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Picking Up the Pieces


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Cooter swallowed, pausing before sighing and shaking his head, knowing exactly what Luke was talking about and what he had done. Bo was right...Luke really didn't care about anyone...Luke could go to prison for violating his probation, helping out a dangerous criminal...this was more than Hazzard County Law...this was state law...and that was something Cooter was not willing to get caught up in, not for Cassie...there was no way he was going to help her by letting her hide out there.

"I don't think that's the best idea Luke."

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Hitting his free hand hard on the steering wheel, he regained composure and kept driving. "You don't think so, huh? You know that's alright, Cooter. I can't expect anybody to get caught up in this." He sighed and let off the button.

Cassie looked at him, "Luke you're risking an awful lot. Just take me back."

"No," he shook his head, "You made a mistake.. you shouldn't be punished for that.. you don't deserve this." He was thinking logically, but couldn't understand why no one else would understand why she did what she did. Sighing, he hit the CB button one last time, "Cooter, tell Uncle Jesse I'll leave his truck a quarter mile east before you get to Dry Creek..that's on the edge of the Neilson property." Now, Luke was insinuating that he was abandoning the truck and any of hope assistance from his family or friends.

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Cooter sighed, feeling himself getting angrier by the minute with Luke's attitude. He was sick of people running out on everyone else and if Luke disappeared with Cassie he didn't know how the Duke family was going to cope with it. Yelling down the CB as he let himself go, he told Luke exactly what he though, regardless of whether or not Cassie was with him.

"No Lukas YOU tell him. YOU can tell him everything because I am sick and tired of being caught in the middle of your family squabbles especially because of that witch you got with you. You don't realize just how many people you and her are hurting by dong this, and maybe if you weren't so blind you'd realize just how scared the person you once called brother is! If you want to bring her here then fine, bring her here in an hour, but don't expect me to be here and don't expect me to come back while she's here either. You're on your own this time Luke, you may have Uncle Jesse;s supoort but I can bet ya ain't no one else in the whole of Hazzard that wants ta see her again. Crazy C out."

Switching channels to the General's CB, he got through to Bo.

"Bo, meet me at the garage and i'll get ya fixed up with a loner car but then yer on yer own..."

Bo nodded, having heard the exchange.

"Thanks Cooter, no problem. I know ya don't wanna get caught in the middle and if ya need to stay at the Duke Farm you can have my bed as long as ya need. I'll see ya in a couple o'minutes, I'm gone."

With that Cooter got into the wrecker, Dusty beside him in the passenger seat as he sped away.

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Luke took in everything Cooter had said and without a word hung up the receiver. He didn't know what he could say after that. What was there to say?

Cassie looked shocked and hurt all at the same time. "I've hurt your family enough.. please take me back."

Slowing the truck, he pulled to the side of the road. "Cassie, I've hurt my family enough..but still I can't.." He fell quiet, "Everything's a mess. Just a big mess."

She looked at him, "Don't let me make it any worse.." In truth, Cassie didn't know what her options were. However, she did know that she'd either go to jail for only God knows how long or live her life without the people she held dear.

Luke sighed, "I can't blame you.. you know for what happened. I just can't.. I know Bo got hurt real bad and we lost Jimmy, but that was Sawyer.. not you. That kid didn't have to let him out just because you told him too. I'm looking for excuses.. and I'm just so frustrated."

"Luke, let me go.. you're hurting and I'm hurting, but your life could be so much simpler, if you just let me walk away from this." Cassie had tears swelled in her eyes.

He didn't say anything.

"I'm sorry Luke.. I'm truly sorry," she leaned over and kissed him softly on the cheek. Pulling away, she opened the truck door and slipped out. "I'll be seeing you.." Giving him a small wave, she headed the opposite way down the road. Her family's old home was only a block or two in this direction.

Luke wanted desperately to go after her, but he couldn't. Instead he picked up the CB, "Cooter, Bo, Uncle Jesse, Daisy or whoever's listening.. you want to hear it. You were right.. I let the bird fly the coop." There was a sadness in his voice that anyone that was listening in Hazzard could pick up on. "I'll be at the Boarsnest, if anybody needs me."

Putting the car back in drive, he sped off down the dirt road in the direction of the Boarsnest.

Cassie on the other hand planned on stopping by her house. She had other plans that needed to be taken care of.

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Bo heard it and a small part of him instantly leapt at the chance to go back to Luke...but then another much larger part of him told him to keep going. Just because Luke had let Cassie go didn't lessen his fear none...in fact it only served to highten it....with Cassie loose then he was once again going to live in fear...no, he wouldn't be coming back until he knew for sure she was out of Hazzard and out of their lives for good.

Cooter sighed, instantly feeling bad about being so blunt, even though it was the truth.He looked to Dusty who nodded that she wanted to go to the Boar's Nest. He picked up the CB again.

"Bo...do you..."

"Ain't nothin' changed Cooter, i'll be at your garage in just a couple o'minutes."

Cooter sighed nodded.

"Sure thing, see ya there."

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As he drove, Luke cursed under his breath. Things just couldn't ever seem to turn out like he wanted. Even though he understood every decision Cassie had made, he still cursed her for not letting him help her. Then, he asked God to take that back because he knew her intentions were good because she would rather risk a criminal's life than the man she loves. Luke had been traveling faster than he thought, and, before he knew it, he was pulling up to the front of the Boarsnest.

On the other hand, Enos after ten minutes had managed to find something to fasten his pants. He had heard the whole conversation over the CB. Being the kind of friend he was, he hadn't jumped at the first chance to tell Rosco there had been a jailbreak. After hearing what he'd heard, he didn't have the heart to tell the Sheriff at the moment. Sighing, he sat down at his desk and wanted to give Luke time to get to the Boarsnest, before he confronted him.

It took Cassie a matter of ten minutes or so to get herself to her house and inside it. Of course, there was police tap around the outside, which didn't stop her from going inside. Everything was like she'd left it, but Rosco and Enos had cleaned up the place a little. And, by cleaned up she meant they'd taken anything that could've been evidence. Sighing, she went into the kitchen, which didn't look like anything had been touched. There sat the glass Sawyer had used to drink his moonshine out of before he left. She could almost have bet her life that all the moonshine in the cellar was gone and in the possession of Boss Hogg. Cassie turned to the sink and reached out to touch a tile that lined the counter. Unsurprisingly to her, it came away from the wall with ease, revealing a secret cubby. In this secret place, held a bottle of pills. Her lifeline.

Without a word, Luke had got out of the truck and headed inside. His usual seat at the bar was open, which meant that the bartender knew why he was there. Luke didn't have to say anything before he had a mug of cold beer infront of him. Nodding to the bartender out of gratitude, he took a long sip from the mug and sighed.

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Bo screeched to a halt in front of Cooter's garage and slid out of General Lee, taking his bags out the back of the car and putting them into the open one that was waiting for him in the back of the loner Cooter was standing by.

When everything was packed up, Cooter shut the lid, sighing.

"Bo...are you sure you wanna do this...Luke's..."

"Luke didn't give a damn about how I felt before...why should he start now...he wont care, he wont even notice I'm gone..."

Cooter sighed and rubbed his eyes.

"Bo..."

Bo shook his head and stopped him, getting into the driver's seat.

"Cooter...I appriciate everything you done..but now its up to me....I'll see ya round...."

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Dusty pulled Ridge Runner in front of Bo and came to a screeching halt in front of him. "Beaueguard Andrew Duke! Don't even think about leavin Hazzard with put sayin good bye to me." Dusty said as she climb out of Ridge Runner and walked up to Bo. Then she pulled him into a long hug.

"Bo always remember, that I love you and I'm proud of you ok." Dusty said as she whispered in Bo's ear.

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Cassie sighed heavily and cursed God out loud. Her morals had been stomped on so many times that they didn't exist to her anymore. Still she tried her best to be a better person. She cut herself off from the only person that was willing to forgive her, Luke. He needed to make things right with his family and Cassie knew that. She understood that she couldn't hinder that in any way. Sacrifice is one thing that she knew how to do. And, that's only because she did it often because she aimed to please. The one time she thinks of herself a good friend of hers is shot and another killed. Everyday she begs for redemption.

Retrieving the bottle of pills, Cassie open it and stared at its contents for a long second. In her mind, she knew she needed the pills and she knew that they'd ultimately kill her one day or kill more people that she loved. As she turned around, Cassie reached to pick up the glass Sawyer had used off the table. Because it was empty, she set down her pill bottle and filled the glass with water from the sink. Dumping a few pills into her hand, she tossed them in her mouth and took a long drink from the glass. However, she paused after taking them, which meant there was something wrong. She never paused. Then, Cassie began to pour more pills in her hand and pouring more water down her throat. In a matter of minutes, Cassie would have the bottle completely gone.

Enos had quietly got up from his desk and headed out to his car. He had headed for the Boarsnest. Once he arrived, he shook his head, when he saw Luke sitting there at the bar. All he could do was feel sorry for him because it didn't seem like his friend could catch a break. "Luke..."

Luke didn't look at Enos, but he knew the voice. "Enos.. look I'm sorry about earlier.."

"No, don't.. I'm here as your friend," he sat on the empty stool beside of him. "What happened?"

He didn't know if he could find the words to express what happened. It wasn't so much of a moment as it was a feeling. "She told to let her go.. and then she went." Luke paused. "I couldn't stop her Enos.. God, I wanted to, but what about Bo.. Daisy.. and Uncle Jesse."

The deputy didn't know what to say at first, but after a moment he smiled. "She loves you Luke and she knows she can't be the reason your family falling apart. I talked to her.. back in the big city.. she told me how she was sorry and prayed everyday that things would get better for you. She never once.. told me she wished things got better for her and at times things were bad for her and she knew it."

Luke looked over at Enos, "I love her.. more than anybody will ever know, but I have to put my family over my feelings. I can't let them down anymore."

Sighing, Enos placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, "You'll work it out alright. I suggest you find Bo and tell him what you told me..because ya'll need to patch things up. You're the Duke boys." With a big grin on his face, he got up, "Now, I hate to ask you this, but where is she?"

He hesitated, "At her house.. we were near there, and I just know her."

"Thanks, Luke. Now, you take care of yourself."

"Thanks Enos.." Luke didn't finish his beer; he just sat there and stared into his glass of despair.

Enos, on the otherhand, let the Boarsnest and headed over to the old Morgan residence.

Cassie had taken over 3/4 of the pills in her bottle, but because of the amount of drugs in her body and sunk over the counter. She struggled to stand, but she didn't look sloppy. Her body was just shutting itself down and the pills were killing her. Someone of her small frame couldn't handle the medication. Never could and never would be able to. She had began to sweat profusely and her breaths were shallow. Trying to straighten up her stance and back away from the counter, Cassie's legs gave way and she slipped. Her arm caught the pill bottle on her way to the floor and scattered what was left of them everywhere. As she attempted to get off the floor, Cassie started to cry. Choking on her sobs, she realized she couldn't get up and that this really might be the end. Slowly the room spun and she couldn't do anything but rest her head on the floor. Here's how she made everything right.

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At the time, Bo was speeding his way out of Hazzard county, sitting in silence as he thought about everything that was happening. NASCAR had accepted him back onto the track instantly and he was due in his first come back race the very next day. Driving past Cassie's place though he heard the smash of a bottle and the thuds coming from there and his mind instantly sprang to thinking Luke was in trouble, even though he was supposed to be at the Boar's Nest.

Shaking his head he raced to the house, skidding to a stop and running inside, breaking effortlessly through the front door with his shoulder, feezing at the sight he could spot in the kitchen....Luke wasn't there at all...but Cassie was, looking in a real bad way. At first, he thought about turning and leaving her, thinking this was what she deserved....until he saw the plls scattered everywhere and his face set in anger. She had been trying to kill herself...and Bo was determined not to let her escape what she had done that eaisly.

Picking her up he dragged her over to the sink and held her head over it as he thrust two fingers sharply down the back of her throat, making her gag and start to heave up the drug she had taken, growling.

"You are not getting off that easy you hear me."

Everytime she stopped, he gave her a breather before forcing her to hurl again.

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Dusty drove to the Boar's Nest and found Luke sitting at the bar talking to Enos. She was mule headed woman. Out of all the Dukes, Dusty put the S in Stubborn. She just didn't know when to quit. Dusty stomped over to bart and yanked the the beer from Luke's hand.

"Ok Luke. You really need help. I love you, but tough love starts now. You do realise that this family is being ripped apart at the seems? Don't you?" Dusty said with her hands on her hips and a death glare that would send chills down your spine. Enos knew what that meant. He seen Dusty like this once before and it wasn't pretty.

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Cassie began to choke, as fluid was pouring out of her mouth and into the sick. Bo was saving her, but for the wrong reasons. When she stopped throwing up, she was too weak to move, but chose to speak instead, "Leave me alone, Bo! Let me burn in hell for what I've done. That's what you want isn't it." Straightening her stance a little she wiped her mouth sloppily with the back of her hand.

Luke stared at Dusty, "Look Cousin, I surrender." He held his hands up in defeat. "I've torn our family and I'm ready to try to mend it. I know where my heart truly has to lie and I let Cassie go. I didn't bring her to the farm to talk things out like I wanted to, so ya'll could understand. I bit my tongue and let her get out of the truck because she wanted to." Pausing, the dark haired Duke cousin shook his head, "I don't need your stubborn ass speech, right now. That's all I ever get nowadays about how I've hurt you..and maybe its really you that's hurt me." Maybe Luke went a little too far in saying that, but it was truly what he felt. Being as strong and brave as he was, Luke was sacrificing the thing that mean most to him to save his family. He was truly a real man.

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(OOC: Dusty, Enos had gone to find Cassie lol)

Bo scowled, making her sit on the floor once she had finished heaving.

"Yeah I want you to rot in hell fer what ya done, but first I want ya ta pay in this lifetime for it too like ya deserve. You're a coward takin' the easy way out, runnin' an' tryin' ta kill yerself over what ya done. You ruined people's lives, you helped ta take one man's life an' very nearly mine too! You deserve ta rot in jail with the rest o'them before ya rot in hell."

He looked up as he heard Enos' siren and swiftly gathered up the drugs from the floor, putting them in a bowl, knowing Cassie was helpless to move.

"An' luckily, Enos can take care o'that fer me."

Without another word, he walked through the front door and handed Enos the bowl of pills as he passed, explaining breifly what had happened before pointing to where Cassie was and getting back in the loner car, speeding away again.

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Dusty nodded her head and took off her jean jacket and set it on the bar. She back to Luke, drew back her right fist and punch Luke right in the face. Which sent Luke off his stool. Dusty jumped on to Luke's stomach and grabbed him by the laples of his shirt and gave him a hard shake.

"You listen to me Luke Duke. I stood up for you with Bo, Daisy, and Uncle Jesse. You don't believe me ask Enos and Cooter because they were there. I was sick of the way they were treating you. I stood by you. But you know what, if you want to be that way, sick up for yourself for now on." Dusty said as she got off of Luke and began to wipe the tears that fell down her cheeks.

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Enos shook his head and entered the house hurrying to wear Cassie sat. She was against the bottom cabinets, which at the time was her only support. Her eyes were red and looked like hell. "Cassie?" He bent down beside of her.

Slowly her head turned to look at him, "Enos.." She coughed for a second. "Leave me alone," Cassie spoke in a hushed exhausted voice.

Still holding the bowl of pills in his hand, Enos shook his head. "I can't, Darling. Right now, I'm all you've got and you need to go to a hospital."

"No," she spoke sternly. "I don't want to cause anymore problems. I want this.."

Enos didn't know what to say it was all he could do to shake his head. Seeing her like this visibly upset the deputy. "Look just sit tight.. I'll be right back." He sat the bowl of pills on the counter and hurried back out to his car to radio for help.

Cassie sat on the floor and struggled to keep her eyes opened. She hated Bo for what he'd done. It was that simple she hated him.

Luke laid back on the ground for a second looking at Dusty, "When is it ever enough?" He asked getting up slowly, "Huh?! When is it Dusty? You stuck up for me and I'm grateful, but what did you expect out of it?" Now, Luke was pulling himself to his feet, "You want to hit me again. Please do.. hit me until I can't get back up. I'm useless now.. I might as well be dead." Her tears made his heart break even more, but he couldn't help how he was acting. "Life isn't fair.. everything that's happened hasn't been fair to somebody, Cousin." Reaching out slowly and carefully he pulled her into a hug, "Now, I'm sorry.. you have to understand that I love her.. and it hurts not to be able to help her. I want the family to be alright again, but that means I've got to be left with a void. It's a little hard to accept that." In pausing, Luke ran his hand over her hair, "Don't cry, Dusty.. I'm sorry."

Suddenly, the CB behind the bar cracked and Enos' voice came on. He had already switched the emergency frequency and called an ambulance, but this time he was looking for the Sheriff. He voice was soft, "Sheriff? Sheriff, I need you to meet me out at the old Morgan place. I called an ambulance.." He paused and anyone listening could here his stressed sigh. "Cassie's in real bad shape." Everyone in Hazzard with a CB would've heard that message and it surprised Luke that the Boarsnest had got quiet, upon hearing it also.

Luke's heart had already been cracked, but now it was completely broken in two.

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Bo heard that and shook his head, switching the CB off as he passed the county line and left his family and his fears behind in Hazzard, heading for his new life as a race car driver. At least there he didn't have to worry about what Luke was doin' anymore and he didnt have to worry about watching out for that backstabbing, no account criminal his older cousin had fallen in love with.

Leaning back in the seat he smiled as he passed through the counties, getting satsifaction each time he was stopped and he presented the paperwork that allowed him to travel with NASCAR through his probation.

Boss Hogg was happily dancing with joy with Rosco in his office. His plan to lure Cassie back into Hazzard and get Luke met back up with her had worked perfectly. He knew the Duke family would be torn apart as Luke went after his old flame again and not only could he now send Luke and Cassie down to Atlanta State Prison, Luke for assisting a state prisoner in escaping the law, but he had also gotten rid of Bo too.

He would work Daisy at the Boar's Nest to keep her busy and then Dusty would be too busy with Cooter and trying ot reunite the family to do anything. He could carry on with his schemes as planned because now there was no meddling family to get in the way.

"Alright Rosco, you go make sure that girl gets to hospital and keep her under house arrest until the time she's well enough ta get to Atlanta Women's Penitentary...and while yer at it, if Luke Duke shows up, make sure you send him down too! Oh this is a fine day for Hazzard!"

Grinning as Rosco hurried out, Boss laughed and got back to Enos, planning to hurt Luke further and rip him more in two.

"Alright Enos, Rosco's on his way....you didn't by any chance see Bo Duke leavin' the county did ya? Only I heard he got himself a NASCAR contract...he came ta me and asked me ta sign the papers which I did...did he get off okay?"

He said, his voice dripping with mock concern.

Enos sighed and replied.

"He sure did Sheriff, sped outta the county like a scalded cat just a few minutes ago..."

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"Oh Luke I'm about the only one who understands," Dusty was going to say something else when she heard the cb. Dusty let out a gasp. She wiped her tears away. Dusty took Unlce Jesse's keys from Luke's pocket and tossed them to Daisy.

"Daisy, the trucks yours until I bring Luke back." Dusty said as she grabbed Luke's hand and together they ran out to Ridge Runner. Luke got into passenger seat and Dusty drove. She sped Luke to the Old Morgan farm. Dusty got on the cb and shot Luke a look.

"Breaker one, breaker one, I maybe red but I'm sure ain't dumb, Little Red Riding Hood comin at ya, Enos you got you ears on com'on?" Dusty said as she took every short cut that she knew to speed up the time it would take to get to the Morgan farm.

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Enos sighed and hit the CB, "Yeah, Dusty I'm here. But, can this wait I've got to tend to Cassie." He let his weight rest on his patrol car window, and his mind was still racing.

Luke looked at Dusty, "Come on Cousin..." He sighed and bit his lip. The news about Cassie really hit him hard, and he didn't know exactly what to say.

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Boss sighed happily as he sat back in the seat in his office, grinning like a chesire cat who had gotten extra helpings of cream. Finally he was rid of the Dukes and he could start raking in the money.

Rosco soon pulled up at Morgan's farm before Luke and Dusty did, going inside after immidiatly telling Enos to hush and handcuffing the young woman even though she couldn't move if she wanted to and that was how it was going to stay. He had brought an extra set for Luke too and was waiting in Boss Hogg's trap to arrest him.

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Enos shook his head, "Sheriff, come on the ambulance is coming.. you can't handcuff her she can barely move." The deputy hardly agreed with what Rosco did, but he still obeyed the law. His morals sometimes got in the way and that's how this mess got started anyway. Right now wasn't a time for Enos to obey Rosco's orders.

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Rosco just glared at him, knowing full well that it was Enos' fault and his dang moral's and friendly attitude that had let the prisoner escape in the first place.

"Enos! I know what i'm doin'! I suggest you do as your superior officer tells you unless you want Boss Hogg to take yer badge for letting her go in the first place, 'cause i'll tell him you let this criminal escape which is a state offence so not only would you lose your job but you won't get another job as a police officer anywhere! So just...hush!"

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Dusty and Luke pulled into the drive way of the Old Morgan farm, after Rosco. Dusty climbed out of Ridge Runner and ran into the house. Both Luke and Dusty skided to halt as they saw Rosco hand cuff Cassie. Dusty looked and saw the dangerous glint in Luke's eye.

She put all her strength into keeping Luke from attacking Rosco. "Rosco if I were you, I would take those cuffs off Cassie right now. Because if you don't, I don't know how much longer I can hold Luke back from going after you." Dusty said with a grunt in her voice as she held Luke back.

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