Hacker – Chapter Seventeen

NOT EDITED

Chapter Seventeen

Thursday: March 15, 2029
8:00 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB

Bo sat down at the table, setting down his coffee cup. He lifted his gaze to the doorway, watching Mekhi walk by, a hand on his gun. The man looked no different than his usual, almost humorous self, so Bo did himself a favor and chose to realize that Mekhi would alert him of any impending danger.

Bo cleared his throat, lifting his satchel over his head and setting on the table. He pulled out his laptop, Martha Fraser’s laptop, and his notebooks and pens. He set the satchel on the floor before grabbing his phone from his back pocket. He glanced up at the doorway as Mekhi walked the other way.

“Ah,” Bo murmured. The man was simply pacing in his scan of the station, checking for safety and lack thereof. He looked down again, unlocking his phone. He selected Jamal’s number from his contacts and pressed his phone to his ear.

“Hey, kiddo,” Jamal greeted after the first ring.

“How’re you?” Bo asked.

“Oh, I’m okay, kiddo. Healing. Frank won’t let me leave the bed,” Jamal said with a chuckle. “How’re you?”

“Not shot, so…”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

“I know.”

Jamal cleared his throat. “How’re your talks going with that psychiatrist?”

“They’re okay. I haven’t told him about the, uh, impending danger situation here, but he knows a lot of the other stuff. I don’t know if they’re all helping or making it worse, but it’s still something I’m willing to try. Jensen doesn’t deserve to deal with my bullshit all the time.”

“Wouldn’t have married a depressed man if he wasn’t willing to help you. He’s seen you at your worst, Bo,” Jamal said.

“Yeah… I know.” Bo raked a hand through his hair, bowing his head. “Are we any closer to finding this guy?”

“Not to finding his home base, no. But Frank—Jesus Christ, bless that man for taking over for a few days here—managed to score a meeting with one of the fucker’s men. Drug deal. It’s when we’re getting our hands on two of his guys. Far as we know, they aren’t allowed at his home base more than once a month.”

“So there’s no point in letting them walk away from the deal and following them back the way they came,” Bo said quietly.

“Bingo.”

“Who’s going to this drug deal? It can’t be Frank, right? Frank’s seen with you too often. Anyone would recognize him,” Bo said. “If… the guy’s intelligent, anyway.”

“Oh, I know. We’ve decided to send out Phoenix and Axel. They’re both well-trained and well-experienced, but they haven’t been connected to anything in relation to me. They’re our safest bet,” Jamal said.

“Smart,” Bo said quietly.

“I usually try to aim for that,” Jamal said. “You still have that security system said up at both houses?”

“Yes. I usually only have it activated when we’re not at home or sleeping, but since Jensen filled me in on all of this, I’ve just been leaving it on no matter what. If someone other than Mekhi goes anywhere near the house, I want to know about it,” Bo said.

“Good, good. That’s what I was hoping.” Jamal coughed before clearing his throat. “I can ask a personal question?”

“Might as well.”

“Have you hurt yourself since you went back to Clinstone’s Dork Squad?”

A smile tugged at one corner of Bo’s mouth. “No, umm… No. I’ve thought about it a few times. Y–yesterday morning, if Mekhi hadn’t been inside with me when Jens took the girls to school? If Pollux hadn’t woken up and come out to play catch? I know what I would’ve done, and I’m not proud of it.”

“You stopped yourself, Bo. Even if you only credit it to Mekhi and Pollux. You stopped yourself from walking to the bathroom for it, and that’s because you’re strong,” Jamal said softly. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“We’re all gonna take good care of you, kiddo. You, Jensen, and the kids. Promise.”

“Thank you.”

“Always a pleasure, kid.” Bo reached out and opened his laptop. “So, what’ve you got on that bullshit case of yours?”

“Well, not much. I’ve done some digging and some coding and some hacking, but I’m still just staring at a lot of numbers and a lot of emails. I haven’t read through many of them. The few I have read are just about what a terrible person Miss Fraser was. I plan on sorting through those eventually, of course, if need be. Otherwise, I don’t think reading emails directed at terrible or disgusting people will help my state of mind any.”

“Probably a very wise decision, kiddo. You let me know if need anything, okay? With that case or otherwise.”

“I will.” Bo took a sip of his coffee before finally typing in the password for his laptop. “Take care of yourself, Jamal. Please.”

“Always. Frank’s making sure I behave myself and don’t get shot again,” Jamal said. “Take breaks, kid. Okay?”

“I will.”

“Good,” Jamal said softly. “I love you, kiddo. Take care.”

Bo nodded even though the older man couldn’t see him. “Love you, too, Jamal.” He waited until Jamal had ended the call before setting the phone down on the table. His eyes shifted to the screen as Mekhi walked down the hall again. The man’s steps sounded increasingly similar to Jensen’s, minus the fact that he walked just a tad heavier and louder than Jensen did.

The blonde let out a sigh, scrubbing his hands over his face. He figured he’d spend a fair share of the day siphoning through the woman’s emails, pulling the ones from her harasser, retrieve the ones she had deleted.

Bo knew it wasn’t much of a case, even if he did manage to prove involuntary manslaughter. Still, he knew the woman deserved justice, regardless of what she had done in her time alive.

Her family deserved justice.

12:12 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB

Bo lifted his head as Jensen walked into the lab, two plastic containers in one hand, two pop bottles in the other. “Oh, you didn’t have to do that.”

Jensen smiled. “It’s just lunch, babe.” He crossed the room and set the containers down before sitting down beside Bo. “That vanilla one you like,” he said softly, setting one of the pops down in front of Bo. “I opened it in the car, so the cap’ll come off easy.”

Bo’s shoulders relaxed for the first time that day. “I love you,” he whispered.

Jensen laid a hand on Bo’s cheek, a smile still on his face. “I love you, too.” He leaned over and kissed the tip of Bo’s nose. He tipped his own pop toward Bo’s laptop. “What’ve you got?”

“Eighty-four emails.”

Jensen let out a low whistle. “You’ve been busy.”

“Yeah,” Bo said quietly. He sighed. “I’ve been tracing the pings so far, trying to figure out where the emails actually originate from. I’m considering putting whatever focus and brain power I have left to work up something to worm its way back through the IP addresses and the false pings on the towers, find out which one is the real ping.”

“Would that be a lot of work?”

“I think it’s something I could manage before we leave for L.A. on Friday. I mean…” Bo passed a hand through his hair, licking his lips. “It’s hard to decide. If I was in the state that I usually am, I’d have it none in forty-eight hours, but I’m not. I’m, uh, whatever the hell this is,” he said, quickly gesturing to himself. “Hopefully by Friday evening. That’s all the brilliance I have at the moment.”

“You could give it a try, baby. Up to you,” Jensen said. Bo nodded. Clearing his throat, Jensen rested an arm behind Bo, combing his fingers through Bo’s hair. “If you need to dedicate a shitton of time to it, you can. I’ve got everything else covered.”

“Thank you.”

Jensen smiled softly. “No problem, Eli.”


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