Author's Note: Just a quick, silly little story about another day in the life of being a Duke boy, filled with the usual trials and tribulations. (Poor boys. My heart bleeds for you.) References Days of Shine and Roses and The Great Hazzard Hijack. Also, in the words of one Rosco P. Coltrane, it's something of a naughty-naughty.
"Afternoon, Luke," she said with a wink and a sashay to her hips that ought to have tipped her right off her perilous heels. This one was blonde, probably short if she'd been wearing anything reasonable on her feet, and dressed in a skirt so tiny it would make Daisy pull out the sewing shears and hack another inch off the length of her own shorts. Her boyfriend, or at least the man to her left who seemed utterly forgotten, caught her by the elbow and propelled her forward. Little pout to her lips and she stopped gawking at Luke and went back to paying some amount of attention to her rather unimpressive companion. She was just lucky the guy didn't haul her down the steps of the general store and right on over to the church to say some kind of 'I do' right then and there, as jealous-green as his eyes were.
"That's three," Luke muttered, his eyebrows and voice both a little higher than natural. The other two girls to flirt shamelessly with him had been a big-chested Meredith that he halfway recognized from his high school days (but she'd been younger than him, maybe Daisy's age and of no consequence back then) and that willowy redhead who had been hanging on Matthew Anderson's arm until she saw Luke and let the poor boy go like he was nothing more useful than scraps to be dumped in the slop bucket.
"Four," Bo corrected. "You forgot about Mary Ellen."
He had. But then Mary Ellen always flirted with him, no matter who she was supposed to be dancing with, or kissing or otherwise paying attention to. She didn't count.
But over there, across the street from where they were just supposed to be going to the store and not otherwise doing anything interesting at all, was Daisy's friend Sue Ann, offering a small wave of her fingers as she strolled alongside big old Bobby Griffin who could as easily have been a bouncer in a city bar as a farmer's boy here in Hazzard.
"What in the world?" Luke asked because it was nice to have garnered so much interest from the female half of Hazzard, but he really wasn't interested in a split lip. Sure, he could take the guys that were glowering at him, just not all at once, and not without shedding some blood of his own. Which he wasn't keen on doing. He and Bo were just meant to be here to pick up some screen for the front porch, was all. Not fighting half the men in the county.
"Pillow talk." Bo shrugged like that the words made perfect sense when they didn't even begin to scratch the surface and really didn't mean much of anything at all.
Inside the store now, supposed to be heading to the back, past where all the women were looking at apples or bread or maybe it was sugar they'd come for. Past the boxes of rice and the cans of beans and into the open area past the tightly packed shelves, to the part of the building where the interesting things were kept, like hammers and hoses and a length of screen that had been pre-cut and marked with the name 'Duke' on it.
But they weren't because Luke stopped right where he was, in no man's land between the door and the first aisle of foods. Hand on his hip and eyebrow cocked and he sure as heck wasn't going anywhere until Bo elaborated on what he'd said.
Bo stopped walking then, turned around with a half-annoyed look on his face. The sarcasm in Luke's voice must have been pretty powerful, the way it drew Bo back to him in record time.
"Yeah, you know, that thing that people do when they're in the bed and they're talking." Well, okay, that was one definition for it. Simple and straightforward and kind of a boring one, if you asked Luke. But Lord alone knew what Bo said to girls when they shared close space. Probably asked them to pass the peas because he was always hungry, and girls loved to feed him. "Look," Bo went on, his eyes rolling upward in an exaggerated show of frustration. Like it was Luke's fault that his words weren't making any sense. "I figure it all starts with Boss and Lulu."
Never mind. Luke picked up walking where he'd left off, making a beeline for the more masculine aisles of the store. Got a wink from Mabel Tillingham and that he could have done without. "I ain't got no interest," in a whispering hiss, because Mabel would run, quick as a rabbit, straight to Boss with anything she overheard. "In knowing anything that goes on in J.D. Hogg's bed."
"No." Bo was keeping pace by his side, his voice a little too loud for the circumstances. "Not like that. I figure it's more like, they lie there and he complains about how you done saved the day again with one of your great plans." Sure, now Bo was trying to flatter him and make amends for that awful image he'd put into Luke's head. "Or when you pull some stunt like jumping from the General onto Jesse's bumper to get the moonshine out of the trunk." Well, he certainly had ruined Boss's day that time, helping their uncle by making the old-timers' race fair and square while keeping the whole bunch of them from being arrested and thrown in prison.
"What's that got to do with—" Becky-Mae Hollister, reaching out a hand like she was going to grab his – but no, he steered himself and Bo past her and into the safe territory where everything in the display racks was metal and sharp and where no woman in her right mind would go.
"Well, see, Boss don't like us, but Lulu does. And if you saved the day, well then she likes you even more. Admires you, sort of. And so Boss is grumbling, but Lulu, she's getting excited."
"Bo," he interrupted because he did not need to imagine a stimulated Lulu Hogg, and that was before even considering what (or who) Bo was implying got her to that state. "Grab that roll of screen there."
Miffed little look like Bo didn't know why he had to do all the work. Because it would leave him breathless, that was why. If he couldn't breathe, he couldn't talk and Luke could just go back to—
Another wink of heavily mascaraed eyelashes and he was starting to think that maybe he ought to just stay home on the farm for a while. Locked up safe in the barn, even.
"And then," Bo went right along saying, as if he wasn't carrying a heavy armload of screen and marching toward the counter up front. Past all those winking eyes and listening ears. "When she gets together with all her girlfriends at the garden club," which was mostly the senior women, "she tells them the story Boss told her, only she tells it like a girl wants to hear it."
Oh, Lord. It was like the high school locker room, only worse. Because all he and Cooter and Dobro had done was to look at glossy photos in contraband magazines (smuggled in at great peril) and grunt their approval. This was ladies, gray haired and wrinkled, talking about him, imagining him wearing nothing at all and getting—
"And then they go home and tell their daughters and granddaughters," Bo was running out of air and they were both running out of real estate. In a second they were going to be nose-to-nose with Mr. Rhuebottom, whose wife was a member of the garden club and personal friend to Lulu.
"Hush," Luke growled out, and mercifully, Bo did.
They made it to the front where Bo laid the screen down on the counter with a darn near melodic clang. Luke dug out his wallet and made small talk with Rhuebottom over the nature of the storm that had torn through Hazzard last week and caused the sort of damage that would bring the Duke boys into town and his store. Bo smiled and said their thank yous for them and Luke hoisted the screen to carry it back to the General.
"And then," oh, but he needed to be clearer in his instructions. Hush forever, Bo. Never bring up this topic again. But he hadn't said that and with his arms wrapped around their heavy cargo, he had no free hands with which to swat his cousin. "After their grandmothers tell them how great you are, well, the girls tell each other until they're all talking about you. And telling their boyfriends how great you are," well that would explain the way Charlie Haffner was giving him the hairy eyeball as he crossed the street toward where they had parked the General. "When they're in bed lying on pillows. You know, pillow talk."
"Quit running your mouth," he commanded in that voice that he'd learned from Jesse long ago. "And open the dang trunk." So they could get the heck out of town.
Bo shrugged and did as he was told. By the time Luke had loaded the screen and gotten the lid closed again, Bo was already up front in the driver's seat, staking his claim on who was going to be behind the wheel. Fine with Luke; no one could drive faster than Bo and he wanted out of town and away from the girls and the images that Bo had put into his head as quickly as possible.
"Bo," he complained as they squealed away from the curb. "That ain't pillow talk, that's rumor mongering." And sullying a man's reputation. (And he didn't even want to think about what the women said about him. About his deeds or his brains or the parts of him that were south of there. No, Lulu Coltrane Hogg had never once talked about his hind end. His sanity depended on his commitment to that belief.)
"Well," Bo shrugged back at him as the car skated halfway around Hazzard Square to bump off onto Route 3. In minutes they'd be away from all these sidewalks that were overcrowded with lascivious women and off onto the safe dirt road to home. "It was just a theory, anyway. It probably ain't that."
"You're dang right it ain't that," Luke snapped back at him as if saying it loudly and with conviction would banish all thoughts on the possibility.
"No, probably not," Bo agreed. "More likely it was that other thing."
"Yeah, that thing where I had Daisy tell all the girls on the cotillion-planning committee to spread the word that you didn't have no date for the dance and you would probably appreciate it if one sort of… fell into your lap."
"You told them what?"
"Daisy told them," Bo corrected. "I just told her to tell them." As if that was any different. "Luke, you ain't been yourself since that girl broke your heart." Which was an exaggeration if ever he heard one. Sandra Rhodes or Kate Ackley – whatever she wanted to call herself – hadn't broken anything more than the law and she was going to spend some time in prison for that, too. "I figured it wouldn't hurt you none if one of them pretty fillies asked you to the cotillion. I didn't know it would get them all after you at once." Of course not, Bo was obviously the pretty Duke and there was no reason to expect that Luke could attract more than one lady of average appeal at a time, anyway.
Luke sighed. Because Bo had meant well and maybe he'd had to put up with a little too much grumpiness coming from over here in the passenger seat, Luke could forgive him for his fool choices. Or maybe it was easier to let things go now that they were out of town and there was no one craning their neck around a corner to ogle him. "So why did you make up that story about Lulu and Boss?" And the rest of them, all getting turned on by the thought of Luke Duke saving the day again.
"I figured after I told you that first, the truth wouldn't seem so bad, and you wouldn't kill me for what I had Daisy do." Luke snorted; Bo shrugged. "It worked didn't it?" Yeah, it had worked. He could put up with the young ladies wanting him to take them to a dance. What he couldn't stand was—
A humming buzz from behind them, kicked up dust and Luke turned his head to see what could be making all that ruckus. Here came Emma Tisdale on her motorcycle, driving it like she had someplace to be and the Duke boys were just a big old, orange obstacle to her getting there.
"Let her pass, Bo." She probably had some kind of important mail delivery to make.
His cousin slowed, considered pulling to the side, but never got that far. Good thing he didn't; Miz Tisdale started to pass on the right. Slowed when she got parallel to them, looking into the passenger window and meeting Luke's eyes. A slight smile across her lips and then—
She winked. At him and it wasn't one of those nice little howdy sorts of winks, neither.
"Get us out of here," he hollered at Bo.
Bo laughed and put his foot to the floor.