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DixieRose_00

When Love Returns

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Part One

Bo Duke maneuvered the old loaner he’d borrowed from Cooter around a sharp corner on the road to Atlanta. He was on his way to get a Valentine’s gift for his pretty wife Jessi. He was so intent on driving and letting his thoughts wander he didn’t see the dog run out in front of him till the last second. He swerved and lost control of the car causing it to flip and roll a number of times before coming to rest upside down in a ditch.

Bo’s entire life flashed before his eyes as the car rolled. He saw his cousins Luke and Daisy and his Uncle Jesse, Cooter, Enos, Rosco, Boss and even Flash but the two people he pictured most was his beautiful wife Jessi and they’re daughter Christina. “I’m so sorry Jess.†Was his last thought before he gave into the swirling darkness.

Jessica Mae Duke better known as Jessi was busy in the kitchen helping her best friend Daisy with lunch when the phone rang. Since she was the closest one to it she snatched it off the hook. “Duke residence Jessi speaking.†She said cheerfully. “Uh Mrs. Duke this is Doc Patterson, we have a Beauregard Duke here at Tri County hospital.†He said. Jessi’s brown eyes widened and she nearly dropped the phone her hand shaking violently. “H…How bad is it?†She cried.

She heard the Doc sigh tiredly. “He’s in a coma right now Mrs. Duke.†He said softly, hating having to break the bad news to the blond Duke boy’s young wife. Jessi released a strangled cry and dropped the phone. Her legs gave out and she crumpled to the floor. Daisy’s eyes widened when she saw her friend start to fall and before she could call out to her Luke ran from the living room and caught Jessi before she hit the floor. Daisy grabbed the phone and spoke into it her face going a pasty white. “Oh no.†She cried.

Luke looked up at his pretty brunette cousin as he gently lifted Jessi back to her feet. “What’s going on?†He asked. Daisy’s eyes pooled with tears that started spilling down her cheeks. “There was an accident. Bo is in a coma at Tri County.†She cried. Luke’s eyes widened and he suddenly knew why Jessi had reacted the way she had. He reached out and pulled both women to him and held them tightly a few minutes before letting them go. “We need to find Uncle Jesse and let him know what happened and then we need to get to the hospital.†He said calmly, trying to be strong for Jessi and Daisy though he felt anything but.

Jessi nodded and moved silently down the hall to get Christina up from her nap and get her ready to go. Jessi’s eyes filled with tears that quickly spilled down her cheeks as she looked at her small daughter. The small child had no idea that her father was laying in the hospital in a coma and may never come home again. Jessi burst into tears and rested her face in her hands. She jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder and lifted her head to see Uncle Jesse with Luke and Daisy right next to him. Jesse hugged her and then passed her to Luke and picked up Christina who giggled and cooed.

Luke wrapped an arm around Jessi and Daisy and led them out the door to the General Lee. Jessi was so upset and distraught he had to lift her into the car. Luke was worried about Bo but he was also worried about Jessi. If something happened to Bo he didn’t wanna know what would happen to Jessi. He looked over at her as he started the car and found her staring at him. There were tears pooling in her eyes but she was stubbornly fighting them back. She was trying to be strong for them, for Christina. “It’s gonna be okay Jessi.†He said softly, hoping he was right. Daisy slipped an arm around Jessi’s shoulders and held her friend close.

Balladeer: Everyone is trying to be strong for everybody else. I just hope Bo’s gonna be all right.

Jesse Duke had called Cooter on the way to the hospital and the mechanic met them there along with Enos, Rosco, Lulu and even ole Boss. Rosco helped Jessi out of the General after Daisy got out and pulled her into a warm hug. The old Sheriff may not like the Dukes but he hated to see one of them hurt and he’d grown quite fond of Jessi. She was small but a firecracker. He’d seen her fight before and she could definitely hold her own. He kept an arm around the young women as the group moved through the doors into the hospital.

Jessi’s eyes wandered around nervously as they waited to find out where they could find Bo’s room. Luke moved over and when she saw him she went into his arms almost instantly. Luke pulled her to him and kept an arm around her trying to protect her from whatever they may hear.

The doctor approached the group his face grave and Luke felt Jessi stiffen. He pulled her tighter against him lending as much support as he could. “Jessi Mae?†The doctor asked gently. Jessi nodded and held her head high. “Yessir.†She said softly. The doctor nodded. “Your husband is in a coma and in critical condition right now ma’am. His chances of making it through the night are very slim.†He said. “Oh no.†Daisy cried and turned burying her face in Enos’ shoulder. Jessi’s face whitened but she continued to hold her head high. “C…Can we see him?†She asked quietly. Doc Patterson nodded and led the group down the hall to Bo’s room.

Jessi bit back a cry of alarm when she saw Bo lying still and pale in the bed. She slowly crossed the room and sank into a chair next to the bed and reached out gently taking his hand in hers. Tears filled her eyes and fell down her cheeks. “Don’t you leave me Bo. I need you.†She cried. Tears filled every eye in the room at Jessi’s desperate cry. Jessi didn’t even look up when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She knew it was Luke. The doc didn’t say anything about the group in the blond Dukes hospital room. He knew the young woman by his side needed all the support she could get and by the looks she had it.

The dark haired Duke boy was now seated next to her holding her free hand in his. Doc Patterson knew the Duke family well. He’d taken care of Jessi after the accident she’d been in that had nearly killed her, but being stubborn and being a Duke helped her survive that fight. ‘But will she be able to survive this one?’ He thought to himself. He stepped out of the room to allow them all some privacy but stopped when he realized Jesse Duke had followed him out.

“What are the chances of my nephew surviving?†The old man asked softly. Doc Patterson sighed. “Not very good. He received quite a blow to the head. It seems the car flipped and rolled a number of times before coming to rest upside down in a ditch.†The doc said, knowing he couldn’t lie to Jesse.

Jesse sighed and ran a hand down his face looking old and tired. He thought about Jessi Mae and how she would take it if she lost Bo. And then there was Luke. Bo and Luke were like brothers more then cousins and for Luke it would be like losing his brother. Daisy would try to be strong for them all he knew though she would be just as devastated as her best friend and her older cousin.

Jesse turned and walked back into the room and saw Jessi Mae and Luke right where they’d been when he’d stepped out though now they’d been joined by Daisy who had squeezed onto the chair with Jessi. Enos stood behind them seemingly trying to protect them from what was to come.

Daisy leaned forward and rested a hand over Jessi’s that was holding Bo’s. “I remember the first time you saw Jessi, Bo.†She said softly, breaking the silence in the room. Everyone was quiet and watched Daisy, Jessi, and Luke. “I remember to.†Cooter said quietly. Jessi released a shaky sigh. “I don’t wanna lose him.†She said softly. Luke nodded in agreement and squeezed Jessi’s hand. “Why don’t we all start talking about memories we have of Bo. Maybe it’ll pull him out.†He said. “Everyone nodded in agreement.

Jessi sighed and nodded slowly. Daisy squeezed her shoulder gently. “I’ll go first.†She offered. Everyone nodded and Daisy settled in closer to Jessi. “As I was saying I remember the first time Bo ever laid eyes on Jessi….†She started.

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Flashback

Daisy’s Memory

Daisy was at the bus stop to meet her best friend Jessica Mae Parker aka. Jessi. Jessi had lived in Hazzard but after her mother had died her father took Jessi and moved to Atlanta. The two girls had stayed in touch and Daisy had visited Jessi a few times over the years but not recently. Jessi was a pretty girl with a strong will and a stubborn streak as bad as Bo’s. The last Daisy had heard of her friend the feisty blond was racing on the NASCAR Circuit for her father and winning. But then she’d gotten a phone call from Jessi who was in tears. Jessi’s father had been killed in an accident on the track and Jessi suddenly didn’t want to race anymore. Instead Jessi was returning to Hazzard.

Daisy slipped out of Dixie as the bus stopped and a pretty blond about her height stepped out and looked around. The two young women’s eyes fell on each other and they smiled realizing they were together again. Daisy pulled Jessi into a hug and they held each other for a moment before stepping back and looking each other over. Daisy noticed Jessi had grown into a beautiful young woman. Jessi’s long blond hair fell down past in her shoulders in soft waves and her brown eyes were fixed on her. Daisy smiled and helped Jessi gather her luggage before leading her over to Dixie.

“We have to stop by Cooter’s and pick up a part for the truck so Luke can work on it.†Daisy said. Jessi smiled and nodded. “Sounds fine.†She said. Daisy smiled and squeezed Jessi’s shoulder gently before starting the engine and heading towards Cooter’s Garage.

Bo Duke was working underneath the hood of the orange stock car he shared with his older cousin Luke. Luke had headed over to the Busy Bee Café to get them some lunch and he hadn’t returned yet. Luke wouldn’t let Bo go cause he knew his younger cousin would flirt with the waitresses and never return with their food. Bo sighed and shook his head, slightly irritated at his cousin.

“Dangit.†He cried, as the wrench he was holding fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Before he could reach down and grab it someone else picked it up. Bo’s eyes widened and his gaze traveled slowly over the person in front of him. From the tips of the high-heeled cowboy boots, up a pair of denim clad legs, which seemed to be suspiciously not Luke’s, a dark blue tank top all the way up to the brown eyes and full kissable lips. His blue eyes scanned the face of the young woman as he tried to place her. She smiled and held the wrench out to him. “Lose something?†She asked. Bo grinned. “Well I thought I did Sugar but I think I just found it.†He said.

The girl blushed and smiled staring at the blond Duke boy. Daisy smiled and watched her cousin and her best friend. “Bo this is Jessica Mae Parker.†She said. Bo’s blue eyes widened. “You’re the Parker gal. The one that always followed me an’ Luke around all the time.†He cried, eyeing the blond haired girl in front of him. “It’s Jessi now, and yes you’re right.†Jessi told him, her eyes still fixed on his face.

“Freeeeezee you Dukes.†A voice rang out. Bo, Jessi and Daisy turned to see Rosco pointing his gun at them. They rolled their eyes and exchanged glances. Jessi moved forward. “Now Sheriff. They ain’t done nothin’ wrong.†She said. “Ooo, Oooo. Who are you?†He asked, staring at her and taking a step back. Jessi smirked and walked closer to him, her heels clicking on the cement. “It’s just lil’ ol’ me Sheriff.†She said sweetly. Bo grinned and watched the pretty blond circle the Sheriff. “I’m gonna marry her one day.†He said to himself.

End Flashback

Daisy looked up from her story and sighed softly. Jessi was crying in Luke’s arms and Enos’ eyes were wet. Daisy stood up and went to him allowing him to hold her. She really cared for the deputy and couldn’t imagine going through with Enos what Jessi was going through right now with Bo. Daisy watched as her Uncle walked over and patted her shoulder before going to stand behind Luke and Jessi.

Daisy knew her uncle was trying to be strong for them though she could tell by the look in his eyes that he was weakening. Rosco, Boss and Cooter were silent though anyone could tell by the look in their eyes that they felt terrible and wanted to do somehow make Bo all right. Jessi sobbed for a few more minutes then calmed down and lifted her face from Luke’s shoulder.

Jesse sank into a chair behind Luke and Jessi Mae. “I remember the first time you and Bo got into a fight and how close you came to walking away from each other.†He told her. Jessi looked at him and nodded. “I felt so bad afterwards.†She mumbled. Jesse reached out and squeezed her hand gently. “It was just as much Bo’s fault as it was yours.†He reassured the young woman. Jessi nodded though she didn’t look convinced. He knew Jessi blamed herself for the argument and he also knew Bo still blamed himself for the accident afterwards. The accident that had nearly cost Jessi her life. “Anyways as I was saying…†Jesse said.

Flashback

Uncle Jesse’s Memory

Jesse Duke looked up from his paper that he was reading when the farmhouse door slammed and Jessi stormed in with Bo right behind her. The young couple looked upset and Jessi Mae was close to tears. He lowered his paper and watched them silently. “I can’t believe you’d do that to me.†Jessi cried, her hands clenched into fists. Bo sighed his face red with anger. “It wasn’t what it looked like Jess.†He protested. Jessi snorted and whirled away from him her long golden hair flying but Bo reached out and caught her arm pulled her back around to face him.

Jessi lifted her head and stared at him for a moment before pulling her arm free and turned running down the hall and into the room she shared with Daisy. The house shook as the door slammed behind her and a moment later Daisy appeared from outside and glared at Bo before chasing her friend down the hall. Bo turned and saw Jesse and Luke both staring at him with their arms crossed over their chests and stern looks on their faces waiting for an explanation. Bo sighed. “I didn’t mean to do it. I love Jessi.†He cried, tears filling his eyes at the thought that he’d hurt Jessi to the point that she’d never forgive him.

Jesse and his oldest nephew exchanged glances then looked back at Bo. “Just what exactly is it that you did Bo?†Luke asked shifting his position but never took his eyes off his youngest cousin. Bo sighed again and lowered his head. “Jessi caught me kissing Mary Lou.†He said. Luke’s eyes widened and he shook his head. “Bo you oughta know better.†He chided. Bo nodded. “I know and I didn’t mean it.†He cried. Jesse Duke opened his mouth to say something just as the door down the hall opened and Daisy stormed towards them her eyes dark with anger and her lips pinched tight. “I hope you’re happy Bo cause you just lost the best thing that ever happened to you.†She yelled, getting right into Bo’s face and pointing her finger in his chest.

The three men exchanged glances and Bo got to his feet straightening up to his full 6 foot 4 height and stared at Daisy. “What do you mean I may have just lost the best thing that ever happened to me?†Bo thundered, not liking where this was going at all. Daisy rolled her eyes annoyed at how clueless her younger cousin was. “Jessi’s leaving Bo.†She said. Bo’s eyes widened and he shoved past Daisy and ran down the hall throwing open her door only to find the room empty. “Dangit Daisy. Where is she?†He yelled, storming back down the hall. Daisy shrugged. “She’s gone.†She said and turned away from him.

Bo sighed in frustration and stormed out the door and sighed angrily when he noticed the car Cooter had loaned Jessi was missing. “I’m sorry Jessi.†He cried into the silent farmyard wishing she was hiding and would come out when she heard him. He turned towards the General. He was gonna go after her and stop her. He loved Jessi too much to just let her go. He hopped into the driver’s side window and started the engine the hemi roaring to life. He sped out of the yard and down the road.

End Flashback

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Jessi’s face had paled considerably. She remembered the argument like it had been yesterday. She looked at Bo, hoping against hope that he’d woken up but when she saw how pale and still he was she sank back into her chair a little. Tears silently slid down her cheeks and she placed a hand over her mouth to muffle her sobs. Luke creased his brow in concern and reached out pulling Jessi against his chest, wishing it was him lying there instead of Bo.

Cooter sighed and closed his eyes, picturing what had transpired right after Bo and Jessi’s argument. “I remember the horrible accident you was in right after your argument with Bo.†He told Jessi. She shuddered in Luke’s arms, remembering the terrifying accident that had nearly killed her. Luke tightened his arms around her, holding her protectively. Cooter knew how hard it was for Jessi to even hear about the accident that had nearly killed her and devastated Bo. Bo had seen it happen and had also been the one to pull Jessi from the wreck. “I remember the accident like it was yesterday…†Cooter started.

Flashback

Cooter’s Memory

Bo drove along Mill Pond Road searching for any sign of Jessi, hoping to stop her before he lost her for good. But nothing could prepare him for what he was about to see.

Jessi had been driving back towards town scolding herself for leaving Bo without letting him explain. She was so upset she didn’t notice the car coming towards her on her side of the road until it was too late. She screamed and swerved and hit a ditch, causing the car to flip and roll violently.

Bo came up on the scene in time to see Jessi’s car finish rolling. “Jessi.†He screamed, bringing the General to a screeching halt and jumped out the window then he leaned back inside and grabbed the Cb. “This here’s Bo Duke. I need an ambulance out here on Mill Pond Road right away. Jessi’s been in an accident.†He cried, then threw the Cb back on the seat and ran to the wrecked car.

Jessi was awake though she was in a tremendous amount of pain. Her breath hitched as she fought to take in much needed air. “Help me.†She gasped weakly, as she fought not to lose consciousness. Her eyes drifted shut till she felt hands work at the seatbelt holding her against the seat, then suddenly she was gently pulled from the wreck and into the bright sunlight. She opened her eyes to find frightened blue ones staring down at her. “Bo.†She whispered, then allowed her eyes to drift closed again. “No Jess.†Bo cried, tears sliding down his cheeks. He looked up when he heard the sirens and saw Rosco, Enos and the ambulance pull up next to the General the same time as Uncle Jesse pulled up in the truck and Luke and Daisy arrived in Dixie.

Luke jumped out and ran over to where Bo knelt on the ground cradling Jessi in his arms. “C’mon Bo. Let the EMT’S do their job. He coaxed gently. Bo reluctantly allowed the EMT’S to take Jessi from him and load her in the ambulance. “One of you can ride with her.†One of the men said. Luke gave Bo a gentle nudge. Bo nodded and moved forward. “I’ll go.†He said and got into the ambulance. Luke and Daisy exchanged concerned glances, now horribly concerned both about Jessi and Bo.

Cooter pulled up next to them, his eyes widening when he caught sight of the wrecked car he’d loaned Jessi. “What in the devil happened y’all?†He asked in concern. Daisy, Luke and Uncle Jesse quickly explained what little bit Bo had told them which hadn’t been much at all then they all headed into town to the hospital.

Bo met them in the waiting room his face deathly pale. Daisy went to him, no longer angry with him for hurting her friend. “Bo what is it?†She asked. Bo closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again and looking Daisy right in the eye. “Jess…Jess stopped breathing on the way to the hospital.†He cried, as more tears started to slide down his cheeks. Daisy’s face paled and her eyes widened as she wrapped her arms around him burying her face in her tall cousin’s chest.

“Have you heard anything since you’ve been here?†Luke asked as he watched Daisy hold Bo offering what little support she could. “No they won’t tell me anything.†Bo cried. Luke looked at Jesse and at his nod he headed towards the nurses station to find out what he could about Jessi’s condition. One of the nurses looked up and smiled at him. “Can I help you sir?†She asked and Luke nodded. “Yes ma’am you sure can. My cousin’s girlfriend was in an accident and brought here. Her name is Jessica Parker. I’d like to find out how she’s doin’.†He said. The young woman shook her head. “I’m sorry sir I can’t tell you that.†She said. Luke clenched his teeth and slammed his hands down on the desk making the girl jump. “Dangit lady. That girl in there has no family but us Dukes so we’d all like to know how she’s doing. She means a lot to my cousin and the rest of us.†He shouted his face red with anger.

“You tell that boy what he wants to know or I’ll make sure you never work in this town again.†A voice cut through Luke’s tirade. Luke’s blue eyes widened when he recognized the voice. “Boss.†He said in surprise. The little bald man in the white suit simply nodded at the dark-haired Duke boy then turned back to the nurse. “Well.†He demanded. The nurse sighed. “Miss Parker is in Critical Condition. They’re afraid she ain’t gonna make it.†She said. “Can we see her?†Luke asked. The girl nodded slowly as she watched Boss Hogg nervously. “She’s in Room 212. Just down the hall.†She said. Luke nodded. “Thank you.†He said, and then walked back over to where Bo, Daisy and Uncle Jesse were. “She’s in Room 212.†He said. Bo grabbed his cousin’s arm. “If y’all don’t mind I’d like to be alone with her for a lil while.†He said. Luke nodded. “Okay Cuz. You know where we are if you need us.†He said. Bo nodded and headed down the hall to Jessi’s room.

He stopped in the doorway and stared at the girl on the bed. She looked so small and fragile lying there. He slowly approached the bed and sat in a chair next to it, gently taking Jessi’s hand in his. “Please don’t die on me Jess. I love you and I need you. I’m so sorry.†He cried, and fresh tears started falling down his cheeks again. He rested his head in his arms on the bed, his hand still holding Jessi’s.

Jessi slowly came to, blinking her eyes in confusion. The last thing she remembered was being held in Bo’s arms right after he’d pulled her from the wreck. She looked around and her eyes came to rest on Bo’s hunched figure sitting next to her, his head buried in his arms, his hand holding hers. Her body ached as she became more aware of things but one thing she was sure of was Bo’s love for her. Before she could say anything to him Daisy appeared in the doorway, her eyes widening in surprise. “Jessi.†She cried. Bo straightened up quickly, suddenly fearful that while he’d been crying Jessi had slipped away from him.

Bo cried out with joy when he discovered Jessi’s eyes were open and were fixed on him. “Jess.†He cried and brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. There were tears in Jessi’s eyes as she whispered. “You’re spose to hold me not cry on me.†Bo snorted and looked around before sliding onto the bed next to her and gently taking her in his arms. “I love you.†He said softly. Jessi smiled. “I love you too.†She replied.

End Flashback

Jessi stood up and ran out of the room, her boot heels clicking loudly on the clean tile floor as she retreated down the hallway. Luke stood up and quickly rushed after Jessi. Daisy started to follow but Jesse stopped her. “Let Luke get er.†He said gently. Daisy nodded and sank into the chair Jessi had just vacated and took Bo’s hand. “Oh Bo we’re gonna lose Jess. Please wake up.†She begged her baby cousin.

Daisy almost fell out of her chair when Bo’s hand moved in hers. She whirled around to look at the others in the room. “He’s comin’ to.†She cried, just as Luke appeared in the doorway. “Jessi’s gone.†He said. The whole room went deathly silent and Daisy’s face whitened as she looked down at Bo whose eyes slowly opened. “Where’s Jess?†He mumbled. Everyone exchanged glances unsure how to break the news to Bo that his wide had run. “She’s gone Bo.†Daisy said softly.

Author's Note: I just found this fanfic the other night, from a series I've been working on involving my character Jessi and Bo Duke as the main characters. It's been awhile since I've worked on it and I'm having trouble continuing the next chapter so anyone who has any ideas feel free to send me a message.

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