Friday: August 25, 2028
1:31 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Jensen reached for Bo, a frown on his face. He forced an eye open, finding the blonde’s side of the bed empty. In the light shining through the bedroom window, he caught sight of the folded piece of paper on the nightstand. With a grunt, he leaned over and grabbed it. He unfolded it and tapped the button on the side of his watch. In the soft green light, he quickly read through the note.
Couldn’t sleep, went to the gym, be back soon. Sleep tight, love. – Eli
A smile tugged at one corner of Jensen’s mouth. He set the note back on the nightstand and shoved his arm back under his pillow, closing his eyes. If nothing else, he figured his husband taking out his energy at the gym instead of taking it out by staring at crime scene photos for hours on end was healthy.
Or, at least healthier than anything Bo Austen-Taylor usually did to handle his stress.
1:38 AM; CLINSTONE FITNESS GYM
Bo drove a fist into the punching bag with a grunt. He held his free hand out to stop the bag from swinging. He bowed his head, letting out a slow breath.
“You all right, Bo?”
Bo lifted his head, blue eyes meeting Cash Sherman’s gaze. “I’m good.”
Cash raised an eyebrow, arms crossed over his chest. “You’ve been beating the shit out of that bag for over an hour.”
“It’s an attempt to wear myself out so I can go home and sleep,” Bo said. He took a step back, letting his hand fall to his side. “So far, it’s not going as planned.”
Bo walked over to the bench and sat down, rubbing at his wrapped hand. He had hurt his left wrist the week before while on a mission with Jamal. He’d fumbled with a man for a few seconds longer than need be, and it’d resulted in him falling and catching himself with his hand. He had refused to wear a brace, despite Jamal’s constant attempts to push the idea onto him.
A brace would let Jensen know Bo had gotten hurt. Bo wanted it to remain a secret. Now, with a day of boxing under his belt, he could throw on a brace and claim he’d hurt himself boxing.
“Do you ever get tired of being here at one in the morning?” Bo asked.
Cash shrugged. “Eh. I sleep during the day, work here at night. Not a lot of people come through at night, obviously,” he said, gesturing to the rest of the empty gym. “Honestly, the lack of people works well for me.”
“Fair enough,” Bo agreed. He unwrapped his hands and pushed himself back to his feet. “Well, you enjoy the calmness of this place. I think I’ll grab a shower and head on home.”
Cash nodded. “I’ll do my best.” He cleared his throat. “Make sure to brace your wrist. Looks swollen.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “Thanks, Cash.” He patted the man on the shoulder as he walked past him and headed for the showers. After a shower and a few hours of sleep, he hoped he’d be able to see something in the crime scene photos that he hadn’t noticed before.
The logical part of him, however, knew that wouldn’t happen. Nothing new would be there in the morning, not even with a pair of well-rested eyes.
Still, the blonde figured he could hope.
2:01 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo folded back the covers and climbed into bed. Jensen made a soft, tired sound, immediately draping an arm over the blonde’s chest. He sniffled, snuggling up against Bo. Bo smiled faintly, tugging the blankets back up with his free hand.
“What’d you do?” Jensen asked groggily.
“Just boxed for a while,” Bo murmured.
“Mm.” Jensen yawned. “Hurt yourself?” he asked as Bo’s hand brushed against his back.
“Yeah, I didn’t wrap my left hand well enough,” Bo said.
“You need… to take better care of yourself.”
“I know, love.”
“Does it hurt?”
“No, it’s okay,” Bo promised. He pressed a kiss to the top of Jensen’s head, closing his eyes. “Go back to sleep, Jens.”
“Mmhmm. You, too?” Jensen asked.
“Okie dokie,” Jensen mumbled. “Love ya.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “I love you, too, Jens. Goodnight.”
“Night, babe,” the younger man said.
Bo opened his eyes, staring up at the ceiling. He still wasn’t tired. He’d been worn out at the gym, but worn out didn’t exactly equate to tiredness for the blonde. Still, he knew sleep was important, even if it was only a half-assed attempt at it.
He let out a sigh. “Jens?” he asked in a whisper.
“Do you want to be my big spoon?”
Jensen chuckled, pressing a kiss to Bo’s shoulder. “Sure, baby.” He pushed himself back as Bo rolled onto his side. Jensen hooked an arm around Bo’s torso, sliding a hand up to the blonde’s chest. “Better?” he questioned.
Bo smiled, closing his eyes. “Much.”
“Good.” Jensen sniffled, pulling the blonde back against his chest. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Goodnight.” Jensen yawned again. “For real this time.”
Bo laughed softly. “For real this time,” he repeated. “Night, Jens.”
7:05 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo shrugged a flannel on over his shoulders as he walked out of the bedroom. He buttoned the shirt as he headed down the hall. In the foyer, he unlocked and opened the door. “Celia. Good morning.”
Cecilia nodded. “Umm… can I ask you a question?”
“Always. Do you want to come in?”
She shook her head. “Would you and Jensen be against me staying in your house in L.A.? With David?”
Bo’s brow furrowed. “Why?”
She cleared her throat. “I have a client in L.A.,” she said. “I’d like to not have to spend all of my time there in a hotel.”
“I’m okay with it,” Bo said slowly. “Who’s the client?”
“Uh… Dominic Wilkinson.”
“For the love of Jupiter,” Bo whispered. “You have to be kidding.” Cecilia turned her head away from him. “Celia, come on. The guy was caught immediately after slitting a woman’s throat.”
“You can’t really believe that. He went to that office with the intent to kill that woman. She’s lucky to be alive,” Bo said.
“She’s going to trial for raping a mentally ill man,” Cecilia reminded. “She isn’t exactly some poor, innocent soul.”
“Neither’s Mister Wilkinson.”
“You got almost nothing out of him before he was charged with a crime. His lawyer kept you out of his head. You know nothing about him or why he did the things he did. Or… the things he may have done,” Cecilia said. She pressed a hand to the doorframe. “It’s my job, Bo. I’ll stay in a hotel if I have to. I don’t mind all that much. I just wanted to know if you’d be willing to help me out.”
Bo sighed. “You’re lucky I love you, Celia.”
She offered a smile. “I know.”
“Jensen’ll be asleep for almost another half hour. I’ll ask him when he’s up, and I’ll let you know, okay?”
“Thank you, Bo. Honestly,” Cecilia said.
Bo nodded. “My pleasure.” He cleared his throat before pulling her into a hug. “Take it easy today, okay?”
“I will. You, too, lab geek.”
“I’ll do my best.”
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