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Picking Up the Pieces


runningwild
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Once she stepped foot on the sidewalk, Hazzard seemed like home again; still she was viewing it as a stranger. The crisp air from the transition from summer to fall gently blew around her tossing tree branches slightly back and forth. Today's weather made it a day to remember.

The click of her high heels on the pavement gave away any hope that she would go unnoticed. Who wouldn't take notice of a blonde in oversized sunglasses in town in Hazzard County. Her attire was simple; a fitted sun dress and the black high heels she wore to match it. The dress was red, but it was the shade of red that remained subtle and not too flashy. Even though she loved to stand out, Hazzard wasn't the place and it wasn't the time.

See her name was well known in these parts not only because she grew up here but because she was involved in one of the county's few murders. Without actually pulling the trigger, she requested that during a jailbreak for Luke Duke that another man be released, also. This other man was apart of her master plan to rid the world of her ex-boyfriend and spare her own life without hurting any of her friends; namely The Dukes. Everything was going as planned; the man she got out of jail had held up his end of the bargain and protected her from a visit from Harvey Conrad, her ex-boyfriend. Harvey was a "mobster", the head man. He had a lot of power and felt as if he were entitled to the rights of his girlfriend. Long story short, Harvey left vowing to get revenge on this man and the man in return fired a shot that took a life. After that, she didn't have many friends because things were now complicated. Luke her longtime love didn't know what to do with her anymore and so they stopped speaking, but that didn't mean they still didn't love each other.

Passing infront of the courthouse on her way to see what outstanding fees she may have on her house, she was stopped dead in her tracks as Enos Strate came down the courthouse steps infront of her. She couldn't avoid him.

"Howdy Ma'm," he said with a nod instantly noticing that she looked out of place.

At first, she didn't want to reply; still it was all apart of her southern hospitality to answer when spoken to, "Hi."

Enos tilted his head a little to examine her a little more closely, since her voice triggered a faint recognization. "I'm Deputy.."

"Enos Strate. I know," she smiled sweetly. Lifting her sunglasses on top of her head, she spoke again. "Hi, Enos."

Blinking a few times, he cursed himself under his breath and wished a thousand times that she wasn't who she was. "Cassie? Cassie Morgan," she accompanied this with a nod. Pausing for a long moment, he sighed, "It's nice to see you back in town Cassie, but I'm sorry. I'm going to have to place you under arrest."

Cassie just stared at him, "And, here I was thinking that I was cleared of all that.." She didn't resist all she could do was hold her wrists together out in front, for Enos to handcuff her.

Without failue, the General Lee could be heard and then saw barrelling into town around the corner. The Dukes always had to make a trip into town atleast once a day. This sounds made Enos pause and contemplate what to do in any given situation they could present him with. He knew that if The Dukes saw Cassie there was going to be a whole lot of heartache and disgust depending on which Dukes it was.

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As the General Lee barralled round the corner and skidded expertly into a space, Enos knew who it was before he even stepped one foot outside of the bright orange stock car. He smiled and shook his head, mumbling to himself.

"Bo Duke..."

Sure enough, it wasn't long after the engine had stopped running that a blonde head pocked out the window and a lean, muscular body followed shortly after it. Smiling, Bo turned as he got out the car and waved to Enos, frowning and coming over when he saw that he seemed to be arresting a pretty girl that from a distance he didn't recognise.

"Hey Enos...and what are ya doing arresting such a beautiful young woman on a beautiful day like this?"

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Enos was naturally polite and was still stalling before he had to put the handcuffs on Cassie. "Howdy Bo, Boss Hogg issued a warrant for her arrest a while back. We're just now catching her."

Turning so that Bo could get a better look at her, Cassie spoke up. "You're singing a different tune," that was all she had to say.

Bo wasn't exactly very fond of Cassie, before she left. He cursed Luke several times for not turning her in to Rosco. Her negligence killed someone that was very dear to his cousin Daisy, so he struggled with resentment for Cassie. Only God knew what was in store for her now that a Duke knew she was back in town.

Cassie looked uneasy waiting for Bo's reaction when he realized who she was. Time would tell if he'd grown to forgive her for making a mistake when trying to save her own life. It's always been said "a life for a life"; her's was sparred and so someone had to die.

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Bo looked to her as she turned and instantly took a few steps back, his mouth falling open in horror and a deep frown setting into place on his handsome features. Time ha only served an increase in his protectivness over his older cousin and the fact that this girl was back in Hazzard, one who had hurt Luke bad when she had been back here the last time because of her own selfishness steamed him up.

His quick anger instantly rose to the surface and he found himself having to hold back a yell of anger. Clenching his jaw, he gritted out as he turned to walk away.

"Enos....get her outta everyone's sights...and for god sake make sure Luke don't see her!"

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Cassie looked down; his words were anticipated but still she hurt just the same. She didn't say a word, as Enos fastened the handcuffs on her wrists. "You'll have these back off in a second don't worry," he said calmly to her.

Enos heard Bo and looked at him walking away, "I'm taking her inside..don't get yourself all worked up." With that he took Cassie by the forearm.

"Wait Enos.." Cassie decided to speak up. "Bo, why don't you come with us inside and we'll talk. I think we need to." She knew that he'd reject the idea so she had to add a little more to it. "You can yell if you want even curse me; I just think it'd do some good to the situation. I mean word does travel fast in Hazzard."

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Bo quickly spun round, a deep, hatred filled gaze being sent her way.

"No....and if Luke finds out through the grape vine that's fine, but there is no way that I am willing stepping one foot in that building with you. Hope you like Atlanta by the way."

With that, Bo turned on his heel and walked away down the street, fuming

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Bo Duke made Cassie so mad, even when they were children. All she could do was question whether she was hurt enough by his words not to say anything or whether she should try to match him. "I didn't mean to hurt Luke you stubborn bast----!" This is what the younger Duke did to her. "And, yes I do like the city, so Atlanta should be superb."

Enos' eyes widen as he started pulled Cassie towards the stairs, "Come on Darlin'."

Her feet carried her along with Enos, "I guess you can't understand what its like to really try to survive." Cassie's voice was bitter. Enos wasn't going to let her stay out on the street having a yelling match with Bo. People were staring.

Cooter came out of the post office and heard the commotion. Seeing Bo, he figured he'd have to check out what was going on. "Hey there Bo," he held his usual comical look on his face. "What's the trouble? Little lady didn't want to date ya?" He grinned slightly, then he took the time to actually see who the woman was. Quickly, any touch of humor to his faced died and he looked back at Bo, "Oh..."

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Bo clenched his jaw as he carried on walking, still silently fuming as he headed to the post office to pick up some mail that needed collecting. Swallowing, he shook his head.

"I tell you Cooter....they better keep her under lock and key and away from me and Luke or I swear there is no place that she's gonna be safe....not after what she did to Luke...."

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Cooter looked shocked, "Now, Bo, you don't mean that. You're lettin' your anger get the best of you." Firmly putting a hand on his friends shoulder, he hoped that Bo would rethink what he was saying. "Have you even talked to her about what happened? I mean I know she wasn't the most social person in Hazzard after it was over. I saw her at the Boarsnest every night." Sometimes Cooter could surprise you with how wise he was.

Enos lead Cassie into the oourt house and Rosco almost jumped ten feet when he saw her.

"Enos!" Rosco was hurrying over to the duo, "Where'd you pick her up?"

Stammering slightly, he answer, "Just outside the courthouse Sheriff."

Cassie nodded, "I was coming to see about my house. Didn't know I had new charges against me."

Rosco gave her a sly look, "Shame shame shame Missy, you got somebody killed, of course there's going to be charges. This was serious and Rosco wasn't giving his usual snicker.

"Come on Cassie," Enos let go of her arm and ushered her downstairs to her cell.

Sighing, she followed him, "Enos, am I going to get out of here?"

He had opened the cell door and started to remove her handcuffs. Shaking his head, he sighed, "Cassie, I don't know."

"I didn't mean to, you know that... I never wanted any of that to happen," she had already stepped inside the cell herself.

Enos stared at her for a long moment, "I know; time will tell." With that he closed the door behind her and headed back upstairs.

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Bo sighed and shook his head, stopping and looking down to the pavement before looking back to his friend.

"Cooter....I hate ta tell you this but I was being serious....she hurt Luke bad last time she was around and then didn't even stick around to check he was okay afterwards....so I don't know what happened, big deal. All I know is ya don't hurt someone ya supposed to care about so bad and not come by to check their okay."

Shaking his head, he diverted his gaze to look over Hazzard, looking more though in the direction of the farm....not knowing that Luke was actually in the town and creeping up behind him, intending to scare him.

"I just hope Luke don't find out for a while....I don't think I could stand to see him so upset again because of her...."

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Luke had come out of the convienence store and spotted Bo just up the sidewalk talking to Cooter. This would be the perfect time to give his cousin a good scare because Bo didn't know that Daisy had let Luke borrow her jeep to take to town.

Coming up behind him quietly, he caught some of what Bo had said. Slamming his hand down on his cousin's shoulder he spoke, "Don't let Luke find out what?" He seemed rather chipper.

Cooter jumped and looked to Bo who instantly turned white in the face. He didn't dare say anything because he wanted to follow Bo's lead in answering Luke.

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Bo yelped and jumped almost two feet in the year, his face turning paler and paler as his brain registared quicker and quicker who was behind him and what he was going to do to get out of this. Instead of making up an excuse, he turned and let anger and fright give way and lead him.

"Dang it Luke! What're ya trying to do gimme a heart attack?!"

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"Of course not, then that would leave me to do all the hard labor on the farm," Luke grinned. And, checked out Bo's pale face, "I didn't think I'd scare you that bad, Cuz."

Cooter laughed uneasily, "Must me that discrete Marine training put to practice. You really snuck up on us."

Nodding, Luke considered this to be the reason, but still he remembered that Bo hadn't answered his question. "So, let me try again. What am I not suppose to find out?"

Cutting his eyes to Bo, Cooter didn't know how the younger Duke would get out of this.

Neither of the Dukes nor Cooter knew that Cassie could see them from the window in her cell. She smiled she when Luke snuck up on Bo because it warmed her heart. That's what you do when you see someone you love; you smile. Still her smile was faint and it ached her heart.

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Bo swallowed softly, wrakcing his brains hurriedly before admitting to the only thing he could that was true and Luke would believe.

"That I uh....I....I..."

Bo sighed and gave up, shaking his head. He knew that if he didn't tell Luke now, then he would find out later on and when he found out Bo already knew it would only make him mad.

"Luke...Cassie's back...."

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Luke's face quickly changed from chipper to serious. "Cassie's back?" He had to repeat it outloud just so he would believe it. After a few moments, of silence between the three, he looked Bo straight in the eye, "Where is she?"

Cooter saw that Bo had had enough of answering questions that he should fear to answer, so he spoke up. "She's in the jail."

"She's where?!" His voice boomed.

This was enough to make Cooter shut his mouth and let Bo handle this.

In truth, Luke was hurt by Cassie. He was hurt so bad that he struggled with himself for a while, but at the end of the day he still loved her. Uncle Jesse told him that you always loved the person that hurt you the most and Luke abided by that. His own personal experience proved his uncle right. No matter how angry he was with her for what happened he had slowly over time started to forgive her in his heart. Luke didn't tell anyone that he was forgiving her.

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Luke considered this, "That's good," he seemed to be calming down a little. "If she's got charges, then she should be locked up. That a good place for her to sit for a while." He looked at Bo, "Sorry Cousin, I didn't mean to yell. I'm probably causing quite the scene."

Cooter tried to laugh, "That you are my friend," this time he put his hand on Luke's shoulder. "What are you going to do with your newfound information?"

"I.. don't know," he was hesitant in answering. "Bo, you seen her right? Did she look alright?" Everyone that knew Cassie distinctly remembered her appearance the last time she was in town. She came in a fresh daisy, but the more you stared at her the more you realized that she was really "coked out", if that was a valid description.

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"That's understandable," Luke nodded regretting that he had even checked to see what she looked like. He already had a hunch that by Bo yelling at her he'd already made her angry. That's just how she was.

Cooter had shoved his hands in his pockets and was finding it hard to stand still with all the tension rising.

"It's all complicated," he was talking about how Bo remembered how rough Luke had it. "You can't blame her for things I did, Bo. I can swear up and down she's the reason, but that doesn't justify it. That doesn't even come close." Sighing, he shook his head, "I reckon you didn't talk to her then... do you care to?"

He was being too kind and too forgiving, but what else could he do?

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Bo shook his head

I tol' her I wouldnt willing step into that jail to talk to her on any accounts....Luke she was the one who caused you to do those things....if she hadn't turned up you would have never gotten like you did! It is her fault!

He said a little bit louder than he meant to, his anger at her and worry for Luke that had sprung as soon as he had laid eyes on Cassie shining through.

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Cooter spoke up, "And, now the people start to stare.."

Luke looked at Cooter and then noticed a few people who had slowed to watch the Dukes talk. "Maybe she was her and her damn problems, but I'm the one that was drinking and wrecking my life over a woman." He had hushed his voice a little. "The Cassie you saw and the Cassie that I knew were two different people Bo. Why do you think it was so hard for me?" Sighing out of frustration, he didn't know what to do. The only thing on his mind was a beer.

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Bo swallowed hard, his jaw tensing a little as he looked around...so people were staring let them stare, he didn't care. Looking back to Luke, he shook his head

No...guess i;ll never understand will I....why dont ya just go be with her Luke....but dont ask me to stick around when ya do.

He said before turning and storming back to General Lee, tears in the bottom of his eyes that he wiped away furiously

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Luke just stared at Bo in disbelief, "How fair was that, Bo?" He followed him, "And what makes you think I want to be with her again after everything?" His voice was bitter and hushed once again, "Don't even pretend like you don't know.. she told me that ya'll slept together a few years back.. or did you forget?"

Cassie had come to visit her aunt while Luke was in the Marine's. He was going through training and they weren't dating nor had they even considered being a couple. So, getting the next most eligible guy in town to show her a good time, Bo did just that.

Frustrated with his cousin, Luke turned and just stormed off from the General Lee and Bo. Since he wasn't that far from the jail that's exactly where he was heading.

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Bo tensed slightly as he kept his back turned to Luke, watching as he walked away and shaking his head. Luke had answered his own question as he headed towards the jail and he whispered sadly after him

"Exactly that Luke."

His sleeping with Cassie had meant nothing and he had learnt quickly from that time just how manilpulative and controlling Cassie was and he had never been happy about her and Luke whatsoever. SHaking his head, he slid into the General, started him up and powered away.

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Shaking his head and grumbling, Luke entered the jail and spoke directly to Enos who was sitting at his desk. "Where is she?"

Enos laughed nervously, "Howdy Luke, how's everything?"

"Enos," his voice raised.

"Downstairs, but Luke I can't let you see her if you're going to do something you'll regret I already had Bo lay into her earlier."

Luke nodded, "I just want to talk to her," he sighed. "Give us some time.."

Nodding, Enos watched Luke walk downstairs to see Cassie for the first time in a while. Silently, he prayed for a wreckoning for the two of them.

Hearing footsteps, Cassie perked up to see who it was. As she approaching the bars, her eyes widened when she saw that it was Luke Duke.

He slowed as he stepped off the bottom step and froze staring at her. This was a moment that would be forever embedded in their minds.

"Hi.." Cassie spoke weakly.

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