Hacker – Chapter Twenty-Five


Chapter Twenty-Five

Tuesday: March 20, 2029

The Hacker sent off their final email of the morning, this one to the politician. They had sent one to the forensic blonde first, the woman next. There was no real, particular order for their hatred, but they wanted to make sure they never went too long without sending another email.

Toying with their new little mice wouldn’t be like it had been with Martha Fraser. They wouldn’t let their three new mice burn as slowly as Martha. They had clearly turned up the heat far too slowly with Martha. It had taken too long for the family of the dead boy to get justice.

Far too long.

They didn’t want the same to happen with their three new toys. Their emails would be sent out far more often, the details more hard-hitting, the evidence and dirt far more damning.

They wouldn’t ever let the burn be slow again. They wanted to feel powerful again, like they had after Martha had flung herself to her death. And if three different people all did it oh so quickly?

Boy, what a powerful thrill that would be.


Jacob shoved his feet into his shoes and headed outside, not bothering with a coat. The one time Bo needed him in the middle of the night and his damn phone was on silent. Silent! He wanted to kick himself for it.

He jogged the short distance to Bo’s house, practically jumping up the stairs before knocking on the front door. He listened, his heart pounding. No dog barking.

Bo didn’t have Hati with him.

Jacob knocked again, just a little louder this time. He waited impatiently, fearfully, leg shaking. “Fuck this,” he whispered, reaching out to twist the doorknob.


He stepped into the house, shutting the door behind him. “Bo?” he called. Silence. Jacob shivered, and certainly not because it was cold in the house. He hurried back to Bo and Jensen’s bedroom and opened the door to the bathroom.

Blood. It wasn’t much, just a few splatters of it on the counter, but it was what caught his attention first, and it was what nearly stopped his heart first.

Jacob dropped to his knees at Bo’s side, eyes blurry behind his glasses. He reached out and pressed two fingers to Bo’s neck.

The blonde’s eyes shot open.

Jacob fell back on his ass before letting out a breathy sob. “Christ, Bo,” he whispered.

“What’re you doing here?” Bo asked.

“You called me.”

“Did I?”

“Yeah. Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?”

“I broke it, so it’d be like me,” Bo said.

Jacob nearly shivered at the monotone of Bo’s voice. “Broke what?”

“I killed my bird, Jake. Just cut it up.”

Jacob’s brow furrowed. “Bo, I don’t know… I don’t get it.”

Bo lifted his right hand from his opposite wrist. “I killed my bird,” he repeated.

Jacob leaned forward for a better look at the blonde’s wrist. The tattoo he had once gotten to cover his scars held six birds, each one inscribed with a letter for which family member they represented. Bo’s, the one with the letter B, had been cut into with a bloody letter X.

Bo had killed his bird.

“Brother,” Jacob whispered, lifting his eyes to Bo’s face.

“I killed it,” Bo repeated. He leaned his head back against the cupboard, closing his eyes. “It’s a sad bird, anyway. Doesn’t deserve to be with the rest of them.”

Jamal pushed himself to his feet and pulled open the cupboard where the towels were kept. His eyes scanned it for a moment before he found a washcloth. He wet it with warm water and wrung out some of the excess before sitting down on the floor. He grabbed Bo’s right hand, silently wiping away the blood on his palm.

As soon as Jacob released it, Bo let it hit the floor with a dull thud. Jacob reached out and grabbed Bo’s other hand, pressing the washcloth to his wrist. The cuts weren’t deep. Jacob could tell that by the blood alone, and it was something he was incredibly thankful for.

“Have you called Jensen?”

“He’s asleep, like he should be. He deserves that,” Bo said. “Promised him I’d be okay. I’m a liar, Jake. I don’t deserve him, I don’t deserve a family. I don’t deserve to take over for Jamal. I’m just a liar. Broken, broken liar.”

“You deserve every good thing that’s ever come your way, end of story,” Jacob said. He lowered Bo’s hand to rest on his thigh before Jacob rose to his feet. He pulled open the cabinet above the sink and grabbed the little bottle of first aid spray from the second shelf. He grabbed a box of square bandages, the roll of gauze, and the little spool of medical tape before sitting down beside Bo again.

“We’re going to clean this up and bandage it, you’re going to take those great sleep meds you’ve got, and then we’re gonna go to sleep.”

“You mean the meds Jens is supposed to drug me with if I get violent. Those ones.”



Jacob pulled back the washcloth and held it under Bo’s wrist as he sprayed the first aid spray onto the cuts. “Where’re those meds?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yeah, you do.”

“I’m not going to sleep, Jake.”

“You need to.”

“No. I didn’t call you to help me sleep.”

“You don’t even remember calling me in the first place,” Jacob reminded. He pulled the hand towel down from the hook on the wall, gently patting dry the skin around the cuts.

“That has nothing to do with it.”

“It has everything to do with it.” Jacob bandaged up Bo’s wrist in silence and put everything away, dropping the washcloth into the sink. He grabbed Bo’s hands and tugged him to his feet. Bo’s hand clutched in his own, he dragged the blonde out to the kitchen. He did his best to keep his eyes on Bo as he rummaged through the drawers and cabinets.

Finally, he found the meds in question. He filled a glass with water and dropped two of the pills into it. He watched them dissolve before holding the glass out to Bo. “Drink it.”

Bo eyed it carefully. “What’s in it?”

Jacob’s brow furrowed. How had Bo managed to slip into such a dark, terrible state without anyone stopping it? “Just water.”


“Of course.” Jacob watched Bo drink it, a feeling of raw guilt tugging at his gut. Bo handed the empty glass to Jacob, which he set in the sink. “Okay, that’s good. You need to get some sleep.”

“I can’t sleep when Jensen’s not here,” Bo said. “Clinstone’s a… a bad place to sleep alone.”

“I know, brother.”

Bo yawned, clearing his throat. “I’ll just find some work to do. You should go home, Jake. It’s late.”

Jacob caught him as he slumped forward, the meds already doing their job. “No, that’s okay. I think you’re stuck with me for the night,” Jacob said, wrapping one of Bo’s arms around his shoulders. He walked Bo back to the bedroom and helped him into bed.

Jacob turned off the light and lay down on the other side of the bed. He wrapped an arm around Bo, something he hadn’t done since his Puppet Master days. “I’m sorry, brother. So damn sorry.”

“Me, too,” Bo mumbled, and then he was out.

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