1:39 PM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, FRONT DECK
Bo turned on the security system before climbing down the ladder. “All done. You can see the video feed through your phone, and it will send you a text or alert every time anyone walks past your house.”
“You’re a lifesaver, Bo. Thank you,” Alice Mason said softly.
“My pleasure.” Bo fixed the rolled sleeves of his flannel, offering a smile. “Video feed and alerts are on both of your phones, as well as Katie’s for when she’s babysitting in the time between getting home from school and when you guys get home from work.”
“Thanks,” Jacob added from behind his wife. He held a glass bottle of lemonade out to the blonde.
“My pleasure, and thank you.”
“You betcha.” Jacob pressed a kiss to Alice’s temple. “Char wants you.”
“Mm.” Alice patted him on the cheek before walking back into the house.
Jacob looked up at the camera above his deck. “Think this’ll really help?”
“It helps me feel safe in my own home,” Bo said. “It should do the same for you guys.”
“Awesome,” Jacob whispered. He cleared his throat, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Doing anything tomorrow?”
“I’m considering going back to the Weaver scene, just… to check one last time, make sure nothing was missed,” Bo said.
Jacob sighed. “You ever wish you knew when to call it quits and realize that you got it all the first time?”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “Sometimes. Other times, the details work heavily in my favor.” He clapped a hand down on the lieutenant’s shoulder. “I suppose I should head out. We’re going shopping.”
“Against your will?”
Jacob laughed. “Try to have fun. Focus on something other than this damn case for a bit.”
“You betcha,” Bo said softly.
2:23 PM; SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TARGET
“Remind me why we’re shopping?” Bo asked.
“It’s an excuse to keep you from looking at crime scene photos,” Jensen said, plucking Bo’s phone from his grip. “Balance, baby. It’s all about balancing work and everything else. You’re no good at it.”
Bo sighed. “Tragically, it’s a fair assessment.”
“Mm.” Jensen tapped the power button and tucked the phone into Bo’s back pocket. “Just behave yourself.”
“Certainly.” He grabbed Castor’s hand as Jensen pulled out a cart and folded down the child seat. He lifted Pollux up and set him in the seat. After smacking Jensen’s hand away from him, Pollux happily buckled the little seat belt. Bo snorted. “Look at that. He’s already independant.”
“Oh,” Jensen whispered. “I’m not ready to joke about him leaving the nest just yet.”
The blonde chuckled softly. “Me, neither.”
“Daddy? Can we go look at books?” Kayla asked.
“You nerds have fun. I’m gonna go look at games,” Jensen said.
“And I’m going with Dad,” Amber said. She flashed a smile. “Have fun with books.”
Bo rolled his eyes, patting Kayla’s shoulder with his free hand. “Let’s go, sweetheart.”
Castor walked with his blue puppy dog hugged to his chest, dressed in his favorite ‘far too professional for a toddler’ blazer. “Daddy?”
“Mmhmm?” Bo asked.
“What’s that?” Castor asked, throwing out a hand.
Bo looked in the general direction of Castor’s hand, chuckling. “That’s candy, and you know it.”
“Can I has it?”
“No, you cannot.”
“Because Daddy gives you enough candy in his free time as is,” Bo said. “No more candy than what we already have at the house.” Castor stopped walking. “Oh… come on, baby. Umm… if you’re really good, I’ll let you pick out any kind of candy bar before we leave.”
“Okay!” Castor giggled just a little too mischievously for Bo’s taste and started walking again.
“Certainly didn’t take him long to figure out how to manipulate me,” Bo said.
Kayla laughed. “I think he picked it up from Amber. Or Dad,” she said.
“Probably Dad,” Bo agreed. “He’s great at manipulating.”
“Yeah, hence why you’re not looking at bloody photos,” Kayla said.
Bo snorted. “Bingo.” He squeezed Castor’s hand, glancing down at the little blonde. “Come on, then. Let’s go see what books pique your interest today.”
11:35 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo lifted his head from his laptop as Jensen climbed into bed. “Umm… there’s something I want to tell you,” he said.
Jensen raised an eyebrow, clearing his throat. “What kind of something? Because if it’s going to hurt, I’d like to wait until after I get some sleep.”
Bo closed the lid of his laptop. “I didn’t hurt my wrist boxing.”
“What’d you do, then?” Jensen asked.
“I got knocked down when Jamal and I went on that last mission. I caught myself on my hand and screwed up my wrist. I was scared you’d blame Jamal, even though it was my fault, so I didn’t tell you. I just went boxing when I got the chance so I could chalk it up to that instead,” Bo said.
Jensen’s brow furrowed. “I’m sorry, Eli.”
“What? For what?”
“If I’ve made you think that you can’t tell me you got hurt just because with Jamal? I’m sorry. You’re willing to suffer and be in pain for several days just so that way I won’t place the blame on the wrong person? I’m sorry that I’ve convinced you that I’ll be pissed at him no matter what happens.” Jensen laid a hand on Bo’s cheek, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Don’t let yourself suffer just to protect my feelings. I love you, Eli. If you wanna take over for Jamal, that’s okay with me. I won’t blame shit on him unless it’s one hundred percent his fault. Promise.”
“Thank you,” Bo whispered.
“Of course, babe. That’s what I’m here for.” Jensen smiled, squeezing Bo’s thigh. “My job here isn’t to make you feel… uncomfortable or worried or scared. I’m supposed to support you in your decisions and goals. You know that I’m… doing my best, don’t you?”
“I know. You’re pretty damn great at it,” Bo said.
“I could do better. If I was doing great, you wouldn’t have kept the actual injury from me,” Jensen said.
“Mm?” Jensen shook his head. “Jake and Alice and watch the kids tomorrow. I’ll go with you to the crime scene, just to check,” he said.
“Sure thing, Eli.” Jensen pushed his fingers through Bo’s hair, pulling it away from his forehead. “You need to get some sleep. We’ll head on out whenever you want to in the morning, okay?”
Bo nodded. “I know we didn’t miss anything. I just…”
“Nothing wrong with looking, babe. You don’t have to explain yourself to me,” Jensen said.
Bo smiled faintly, reaching over to set his laptop on the nightstand. He laid a hand on Jensen’s cheek, kissing him. Jensen groaned, muttering a curse as Bo pressed a palm to his groin. “Yes?” Bo asked.
“Are you kidding? Always yes,” Jensen said.
Bo rolled his eyes. “I should’ve known.”
“You should have,” Jensen agreed, pulling away from Bo to tug his shirt over his head.
Bo’s eyes dragged up the younger man’s torso before shifting to his face. The blonde smiled. “I love you.”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted in a smirk. “I love you, too, Eli.”
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