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Cousins by Blood, Brothers by Choice.


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Puppy dog eyed six year old Bo Duke stuck out his lower lip, pouting, to his ten year old and seven year old cousins, Luke and Daisy.

"Awww c'mon Luke!! It'll only be for a lil' while I promise not ta shoot ya in the eye like I did last time...I'll even pinky promise!"

Bo pleaded to the eldest cousin holding out his little pinky his blue eyes having a twinkle in them, his blonde bangs hanging down. Luke let out a huff of air, he had to admit, his youngest cousin was a persistent little cuss that just wouldn't give up at all. Shaking his dark curly head, Luke raised his eyes heavenward hooking his pinky with Bo's nodding to him.

"Alright alright Bo... but only for a lil' while... I got chores to do and so does Daisy..."

Luke replied gently, he never could say no to Bo with his sparkling blue eyes and his blonde locks bouncing around in behind him all the time. Luke chuckled to himself lightly, he remembered Jesse at one time saying that Bo was his shadow. Putting his hands on his hips, he watched the young child take off running through the kitchen dodging the chairs that sat around the table, stampeding out the door.

Though, when Bo flung open the screen door he ran straight into a black headed ten year old girl and a twelve year old dirty looking boy, the Davenports, Lori and Cooter. With a loud Umph! and a thud on the wooden dusty floor of the porch, Bo rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand, grumbling.

"Lori... why doncha watch it next time huh?"

Lori raised a brow at Bo curiously, shaking her head lightly.

"Me? you was the one that came charging outta the house like a scalded hound goldie locks.."

She smirked lightly, he hated being called goldie locks. Bo grumbled lightly again, growling, he stood up and dusted himself off hastily and pushed past the two dark haired children running out to the driveway, to pick up some small pebbles and rocks for his ammunition.

Daisy and Luke sighed, walking outside on the porch with lazy strides. Luke looked at Cooter and Lori and smirked mischeiveously putting his arms around their shoulders.

"Did I ever tell ya'll how much of a great friend ya both are to me?"

Lori and Cooter both looked at Luke with a serious, blank look. Rolling their eyes both asked him,

"What exactly do you want this time Luke?"

The two Davenports crossed their arms and looked at the blue eyed dark haired Duke boy, their brows ascending upward. Luke looked at them, appauled that the two would ask him such a question.

"I'm hurt fellas... now why would ya'll ask me such a question like that for?"

Luke asked, removing his arms from their shoulders, crossing them acrossed his chest in a hurtful way. Lori and Cooter looked at each other and shook their heads sadly.

"Cause Lucas...last time you told us that, we ended up on the end of a rope dangling from a tree branch by our feet....and you left us!"

Lori retorted, putting her hands on her hips, Cooter nodding.

"Or...last time, Lori got mauled by Maudine and drug out across the back forty screamin' bloody murder cause you wanted us to help you with your chores..."

Cooter replied, crossing his arms, standing along side Lori. Lori nodded and rubbed her behind a little, wincing.

"Yea and my rear end is still sore from all the rocks it hit as I was being drug around.."

Luke sighed, running a hand down the side of his face frustrated.

"That's besides the point.." He paused, looking at Lori with a small glint in his eye. Luke gave her a sweet, charming, well....as charming as a ten year old boy could be, smile and let out a sigh. "Lori...my sweet...lovely..."

Lori cut him off with a snort, shaking her head.

"Luke... last time you said that...I was having a stand-off with Maudine...it aint gonna work this time around."

Luke gave her a blank look, blinking a couple of times at her.

"Well..fine then. See if I ever try and compliment you again..." He paused and scratched his head a little, as he listened to Bo shout and holler at him and Daisy trying to hurry them up to come and play with him. "Look...alls I want is ya'll to play a harmless innocent little game of cowboys and indians with Bo, Daisy, and me."

Luke replied to the two of them as Daisy just shook her head pulling out her head band with the feathers on. She let out a huff of air and trudged off the porch out to where Bo was. Lori and Cooter watched him and swallowed a little, wary of the young blonde with the lethal weapon he carried. Shaking their heads though, the two of them walked out to where the other Duke cousins was, waiting for Luke. Smirking to himself a little, Luke turned on his heel and hopped off the porch steps joining the crowd.

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Once they were all outside, Bo didn't even bother to wait for anyone else to get ready. Loading up his slingshot with a pebble, he aimed, then fired at the nearest target. Luke. The pebble hit the oldest Duke cousin right between the eyes, dazing him.

When he recovered, he gave Bo a dirty look.

"Not yet Bo! We don't have any weapons!" Luke scolded.

Bo crossed his arms, pouting. "Party pooper."

Luke just rolled his eyes, then took out his own slingshot before grabbing ahandful of pebbles for ammo.

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Daisy looked at Bo and Luke, grabbing Lori's arm gently dragging her in behind the pile of wood.

"You and I are gonna be on the same side here..."

she said poking her head up over the pile of fire wood as another round of "bullets" was fired. Ducking once more, Daisy looked at Lori who had her slingshot out, "notching" up her arrows. When all was quiet, Lori popped her head up and aimed her slingshot at Bo and Cooter, the cowboys. She unleashed her fury on the two of them, smacking Bo right on the forehead and Cooter in the chest. She ducked back down to "re-notch", snickering at the two of them.

Cooter growled at Lori re-loading his gun. Aiming it, he hollered at Lori, and as dense as she was, Lori popped her head up, Cooter firing at her, he hit her right sqaure center between the eyes.

Lori fell back with a thud, rubbing her forehead.

"Ow!! dang it!! that hurt!"

Cooter snickered at her and replied cutely,

"You idiot...it was suppose to hurt."

Lori rolled over on the ground and grumbled. She slithered out from the wood pile and crawled over to the pick-up truck, where Luke was stationed at, firing at the blonde haired terror and his side kick.

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Luke and Bo yelped, then took off running for cover. Luke ran and hid behind the old oak tree, while Bo hid behind a bush at the edge of the woods.

Reloading the slingshot, Luke fired at the girls.

Bo stayed focused on the fight, that is until he saw a bunny rabbit. Smiling, he followed after it.

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Letting her hair triggered temper over take her, Lori looked at Cooter and Daisy, as mad as a wet hen.

"Fellas...I say we attack..."

She loaded up her sling shot and got into a crouching position, slowly leading the other "Braves" around the truck to ambush the cowboys. Once at the tailgate of the truck, Lori poked her head around and dived out from the truck rolling across the ground, making the indian call. When she stopped roling she got on one knee and fired away at the two, as Daisy and Cooter did the same.

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Not a one of them had noticed Bo taking off, romping after a rabbit. Lori, Cooter, and Daisy all three got up and shouted out running after Luke. They was to take him and Bo as their "prisoners". Tackling Luke to the ground, Lori straddled him and sat on his chest, looking at Cooter and Daisy.

"You two go get the other one..."

she commanded like an indian cheif would pointing to the bush Bo was suppose to have hid behind. Nodding to her, the two of them sprinted to the bush and jumped in behind it only to collide with each other. Rubbing their heads, Cooter and Daisy looked at Lori and Luke both, shrugging their shoulders.

"He ain't there!"

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Lori and Daisy wasn't having any luck at all up their way either. Lori would call out and shoot peebles, hoping to hit him and cause him to jump up or yell. Nothing at all though. Daisy swallowed a little, her voice quivering.

"Lor...I..I don't hear him...what if he...he got lost.."

Lori sighed a little, putting an arm around Daisy's shoulder, squeezing it gently.

"Think positive Dais...we'll find him...if not, I'm sure Luke will. Or Bo'll smell dinner and come runnin'...he's a bottomless pit."

she joked, trying to lighten the mood.

Daisy gave a soft smile and continued to yell.

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Meeting the two of them at the tree lines, Lori and Daisy looked at them, the hope in their eyes quickly dying.

"No luck either?"

Lori asked, rather choked up. She knew that Bo was more a brother to Luke, and heck he was like a little brother to her as well, to them all. He was the baby of the family and everyone watched out for him.

"None at all..."

Cooter spoke, shaking his head. Putting a reassuring hand on Luke's back he patted him softly.

"Be ok buddy-roe..maybe...maybe he's already at the table waiting on us."

Cooter spoke softly, reassuring him.

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Cursing under her breath, Lori watched the two Duke cousins, Daisy in tears as she flew to her Uncle Jesse. Swallowing a little, she hugged Luke, blinking the tears from her own eyes away.

"We'll see ya tomorrow Luke..."

Lori said softly as she looked at Cooter, sighing shakily.

"C'mon cousin...we need ta head home..."

Cooter nodded, patting Luke's shoulder one more time, before turning to leave to get a head start on walking home.

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Daisy clung to her uncle for dear life, shedding one tear after another.

"Uncle Jesse! Bo wanted to play cowboys and idians...alls me and Lori and Cooter did was attack 'em and Bo ran and hid behind a bush...and that was all! he disappeared into thin air!"

She cried out, upset and hurt.

Luke nodded, looking down, ashamed.

"I...I'm sorry sir..I know I was s'pose to watch him...All's I figured was if I played the game with him, he'd get all tuckered out and wanna come take a nap..then I coulda started on my chores...I..I didn't know he was gonna run off."

Luke held his hands in front of him, his head hung low.

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Luke already felt bad enough as he nodded slowly, his head still hung low. His words coming in sobs.

"I...I know sir...and I was watchin' him... it was just one minute he was there and the next he was gone.."

Luke felt bad, he felt low. This was his baby cousin, his brother, that he let wander off. Now, thanks to his carelessness, his baby cousin might just be gone forever..

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Luke nodded, burying his face in his uncle's dirty overalls. Luke had always tried to be strong, being the oldest, but there was some things that he just couldn't help. Sobbing a little, Luke wiped his eyes with the backs of his tiny hands, looking up at his uncle, trying to hold his head up high, his blue eyes losing what little twinkle they had in them.

Daisy looked around at Luke from where she stood at beside her uncle. Giving the young boy a soft smile, she moved around her uncle and hugged Luke to her, laying her head on his chest.

"It'll be ok Luke..."

She tried to assure him. Luke only let out a small soft sigh and nodded.

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