I'm trying to get updates regularly, but sometimes I just can't get a chapter right……..
Daisy opened her bedroom door and found Mary trying to maneuver her way down the stairs.
"Mary, why don't ya call for someone to help ya?"
"I'm fine. This cast is just so big, it's hard to make it fit on the steps."
Sliding past her, Daisy steadied her until she got to the bottom.
"Thanks. But I go back to the doctor next week, and I'm hoping he'll take me down to a splint."
When the women reached the living room, the sofa was empty, with the blankets folded neatly.
Mary went into the bathroom while Daisy put on a fresh pot of coffee. She heard Cooter's truck approaching, and smiled. Taking a cup of coffee outside, she approached the mechanic as he climbed out and turned to her.
"Never thought I'd be drinkin' this stuff in the mornin'."
"Well, you never thought you'd be gettin' up this early in the mornin'." Daisy laughed while he drained half the cup immediately. "Never thought Cooter Davenport would turn out ta be an early riser."
"Ain't. Can't ya tell?" Raising the cup to her, he started towards the barn.
"Cooter?" When he turned back to her, she reached out and touched his arm. "We appreciate it. I know you ain't seen this time of day in a while, and you're doin' it for us."
"I reckon a sunrise or two every ten years or so ain't bad for me." He smiled at her.
"We'll get things goin' around here so's you won't have ta see another one for a while. Promise."
"Daisy, I'm teasin' ya. I don't mind much. As long as Uncle Jesse don't send me into that stall with that mule of yours, I'll be here."
Daisy laughed, knowing that most people found Maudine to be difficult. Following Cooter into the barn, she found Jesse and Bo, already at work.
When Cooter saw Bo mucking the stall, he sighed in relief.
Bo finished the stall and began to spread hay. When he was done, he turned to Jesse. "I need to go check on Mary. She has a hard time on the stairs."
"She's in the kitchen. I helped her down." Daisy shook her head. "We need to get that girl to call when she needs help."
Bo nodded, but didn't answer her. The look on her face confused her, but before she could say anything, Enos's squad car pulled into the yard.
While the three men finished, Daisy and Pauline got breakfast ready for them. Mary tried to help, but morning sickness got the better of her and she was still in the bathroom when the men came in to eat.
The first thing Bo did was check on Mary to be sure she was all right. After she convinced him she was fine, he finally joined the others around the table.
Breakfast was uneventful, with talk of the upcoming harvest. Jesse was quiet, listening to the other three men planning the time it was going to take to till the land and plant the seed. Pauline and Daisy both knew he was trying to figure out how they were going to afford the seed.
Trying to be inconspicuous, Daisy turned to Jesse. "I went into town yesterday and talked ta Boss. I'm goin' back to work tonight."
"Ya sure you're ready?" Jesse turned to her.
Nodding, Daisy took a drink of her coffee. "Yeah. I need to get back. From the sounds of it, I'm gonna have my hands full gettin' the order straight and gettin' everything put back where it belongs."
"What did have to say?" Bo was still watching for Mary to appear.
"He was actually almost nice." She didn't say that he was nice because she'd just handed him the mortgage. "Told me that he didn't have time, but I could make up the new schedule when I got there tonight."
"You 'bout run the place, so seems to me he'd be glad to get you back." Cooter shook his head. "Don't nobody else keep order in that place the way you do."
"Ain't no big deal. I just know who can or can't hold their liquor. The rest is easy." Daisy shrugged. "But it's time I get back."
Bo jumped to his feet when Mary appeared. He pulled out a chair for her and offered her a piece of his toast. "You okay?"
"I'm fine, Bo. Promise." Mary smiled at him and sat down.
Pauline turned to Jesse. "I wish I could stay a bit longer, but-"
"But you got your own house to run, and you've stayed longer then any of us had the right ta keep ya." Jesse finished for her. "We appreciate it, but we know you need to get back."
Before Pauline could answer, Daisy shook her head. "We're okay, Aunt Pauline. Promise. Cooter and Enos are going to help out around the farm, Mary's gonna help when she can."
"And I'm only a phone call away. You three remember that." She turned to Mary. "I want to know when you're gettin' close. I wanna be here for the birth of that baby."
"I'll let ya know."
After breakfast, Cooter and Enos headed for town and Pauline got her car packed. She waited for Bo and Jesse to go in the house before turning to Daisy.
"So, am I gonna be back for a baby or a weddin' first?"
Smiling, Daisy shrugged. "I ain't sure yet. Not 'bout marryin' him. Just not sure 'bout the date." She glanced at the house. "I ain't even told Uncle Jesse yet. I figure when things settle down 'round here. 'Sides, I don't think it's a good time for me to be plannin' to move out."
"Daisy," Pauline stepped closer to her. "Weren't you the one that mentioned somethin' 'bout waitin' too long?" When Daisy didn't answer her, she continued. "I know with everything that's happened, Jesse and Bo might have a hard time seein' ya leave. But they both love ya and they'd want ya to be happy. You know that, right?"
Tears came to her eyes, and she nodded.
"You figure out when YOU want to marry him." Anything else she was going to say was interrupted by Jesse joining them.
After Daisy went in the house, Jesse stared at his sister and sighed. "I can't begin to thank ya for all you-"
"Don't. You're my brother, Jesse. You don't have ta thank me. I'll be here anytime you need me." Hugging him tightly, she tried not to cry. "I'll plan another trip down shortly. Promise."
"I'm gonna miss ya." Jesse fought his own tears. "We couldn't have gotten thought this without ya."
Bo and Mary came outside, and Bo hugged Pauline.
"You take care of yourself, Bo." She stepped back and faced both men. "You all take care of each other."
"Yes, Ma'am." Bo nodded. "Mary and I are goin' into town for a while."
"Go on, then." Jesse nodded.
After they were gone, Jesse turned to Pauline. "I'm worried 'bout him. I know he thinks he has to handle everything now. I'm afraid he's gonna take on too much."
"So ya let him know he doesn't have to." She squeezed Jesse's hand. "He's got to find his way, Jesse. All ya can do is help as best ya can."
"And make sure you take care of yourself while you're at it." Smiling at him, she hugged him again. "I told ya those kids of yours could help ya."
"Ya did." Jesse agreed with her.
"Ya did good with them."
"They're good kids." Turning to his sister, he stared at her. "Now you don't forget to call here when you make it home. I wanna know you're all right."
Jesse hugged her again.
Bo and Mary had actually headed for Capital City. Doc Applebee had prescribed vitamins for Mary, but getting them filled in Hazzard didn't seem like a good idea. At least not until Mary was ready to face the town with her pregnancy.
Mary was climbing in the jeep to head back to Hazzard when Bo stopped her. "Hey, what say we stick around here for a while?"
"Why?" Curious, she turned to him.
"How 'bout just some time away from the farm." Bo shrugged. "Maybe just walk around a while. Nobody knows us, here. No questions, no chores, no-" He hesitated.
"No memories." Mary knew where Bo was headed. "I think 'bout him all the time, too, Bo. Everything in Hazzard reminds me of him."
"Yeah." He nodded. "I was here with Daisy the other day-" Stopping himself before he said more about that, he shrugged again. "I actually sat here for a few minutes and didn't imagine him everywhere."
"So, let's make a day of it." Mary smiled. "Besides, I have no idea what I'm gonna need, or how much it's gonna cost. So let's go look."
Bo smiled, grateful for something to do. "I reckon we should make some kind of list."
Jesse had turned the house upside down, looking for the stack of bills he thought he'd left in the kitchen. Finally, he decided to make a few calls to see if he could work out something with at least a couple of them. He wasn't surprised he couldn't find the bills, he'd had such a hard time concentrating, there was no telling where he'd put them. He hadn't wanted Bo or Daisy to see them, so he probably hid them somewhere. Sighing to himself, he picked up the phone.
Mary stared at her list and sighed. "I can't believe how expensive everything is, Bo. What am I gonna do?"
"We'll figure somethin' out. I think Uncle Jesse still has some things. High chair, maybe? If we're lucky he has crib. We'll have to talk to him."
Turning to him, Mary took his hand. "Bo, this ain't your problem." Before he could argue with her she continued. "I know how y'all feel about this baby, but you need to remember that Luke and I are the ones that got me into this. Not you. You don't have to solve all of my problems."
"I want to. Luke would want me to since he can't." His voice cracked a bit and Mary hugged him.
After a few minutes, Bo pulled away from her. "So, we've got a list, we've got an idea how much money we're gonna need. Just gotta figure out a way to do it."
"I guess I could see 'bout gettin' a job in town for a while. At least 'till I can't work."
"Mary, how long is that gonna be?" He sighed. "Gonna be hard enough on ya in your condition. You don't need to be worryin' 'bout workin'."
"And what are you gonna do? Didn't I hear y'all plannin' how much time you're gonna be spendin' in the fields over the next couple months?" Again, she wouldn't give him the chance to argue with her. "You can't leave Uncle Jesse on account of me. He needs your help."
He stopped, knowing she was right. "You workin' ain't the answer, either. Everybody in town will figure out you're pregnant 'fore you want ta tell 'em."
"Okay. You're right." Standing, she maneuvered her crutches and began to head back to the jeep. "The only thing I'm sure of right 'bout now is that I'm tired of thinkin' 'bout things I ain't sure of."
Laughing, Bo caught up with her. "We need to be headin' back, anyways. Daisy's goin' back to work tonight and she's gonna need her jeep."
"Bo?" When he turned to her, she hesitated a moment before speaking. "Have you thought 'bout the General?"
"No." Bo shook his head and moved a bit ahead of her.
Daisy found Jesse sitting at the kitchen table.
"Uncle Jesse, have you heard from Bo?"
He was distracted, but he turned to her. "No."
She headed out the door. "Where the hell is he?"
"Daisy……" His tone told her he'd heard her, and she stopped.
"I'm sorry, Uncle Jesse. But I'm due for work in about 45 minutes, and I ain't heard from him. He took off in Dixie this mornin'."
"He'll be back. Don't go into a panic just yet." Standing, he patted her shoulder gently. "If he ain't back in 15 minutes, I'll drive ya."
She nodded. "Thanks. I just need to get the schedule set up, and talk to the other waitresses. They been coverin' my shifts." She sighed. "And I need ta check the stock. From what Boss said they've overstocked on some and we're out of stuff."
"And we both know J.D. can't stand spendin' money he don't absolutely have ta." They both laughed.
Hugging him quickly, Daisy headed to her bedroom to get ready for work.
Jesse's thoughts returned to the phone calls he'd made earlier in the day. Every company he called had informed him that the bill had been paid and they were current. He hadn't called J.D., but he figured if that one hadn't been paid he would have heard from the Sheriff by now threatening eviction. He knew Pauline didn't have any more money then they did, but he did intend to talk to her when she called.
Jesse had decided it was time to drive Daisy to work himself, when the sound of the jeep rolling into the yard caught his attention. Bo helped Mary out and into the house.
Running outside, Daisy held her hand out for her keys. "I'm gonna be late, Bo. I can't believe you'd make me late my first night back!"
"I'm sorry. I'll drive ya."
Stopping, Daisy put her hands on her hips. "You're gonna take my jeep again?"
"Daisy, can ya just calm down? I wanna talk to ya."
"I ain't got time."
Daisy jumped into the driver's seat and held her hand out for her keys.
Jumping in beside her, Bo handed them over to her.
"Bo, I ain't gettin' off till about 2. Ya wanna sit around all night or get outta bed to come get me?"
"Will ya listen for a second?" Bo was exasperated, but she shook her head.
"I'm gonna be late, I gotta go."
"Dammit, Daisy, will ya give me a second?!" His anger finally stopped her. "Just take me to Cooter's."
"Are you gonna get-"
"Will ya just drive? I'll explain when we get there." His mind was racing, but he knew it was what he needed to do.
Due to the fact that Daisy was in a hurry, he didn't have to answer anymore questions until she pulled up in front of the shop.
When she did, he turned to her. "Get out. Please?"
Getting out of the jeep, she came around to him. Touching his arm, she stared at him. "Ya sure?"
He nodded. "Yeah. I'm sorry for today."
"It's okay. I was just gettin' nervous, so I got a little pissed at ya."
"We need three vehicles, Daisy. Ain't fair that I keep leavin' ya with nothin' to drive."
Tears came to Bo's eyes, and he bit his lip for a second.
"Bo, we can work this out. Ya don't have ta do this yet."
"Yeah, Daisy, I do." Reaching out, he took her hand.
He squeezed her hand almost to the point it was painful, but before she could pull away, he slipped something in her hand. When he released her, she realized she was holding the keys to the General Lee. Daisy stepped back. "Ya want me to drive him?"
"I want ya to have him."
"What?" Shaking her head, Daisy started to cry. "I can't. Bo. He's yours."
"No, Daisy. He was mine and Luke's. I can't drive him. Not without Luke. But Luke wouldn't want me to let him go, either. I think it would be okay if he was yours."
"No. This ain't right. Ya just gonna give him to me?"
"Well, I was thinkin' we'd trade. Mary won't be able to get in and out of the General, and with the baby comin', I don't think the General would be a good car to be drivin' the baby around in." A few tears escaped and he wiped them angrily. "And I mean it, Daisy. I don't wanna drive him without Luke."
For a moment, Daisy couldn't speak. She moved to Bo and hugged him tightly. He wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her. After they had both cried for a few minutes, Bo finally pulled away from her. "You need to get to work."
"I'll be there."
"Well, ya should get there a few minutes early and fix that makeup ya got runnin' down your face."
She rewarded his effort with a smile. "Yeah. I reckon."
"Now, don't get it in your head ya can just go tearin' up the county. I'll keep him runnin' for ya, but you're takin' care of body damage ya do." He smiled. "And I don't think your boyfriend would appreciate being put in the pond by ya."
"I'll keep that in mind." She turned slowly to the garage.
"Ya take good care of him, and he'll take care of ya."
"He always has."
Bo turned from her and moved towards the jeep.
"Bo?" When he turned back to her, she stared at him. "If you ever change your mind, it's okay. Just tell me."
"I won't, Dais."
"Just promise me you'll tell me if ya do."
"Okay. I promise."
Suddenly her arms were around him again. "I love ya, Bo. I hope ya do change your mind someday."
His voice cracked while he held her. "I love ya, too. You be careful with him." Pulling away, he jumped in the jeep and left her standing in the driveway.
Daisy walked around the garage slowly, almost dreading climbing into the stock car. Tears were freely running down her face by the time she turned the key and started the engine.
The sound of the engine brought Cooter running out of the garage. When he saw Daisy, he stopped. "You 'bout scared ten years off my life, girl. I didn't know who was startin' him up and…." His voice trailed off when he realized she was crying. "What happened?"
"Bo gave him to me. He wants me to drive him. Says he can't-" She choked up and couldn't finish.
When he reached the car, his voice was quiet. "You gonna be okay with this?"
Shrugging, Daisy wiped her eyes. "Ain't right nobody drives him. I just wish Bo could do it."
"Yeah. But at least he's goin' home. It's a start." Reaching into the car, Cooter squeezed her shoulder. "Bo'll get there."
"He says he won't. He told me he wants me to have the General. Not just to drive. He wants Dixie."
"Well, let's just see what happens." Cooter sighed. "Maybe seein' you drive the General will make Bo miss drivin' himself."
"I hope so." She put the car in gear. "I gotta go. My first night back and I'm late."
As she pulled out of the yard, Cooter smacked the rear quarter. "Just keep him 'tween the ditches, girl!"
Bo was doing over 70 as he pulled away from Hazzard. For a few minutes he drove aimlessly across dirt roads before he realized where he was headed. Without meaning to, he'd driven to the Duke Family plot. Getting out of the jeep, he walked slowly to the fresh grave that would hold Luke's marker. Sitting in the grass, Bo picked a few blades of grass.
"I couldn't do it, Luke. I couldn't stand even thinkin' of drivin' the General again without ya. I gave him to Daisy. She'll take good care of him. Almost as good a care as we did." He laughed softly. "Probably better, seein' as she's datin' Enos now and he probably won't be chasin' her round the county." Pausing, he laughed again. "Well, he'll be chasin' her, but she'll be lettin' him catch her. And it ain't gonna be for no speedin' ticket." He pictured Luke laughing at that. "I ain't sure what you'd be sayin' 'bout Enos and Daisy. I think ya liked him for her. I don't think ya would'a been too happy when she thought they'd gotten her pregnant. She ain't." He added quickly. "But I reckon you know that."
Standing, Bo began to pace around the fresh grave. "But Mary is. I reckon you know that, too. Boy, I bet Uncle Jesse would'a given ya an earful if you's still here." Bo began to cry again. "But you ain't. And that there baby is gonna be." He shook his head. "I don't know what to do, Luke. That baby is gonna need a Daddy. And I ain't sure I can be one. Least not as good as you would'a been. What do I do? I don't know if I can marry her. She ain't in love with me. She loves you. I ain't in love with her, either. So do we just get married for the baby? I mean, I feel like it's on me now, to take care of 'em both since you can't."
Dropping to his knees, he shook his head. "I kinda like bein' distracted. Ya always said I got distracted easy. Your baby gives me something to worry 'bout. Something to think 'bout 'sides how much I miss ya. Gave 'em our room. Can't stay in there anymore then I can drive the General without ya." Losing his battle with his tears, Bo began to sob in the privacy of the empty graveyard. "I just want ya back, Luke. We all do. We miss ya somethin' fierce. I'm tryin' ta take care of Mary, the baby, Daisy, the farm. But I was never good at that kind of stuff. You always took care of serious stuff." Through his tears he smiled. "We always agreed you did the thinkin'. I just drove and looked good." He sighed again. "Daisy says I'm doin' good, Mary says I don't have to do so much, Uncle Jesse don't say much at all. Just what we need to get done 'round the farm. I think he likes the distraction, too. But it don't work, Luke. Everyday there's a time when everything's done, nothin' left ta think 'bout but you. And it hurts, Luke. It really hurts, and there ain't nothin' anybody can do to fix it."
Putting his hands over his face, Bo began to cry so hard he could no longer talk.
Daisy decided that if one more person asked her if she was okay she was going to scream. She knew they meant well, but every one of the customers that had come through the door had asked her the same question. They'd been surprised and, if her tips so far were any indication, very glad to see her back.
Shortly after 9 PM, Enos arrived and sat at his usual spot at the end of the bar. When Daisy approached him, he wrapped his arms around her.
"How's it goin'?" His voice was soft. He'd seen the General outside, and was surprised that Bo apparently wasn't there.
"Pretty good. Wish people would stop askin' if I'm okay." She kissed him softly. "I'm tired. Guess not workin' for a couple weeks, I'm not used to it." After another moment in his arms, she shook her head. "Gotta get back to work."
She turned to Bobby and his friends and it hit her that it had only been a few short weeks since the night Bobby had been 'funnin' and Enos had kissed her for the first time. Trying to not think about what had happened in those last few weeks, she moved to their table. The crowd had grown louder, but suddenly, it grew quiet in the small bar.
Not noticing, Daisy maneuvered around a few tables and approached the bar. Enos had stood, and he was watching her carefully.
Before she could ask him what was going on, she realized why everyone had stopped.
Ernie was standing a few feet from her.
Shocked, Daisy froze.
"Daisy, I didn't know you was back." His voice was quiet. "I wanted to come pay respects, but I didn't think it was a good idea."
Shaking her head she stepped away from him. "I can't do this right now."
Ernie followed her. "Daisy, I'm sorry."
"Ernie, don't. Just don't." Daisy turned away from him. Shaking, she reached out and held on to the back of the nearest chair.
Enos reached for Ernie's arm. "You need give her space, Ernie."
"I just want to talk to her." Pulling Enos with him, he tried to approach her again. "Daisy, can ya-"
Without thinking, more unable to think, Daisy turned and swung at him. Her fist slammed into his mouth and if Enos hadn't been behind him he would have hit the floor.
After a few seconds, Daisy realized what she'd done, and began pushing the crowd apart so she could get out the back door.
Still keeping Ernie on his feet, Enos led him to a barstool and sat him down. Before Enos could say anything, Bobby joined them. "I got him. Go get her."
Enos was obviously torn, but he sighed. "I reckon I'd best find out if he's okay and what he's gonna do."
"Do?" Bobby was confused.
"Everybody in here saw what she done. If Ernie gets it in his head to call the Sheriff,-"
"I ain't callin' the Sheriff." Ernie's words were muffled by his hand over his bleeding mouth. "What do ya think I am, Enos?"
The bartender handed him a clean towel, and Ernie replaced his hand with it. Then he turned to Enos. "I killed her cousin. Damn near killed her. And you, if ya recall. I don't blame her for tryin' to knock out a few of my teeth. Deserve a whole lot more." He stood and pointed to the back door. "Go on. I'll head on home. I swear I didn't know she was here."
When Enos made it through the back door, he found Daisy pacing back and forth between the dumpsters.
Her eyes met his. "I wanted to hurt him, Enos. I really wanted to hurt him. I ain't never wanted to hurt anybody like that before."
"He's okay, Daisy. He's been hit a lot harder than that in here before."
"I just……" She started to cry again and Enos pulled her into his arms.
"It's okay, Daisy. Everybody understands." He held her for a few minutes.
Finally she pulled away from him and wiped her eyes. "I gotta get back inside." She shook her head. "I don't know if I can."
"He left." Enos took her hands. "He didn't know you was here. He went home."
Nodding, she ran her hands through her hair. "I just couldn't take one more thing today, ya know?" At his confused stare, she continued. "Didn't ya see the General out there?"
"Yeah. I thought Bo was here."
"No." She took a few deep breaths to keep from crying again. "He's mine now. Bo gave him to me today." Her voice cracked. "But I don't want him. I want Bo to drive him. Bo should be the one drivin' him."
Once again, Enos pulled her into his arms. After a few minutes, she turned her face up to him and kissed him.
He returned her kiss. "I love you."
"I love you, too. You have no idea how much I needed this." Hesitating for a second, she decided it was finally time to admit it to him. And herself. "How much I need you." Daisy pressed against him and kissed him again.
Surprised, Enos wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. When her lips parted against his, he deepened their kiss and slid his hands down her back. Against her own will, Daisy stepped back. "I really need to get back inside."
Enos nodded, giving her a second before he opened the back door for her.
Jesse sat in the kitchen, more confused then ever. Pauline had called him, and he'd asked her about the bills. She'd sworn to him that she had nothing to do with it, and he believed her. He knew he hadn't paid them, he now knew Pauline hadn't, so who had? Absently, he checked the clock. Mary had been up in the boys'- her room for about an hour. A sharp pain ran through him at the thought that it would never be the boys' room again. He didn't expect Bo or Daisy back for a while yet. Bo was Daisy's ride home, so he most likely had stayed at the Boar's Nest with her. He had no idea what to do as far as finding out who their generous benefactor had been. But he decided that he would find out. And find a way to pay them back.
Thanks for hanging in there with me. Let me know how I'm doing.