he said tightly, keeping with his tireless maneuvering. "I can't have firearms."
"Dang, what are you on probation for?"
"Me and my cousin got caught running 'shine a couple years back."
"Got caught? It ain't easy to get busted for shine, especially in tiny Georgia towns… Experience taught me that. And how in the world did you get on probation from firearms running 'shine?"
"I don't rightly know…" Bo said, a smile creeping onto his face. "But hey, there should be a bow in the backseat."
Jamie looked, and sure enough, there was a big black bow sitting there. How interesting. Bo had a bow. It was a little big for her to use, but she could suffice.
"Hey, take it easy around the turns for a minute," she instructed Bo. "I'll get out the window and take a couple of shots at his tires. But don't you dare make me fall."
Keeping the bow lodged firmly on the seat for balance, she slid to sit on the window sill. As soon as she'd caught her balance, she pulled the bow out of the car with her, keeping it slightly angled. Deft fingers pulled the arrow onto the string, and a well-trained eye sighted Sheriff Coltrane's left front tire. Aimed dead on, she pulled back and released the string…
As the General Lee beneath her hit a bump.
Knocked off course by the quick bump, the arrow lodged itself in the patrol car's headlight instead of the tire. As Jamie's fingers readied another arrow, a police pistol appeared out of the driver's window of the patrol car, aimed at her.
With a slight shriek, she ducked back into the car quickly as the pistol fired. The bullet missed pretty far wide, but she wasn't risking getting back out there.
"The idiot tried to shoot me for sticking an arrow in his headlight!" she huffed at Bo. "I think 'stupid as a mule's rear' doesn't even begin to describe it."
At this, Bo laughed, but at Jamie's glare, he quieted immediately.
"Hold on," he said quickly.
Before Jamie could fully comply, he swung the car hard to the right, heading down an even more remote country road. All of Jamie's instincts said that it most definitely didn't lead toward town… Quickly they came up on a small creek with a washed-out bridge announced by a sign that clearly read, "Stay Out: Nickel Creek Bridge Out".
Bo plowed straight through the sign.
"Hold on!" he said again, jamming his foot down hard on the gas pedal.
The General Lee hit the bridge speeding, and then ran out of bridge to cross. It leapt straight into the air and across the fairly wide creek easily.
"YEEHAAAAAAAA!" Bo exclaimed as he pulled the car to a stop on the other side.
Jamie could tell by the way he looked at her that he expected she thought him crazy, but it was quite the contrary. She'd often taken similar—albeit smaller—leaps when younger and when possible back in Kibbey, before she turned eighteen and got enough sense to stop jumping creeks. Before he could voice the question though, she'd slid out the window and stood on her feet beside the car.
As Sheriff Coltrane's less capable car leapt off the bridge—or lack thereof—she aimed an arrow. Zing! There when the first. As soon as it was off, she quickly grabbed and readied another. Zing! It was away too.
Two arrows buried themselves in the patrol car's tires mid-leap, deflating them almost immediately. Before the white car landed—short of the creek bank by several feet—it was sagging heavily onto its left side.
Deeply satisfied, Jamie slid back into the General Lee, laying the bow and few remaining arrows on the backseat.
Now Bo gaped at her, mouth slightly open. "Now what'd you do that for?"
Jamie turned to him defiantly. "A: he shot at me for no reason, sweet revenge doubled. B: now even if he would've made that jump, he couldn't chase us. We've got plenty of time to get away into town, seeing as how you veered off the road into town towards remote farms."
"Farms…" he repeated numbly for a second. "Aw, shoot!" Quickly, his hand shot out to a radio unit, retrieving the speaking end. "This is Lost Sheep number two calling the Shepherd. Come in, Shepherd."
What the heck? Jamie thought. What was all this talk of sheep and shepherds?
"This is the Shepherd," a gruff, old male voice replied a second later. "Where the heck are you, Bo?"
Code, Jamie realized. The sheep/shepherd thing must be code. Interesting.
"Well, I'm not too far, Uncle Jesse," Bo replied. "I'm on the closer side of Nickel Creek."
"What're you doing out there?"
"Well, I ran into someone who had car trouble out by the Jenkins' field, and on my way back Rosco decided to drop in on me…"
"Hurry your little butt back here," said 'Uncle Jesse', whoever that really was. "We need that ham for lunch, and before we either starve or it goes bad."
"Yes, sir, Uncle Jesse. Hold on just a minute." He turned to Jamie with hopeful eyes. "Would you mind stopping to eat at our farm? Uncle Jesse's bound to have something good, and I'm mighty hungry. I promise we won't take long."
Without her consent, Jamie's stomach rumbled and agreed. Knowing she couldn't disagree with her bottomless and always hungry stomach, she sighed. "Sure, let's go."
"Hey, Shepherd? Set an extra place at the table. I'm bringing a guest."
Jamie's first impression of the Duke farm wasn't grand. It was just like her maternal grandmother's farm: a tiny white farmhouse with oak trees overshadowing one side, endless fields in the backdrop and a large chicken coop off to one side. Comparing it to the Bell farm brought back so many pleasant memories…
They were complimented by the old, dirty white pickup sitting out front, but shattered by the white Jeep with "Dixie" and an eagle painted on the hood. So the Shepherd wasn't alone.
Bo preceded Jamie through the door, which opened right into a small kitchen/dining room. Already seated around the small table covered by a classic red and white table cloth were an old, rounded man with a bushy white beard—Uncle Jesse, most likely—and a pretty woman with brown curls.
"Uncle Jesse, Daisy, meet Jim Bob Hamilton," Bo said, gesturing to Jamie. Bo didn't intend it, but Jamie caught the look in his eyes that warned the two not to question the Jim Bob thing. He gestured in the opposite way. "And Jim Bob, meet Uncle Jesse, and my cousin Daisy."
Jamie gave Bo's relatives a wide smile and nodded. "Nice to meet you." So Bo really did have an Uncle Jesse. She stepped forward and shook Jesse's hand. "Mr. Duke." She stepped further down the table to Bo's cousin. "Miss Daisy."
"Please, call me Uncle Jesse, everyone in Hazzard does," said the old man with a smile.
"And just call me Daisy… Jim Bob." There was slight hesitation in Daisy's voice before she said Jamie's name, but that was alright. Most people hesitated. "Please, sit down."
Jamie took the chair she indicated, staring hungrily at the dishes laid out in front of her. There was good country ham that Bo had brought, golden corn, peas and cornbread… Jamie could tell it was mostly re-warmed (except for the ham), probably the leftovers of the Dukes' dinner last night. That wasn't a problem in her book.
As Bo took the empty seat beside Jamie, Uncle Jesse began to bow his head. "Now let's say grace." Obediently, Jamie bowed her head, closing her eyes—at least almost closing them. "Dear Heavenly Father…"
As soon as he was sure everyone's eyes were closed, Bo shot his hand out in front of Jamie to quickly grab a little piece of cornbread—
And her hand shot out twice as fast to grab his wrist and twist it none to gently back underneath the table. With a flick of her wrist she flattened his hand against his knee and smacked his knuckles as if punishing a small child. She also made sure it stayed on his knee until Uncle Jesse's prayer was through.
By the time Uncle Jesse and Daisy looked up, Jamie's hands were back on the table, and Bo was silently half-glaring.
"Now, let's eat," the old man said, reaching for the plate of ham.
Jamie reached out for the cornbread, placed some on her own plate, and then passed it to Bo. "Would you like some cornbread, Bo?" she said quietly, intensely.
"Thank you," Bo huffed.
Uncle Jesse and Daisy didn't seem to see the interchange between the two, nor Bo's now souring mood. Instead they just passed food around, and asked Jamie polite questions.
"So, where are you from then, Jim Bob?" Daisy asked after a while.
"A teeny tiny town down near Vidalia," she answered around a mouthful of corn. "It's a place called Kibbey."
"Vidalia? That's quite a long way," Uncle Jesse said. "What brings you all the way to Hazzard?"
"I was going out to visit some of my mom's relatives in Conyers when my truck gave out," she replied. "My Red was bound and determined that I'd stop in Hazzard too. She threw all sorts of problems at me, and finally something I couldn't fix. Seems the Good Lord wanted me here for some reason."
Uncle Jesse nodded knowingly. "So your mother has relatives in Conyers? I probably know 'em. What's the last name?"
"Bell," she answered. Another forkful of food went in her mouth.
She only half-listened to Uncle Jesse's thoughts about Bells in the area, as she kept glancing sidelong at Bo. He seemed somewhat sullen, and didn't participate in the conversation much. Maybe it was her chastisement like he was a small child.
She couldn't say, but she knew she didn't like it. Somewhere in deep within her, she was hurt by the fact that Bo was angry at her. It kept nagging at her, pestering her. She couldn't stand the thought—or this feeling—that Bo was angry with her.
Oh, brother. That's when she knew just the little game she'd been unconsciously playing, and it disgusted her. But she couldn't stop, any more than she could quit breathing.
No, now that she was conscious of it, she'd just play this game all the more.
As promised, Bo got them out of the house soon after lunch was over so that they could get to Cooter's, and maybe so he could begin to use his feigned anger—which he knew was annoying Jamie—to reel her in. She didn't seem to be an overly sympathetic person, but maybe there was just enough in there…
"Bo, wait," Jamie said quickly as he moved silently to the General.
He hid the smile from his face and turned towards her. "Yes, ma'am?" he grated, pulling out the ma'am insultingly. He wanted her to think he was sore about being reprimanded.
"I wanted to apol—" she started when Bo finally let the smile loose. And then she got it. "Why you slimy worm! You two-timing little…!" Jamie was too angry to even finish the sentence.
Bo began to chuckle, when a harsh slap from a small hand turned jerked his head to the side. His first instinct was to slap back and he did, though not as hard.
His hand missed as Jamie ducked, but she came back up twice as angry.
This time she didn't slap, she punched. She was kind enough not to snap it right into Bo's face, but instead struck his shoulder first so his body turned, then laid a lighter punch straight into his jaw line. Bo reeled.
Luckily, the General stopped his tumble.
As soon as he fully caught his balance, he ran a hand across the place where Jamie had clouted him… Oh, yeah, that was going to bruise. He turned to the glaring blonde with a scowl. "Ow. What was that?"
Jamie flexed her hand, tossed her hair over her shoulder and gave him a light stare. "That was a punch," she stated in an arrogant manner-of-fact tone. "The way you act and fight, it'd be a wonder if you never got one."
Bo scoffed, until he saw her smile, at which his anger melted. "But why'd you punch me?"
"Because you tried to slap me. And why did you do that?"
"Because you slapped me. Why'd you do that?"
"Because you lied and acted," she stated, once more matter-of-factly. "You made me feel bad that I was harsh with you, when I normally wouldn't be."
"But the fact that I acted hurt doesn't change the fact that you were harsh," Bo said, raising a brow. "So why does it make any difference how I acted?"
Try as she may, Jamie couldn't come up with an answer, so she just spurted, "Shut up. I don't have time for this." She moved to get in the General but Bo blocked her path. "Move," she grated. "Take me into town like you promised, so I can get what I need for Red and be on my way. But first, get out of my way."
"Not until you apologize." Bo squared his shoulders and leaned casually against the General.
"Fat chance," Jamie bit out.
Before Bo could move, she'd shoved him off to the side.
And so he caved in. It just wasn't worth arguing with her over petty things. Shoot, if what he was glimpsing now was her everyday anger, she wasn't worth bothering with at all. He was up for a challenge, but not the impossible.
But even as he slid in through the General Lee's window and onto the seat beside her, he knew he couldn't just leave her alone.
He was already helplessly bitten by the bug that was Jim Bob Hamilton's personality.
The city of Hazzard was rather small—smaller than she'd expected, Jamie had to admit, but it wasn't nearly as small as Kibbey. It was a pretty little town, too.
"Hey, Bo, I thought the place was called 'Hazzard'," she said after a while, glancing at the business's signs. "Everything here says 'Hogg' in some way or another. Why's that?"
"J. D. Hogg—we call him Boss—owns and runs just about everything in town," Bo answered, taking the last turn toward Cooter's. "He's county commissioner, mayor, owns the only real bar in town, the radio station…" He trailed off suggestively.
Bo pulled somewhat reluctantly to a stop outside of Cooter's garage.
Almost instantly—as if she couldn't wait to get away—Jamie slid out of the General's window, taking her satchel (she had confided in Bo that it contained almost everything she'd brought on the road) with her. She was probably hoping that Cooter would get around to her truck tonight, and that she'd be on her way to Conyers before nightfall.
Being a friend of Cooter, Bo knew better.
He was sliding out of the General to follow after Jamie, who had already made it inside with that quick little step of hers, when he heard her shout incredulously at Cooter.
"It's gonna cost how much and take how long?" she exclaimed.
Cooter calmly repeated the figures.
"Shoot, you good-for-nothing sorry excuse for a mechanic, I could rebuild the entire truck in three days for less money!"
Bo was running now. Knowing the flaming temper that Jamie had turned on him more than once today, Cooter was going to need some serious help.
"They've got to ship parts over from Atlanta," Cooter said, voice now rising slightly. "And the shipment comes in three days from now. Dang, Miss, don't get your feathers all ruffled."
"Don't get my—" Jamie began, when Bo hurried over.
"Please, Jim Bob, don't get angry," he soothed the seething blonde woman. "Cooter's the only mechanic in Hazzard, and he'll do all he can."
"He'd better," Jamie grated at Cooter, before turning and storming out.
Bo looked at Cooter apologetically. "I'm sorry about that… She's not exactly the calmest, most well-tempered woman in Georgia."
"How do you know?"
"She got twice as angry with me two times today," Bo explained. "Elbowed me in the stomach the first time, socked me in the face the second."
Cooter chuckled. "And you're still chasing her?"
"Yeah, I'll tame her yet," Bo said with a faint smile. "And I'd better get out there before she gets angry with me again… I'm already going to have a couple of bruises. No need to add to the collection." He hurried out before Cooter could make any further comment.
He found Jamie standing on the sidewalk, looking down and counting under her breath. Her anger was fading, he could tell. "The hotel's in that direction, right?" she asked after a moment, gesturing down the road.
She ignored the question as if the answer were obvious. "I oughta be able to scrounge up enough money for board… I'll be broke after that and the mechanic's charge, though…" She started walking off towards the hotel quickly.
Bo hurried to catch up. "You're going to pay those gouged prices to stay in the hotel for three days?"
"I have no alternative."
"You could stay out at our farm," Bo suggested. "We could definitely make room for you, Jim Bob. Uncle Jesse, Daisy and me would be more than happy to have you."
"That won't be necessary—"
"I insist," Bo interrupted her protests. "Really. It would be much easier, since you'd have nothing to do in town, and no car to get around."
Scoffing, she rolled her eyes. "If it's that big of a deal, fine."
Bo couldn't help but grin wildly. "I'm much obliged that you've accepted."
"Well, I'm—" She cut herself off mid-sentence. "Lawman at ten o'clock," she whispered. "Follow my lead."
Bo looked up to see a slightly flustered Rosco (was he ever any other way when near a Duke?) walking briskly towards them.
"Good day, officer," Jamie called as he crossed the street towards them.
"Good day?" Rosco questioned. "Oh, same to you, Miss…"Bo strode up beside Jamie, andRosco stopped himself as he remembered his business. "Bo Duke, you're under arrest for firing upon a police vehicle and evading arrest."
"I didn't fire upon no police vehicle, Rosco, and you know it!" Bo protested.
"I've got an arrow in my headlight that says otherwise!" Rosco shouted back.
"Just what charge was he under when 'evading arrest', good officer?" Jamie asked innocently.
"For speeding," Rosco answered sweetly back to Jamie.
Now Bo saw that she was playing Rosco like a six-string guitar. If she could just keep up that nice little tune she was playing, he might just be able to get out of arrest without having to outrun Rosco's patrol car again.
"Sir, no offense, but I saw no speed limit signs on that road," Jamie said sweetly, giving Rosco a light smile. "Georgia state law dictates that it must be clearly marked at regular intervals on the road."
"It is marked at regular intervals," Rosco replied. "Just 'cause you can't read them doesn't mean they ain't there." Finally, he caught part of her words. "You saw no signs?" He looked closer at Jamie's face. "Wait, you're that little lady that was leaning out the window! I knew that wasn't Luke Duke!"
Jamie's face couldn't hold its charade as everything fell apart. Bo could practically hear the string of words that would come out of her mouth if she wasn't trying to salvage the situation.
"I don't know what you're talking about, sir… Bo here told me about that road and the chase and—"
But it was over. Rosco had positively identified Jamie, and he couldn't be dissuaded.
"Bo Duke, you're under arrest for speeding and evading arrest," Rosco exclaimed. "And Miss, if you'll please tell me your name, you're under arrest for firing upon an officer of the law!"
"Jim Bob," Jamie supplied quickly, keeping Rosco thinking… Or as close as he ever got to thinking.
"Alrighty then, Miss Jim Bob—" And then Rosco caught the fact that he was calling a woman Jim. "Bo, your girlfriend just told me her name's Jim! What is her real name?"
Bo winced and backed away as Jamie got extremely angry… angrier than she had been all day. "Girlfriend!" she sputtered, indignant. "Girlfriend? I am not his girlfriend! And my name is Jim Bob Hamilton!"
Rosco's face openly displayed wide shock at her blazing anger. "Now, Miss, don't go getting angry…"
"Why you sorry excuse for a lawman," she seethed. "You have the nerve to call me a felon, then a liar, then Bo Duke's girlfriend!" She shook a fist in his face. "And then you tell me not to get angry!"
Rosco seemed to be reminded by her outburst that he was supposed to be arresting them. "Maybe you'll calm down in a jail cell," he said, moving to cuff Jamie. "You have the right to remain silent—Come easy and I'll ignore additional charges."
"Yeah, right," she fumed sarcastically.
Before Bo could do anything to help, she reached out and pulled Rosco's black hat down over his face. As the sheriff struggled to pull it out of his face, she took off back towards the General with Bo on her heels.
Now as it happened, Jamie wound up on the driver's side of the General, and Bo accidentally wound up on the passenger's. There was no time to change it either, and Jamie cranked it and was speeding down the road before Rosco even got to his car.
Bo noted that even in her angry state, she handled the wheel very well.
She said nothing, but sped out of town silently. Rosco couldn't even get on the road fast enough to follow.
This left Bo alone to his thoughts.
Jamie was a smooth-talker in the face of arrest, and she'd gone out on a limb to try and get Bo out of arrest too. That showed she had at least an inkling of liking towards him. He'd never seen anyone play Rosco quite that smoothly either… She must've had practice with stupid sheriffs.
But then after defending Bo, she'd been terribly angry when accused of being his girlfriend. Maybe that said otherwise about any feelings she might have. All of today he'd been trying to win a date with her, and she had been upset when someone implied they were already dating. That mean that she wouldn't date Bo, and would be angered that anyone thought her that low.
Bo's heart sunk.
Maybe she only wanted him out of jail was so she could have a ride. She obviously had no real affection, as he'd first thought.
And here he was foolishly trying to romance her.
Sullen for real this time, he let the silence hang between them all the way back to the Duke farm.
Bo was surprised at dinner when Jamie slipped him a note at dinner that read "Meet me at the little Possum Creek place we passed earlier" and she excused herself from dinner early. She just wanted to go for a little walk in the evening air to clear her head, she said.
Bo waited until dinner was through, then started out towards Possum Creek.
It wasn't too far of a walk from the farm, only a few minutes, but with conflicting thoughts moving around in Bo's head, it seemed longer.
But finally, he got to Possum Creek, and he spotted Jamie sitting on the other side with her back to a tree.
Quickly he hopped across to sit beside her.
The sun was setting across the Georgia landscape, and from their vantage point, it was settling in between two distant mountains. Beneath it everything was bathed and swathed in gold and red like a beautiful painting.
From where he sat, Bo studied Jamie's face. Her strawberry hair was down, struck by the red and gold, it was twice as brilliant. He'd been immediately attracted to her face when they met,withits round and delicate features that tightened when she was angry… Now they were solemn and tranquil. No trace of anger was present.
And for that, Bo was infinitely glad.
Finally, he sighed. "Jim Bob, please tell me why you wanted me here."
She turned to him, causing the light to spread sidelongthrough herwarm brown eyes. "You're angry with me, Bo. I can tell."
"No, not angry," he said quietly. "Just irritated or upset."
"You put me through a lot today, and I'm a Duke prone to trouble. You hit me for trying to help you, then befriended me. You reprimanded me like a child, then laughed, then hit me again. Then you get me out of being arrested, and then you go crazy because someone called you my girlfriend. You're sending some pretty wild and contradicting messages."
"I thought you were the kind of man that enjoyed a challenge."
"I am, but you're impossible."
She smiled lightly. "Not impossible, Bo. Just really, really, really difficult. After all, I am just a spitfire country gal."
And then she surprised him beyond his wildest dreams.
She kissed him, full on the lips, not lightly, but passionately.
And he found himself returning it.
After a long moment, they separated, but stayed close.
"That was… amazing," Bo breathed. He'd never expected this from her… "This whole time, you were just playing hard to get?"
She smiled. "No, I guess I was playing 'impossible' to get. Not so impossible now, am I?"
"Quite the contrary, Jim Bob."
They kissed again.
"Just for now," she said with a huge smile, "you can call me Jamie."
Please review, but remember to be gentle!