6:13 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo sat at the head of the bed, legs folded Indian style, Martha Fraser’s case file open in front of him. Gwen and Jensen had been right. It was a suicide. There was no doubt in his mind about that. She’d been diagnosed with depression. She suffered from suicidal tendencies. She had spent her time saying goodbye to her family and friends.
It made sense. Her actions led up to the event. It made sense.
So why did it seem so damn wrong to Bo?
He lifted his head as the bedroom door. “Hi,” he greeted.
Jensen smiled softly. “Hi, baby.” He crossed the room and sat down on the bed. He held a plate of food out to Bo. “Here.”
“Thanks, love.” Bo set the plate at his side before lifting his gaze to Jensen’s face. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Like I’m… like I’m dying.”
“I’m worried about you,” Jensen said softly. He laid a hand on the blonde’s knee. “What’s wrong, Eli?”
“You’re not. I’m stupid, but I’m not that stupid. What’s wrong?” Jensen asked.
Bo cleared his throat as he lifted his gaze to the open door. “Are all the kids eating?”
Bo nodded slowly. “Yesterday morning, before the crime scene, after I got out of the shower, I had this… moment.”
Jensen’s expression shifted, suddenly even more concerned than before. “What happened, Eli?”
“I broke. There was a moment where… where the happy things didn’t matter anymore,” Bo said, his voice shaking, his eyes filled with unshed tears. “Like, it didn’t matter what I tried to think of. Family, the animals, the houses, the jobs, the success. It didn’t matter. None of it seemed good. None of it made me happy. None of it cut through the negative, depressing thoughts. And I… and I broke. I took out the pain… on myself.”
Jensen grabbed Bo’s left hand, pushing his sleeve up. Nothing. He looked back up at Bo, who only shook his head.
“Not there. I knew you’d see it,” Bo said. He sniffled, closing his eyes briefly. “It’s on my thigh.”
“Eli,” Jensen breathed.
“I’m sorry,” Bo whispered. Jensen shook his head, pulling Bo into a hug. “I didn’t know what to do. I was so fucking ashamed of myself.”
“You shouldn’t be ashamed. You shouldn’t have to hide it from me, though. You should never hide it from me.”
“Have… you thought about trying to get help?” Jensen asked cautiously.
“I thought about calling up Gabriel,” Bo admitted.
The blonde nodded, clearing his throat. “He’s the only one who’s ever gotten close to working through the complex bullshit that is my head.”
“Do you… want me to schedule an appointment with him?” Jensen asked.
“I won’t be able to see him until Monday.”
“That’s okay. I’ll keep your mind occupied till then.”
“Okay,” Bo whispered.
Jensen pressed a soft kiss to the blonde’s temple. “So, I’ll call his office on Monday and schedule an appointment. Assuming he can fit you into his schedule, we’ll take the day off work. Okay?” he asked. Again, Bo nodded. “I’m gonna make it okay, Eli. I don’t know how, but it’s gonna be okay. Promise.”
“Okay,” Bo said, pretending that his voice wasn’t still shaking.
“I accused Jamal of being responsible for whatever may have been wrong. I think I apologized. I think. But, uh… but one of us might have to tell him what happened,” Jensen said.
“He deserves to know, anyway,” Bo murmured. He cleared his throat. “You can tell him?”
“If you’d like me to.”
“Please do. I don’t think I can.”
“Okay, baby.” Jensen sniffled, pulling back to press a kiss to Bo’s forehead. “I… need to check on the kids. You can stay back here if you want, okay?” Bo nodded. “But, uh, but I’ll be back soon. I’ll be back after supper and then again after the boys are asleep. Otherwise, I’m out there. Come out whenever you want to, even if you just wanna, like, cuddle while the girls game or we watch a movie or something.”
Bo sniffled, lifting a hand to scratched the side of his head. “We could watch Dateline?” he asked.
Jensen couldn’t help but laugh. The sound held no humor, only relief. “Yeah, Eli, Dateline works.” He touched a hand to the open folder on the bed. “Not good for you right now.”
“Yeah,” Bo said quietly. He closed the folder, his hand lingering for a moment before he pulled both hands back to his lap. “I’ll come out there after I eat something.”
“Okay, babe.” Lightly, Jensen squeezed Bo’s thigh. “I love you. So fucking much.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted, but Jensen noticed it only made the blonde’s mental and emotional exhaustion clearer than before. Still, Bo offered a genuine, “I love you, too, Jens. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, Eli.”
11:37 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Jensen leaned back against the headboard, phone in hand. Bo lay snuggled up against him, the blonde’s head on his chest. Bo was awake, his eyes focused on the television. The volume was low, barely loud enough to hear, but he didn’t mind. Just because he was looking at it didn’t mean he was watching it.
With a sigh, Jensen finally tapped the green phone button at the bottom of his screen and pressed his phone to his ear.
After the first ring, Jamal greeted him with a simple, “Listening.”
“I talked to Bo.”
“He’s depressed, Jamal,” Jensen said.
“Well… yes. Yes, I was aware of that one. He has bad days just like anyone else,” Jamal said.
“Yes, but, umm… He cut himself yesterday, Jamal. He even had the forethought to do it on his thigh so I wouldn’t notice it as quickly,” Jensen said.
“Jesus Christ,” Jamal murmured.
“I’m going to schedule an appointment on Monday for him. That psychiatrist he knows?” Jensen asked. “He’s the only one who’s ever gotten close to figuring out anything with Bo. I’m hoping he can help in some way.”
“Hopefully.” Jamal cleared his throat. “Keep me updated?”
“And keep him safe, Jensen. I may not have to pay you for it anymore, but it’s still your job,” Jamal said.
“I know. He’s safe,” Jensen assured.
“Good,” Jamal said softly. “You know I love you, right?”
“But you know I’ll still kill you if something happens to him?”
“Yes, sir,” Jensen said quietly. He knew it was an empty threat. On the chance that anything happened to Bo, Jamal wouldn’t purposely set out to orphan the couple’s children.
“Just, umm… just take care of him. I’ll send Mehki out there if you can’t do it,” Jamal said.
“Yeah. Well, I’ll let you know if I need help taking care of my husband,” Jensen said.
“Relax,” Jamal said. “I’m just here to make sure my boy’s okay when we’re over a thousand miles apart.”
“One thousand, three hundred and fifty-four,” Bo murmured.
Jensen pressed a kiss to the top of the blonde’s head. “We’ll be okay, but I’ll keep you updated,” he said.
“Thank you,” Jamal said softly. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” Jensen waited a moment before pulling his phone back and ending the call. He set the device on his nightstand, wrapping his arm around Bo. “I’m sorry you’re suffering, baby.”
“It’s not your fault,” Bo said quietly. “You and the kids have only ever made me happy. It’s my fault for holding onto the past and not being able to, well… to get over it.”
“No, it’s not. You can’t get over shit like that, Eli,” Jensen said. “You studied psychology and mental illness. You know that better than anyone.”
“I know,” Bo mumbled. He cleared his throat, scrunching the material of Jensen’s shirt in his hand. “Thanks for telling him for me.”
“No problem, Eli.”
The blonde nodded once. “I love you.”
Jensen let out a short breath. “I love you, too.”
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