11:15 AM; CLINSTONE, THE WEAVER HOUSEHOLD, BASEMENT
Bo took one last look at the face of the decomposing teen and zipped up the body bag. He helped the EMT lift the boy onto the stretcher “Where’s your partner, Borakan?
Borakan Adıvar offered a faint smile. “Out sick for the day. They figured I could handle a body removal on my own.”
“They’re right. That’s what I’m here for,” Bo said. Borakan strapped the body onto the stretcher. Together, they lifted the stretcher and carried it up the stairs. They carried it outside and loaded it into the ambulance.
Borakan jumped down again, closing the doors. “It’s disgusting seeing these reporters swarm around here.”
“I know. They’re hoping we’ll accidentally let them catch a glimpse of one of the victims,” Bo said. “It’s messed up on so many levels, but…” He offered a shrug.
“But it’s what they do. I know.” Borakan touched Bo’s shoulder. “Thanks for the help, Austen.”
“Sure thing. You take care of yourself and keep your partner’s sickness away from me. Deal?”
Borakan chuckled. “Deal.” Bo watched him climb into the ambulance before the blonde headed back for the house. Bo headed down the hallway, stepping over the pool of blood in the carpeted hallway. He walked into the den, laying a hand on his husband’s shoulder.
“Heya,” Jensen greeted, tilting his head back to look at Bo from his squatted position. “You were right. The key fits the gun case.”
“So Mister Weaver was trying to get to his guns.”
Jensen nodded. “He and his wife… Maybe they were both running for the den. He’s just the only one that made it this far.”
“Sure seems that way.” Bo sighed, patting Jensen’s shoulder. “The boy’s on his way to the morgue, now. Gwen’s heading home for the day, so I’ll take to examining the bodies for the rest of the day. Do you want to hang around here for a while?”
“Yeah, I think Ryan and I are gonna dig around a little bit more, see if shit turns up.” Jensen grabbed Bo’s hand, pulling himself to his feet. The younger man cleared his throat, pulling off his gloves. “You okay?”
“The daughter was only fifteen, Jens.” Bo’s gaze fell to the blood on the floor. “Not much gets to me, you know.”
“It’s a little different when the victims are… are just a bit closer to our girls’ age,” Jensen said. Bo nodded. “Come here.” Jensen pulled Bo into a hug, resting the side of his head against Bo’s. “Was Gwen right? Was the girl…?”
“Jesus.” Jensen closed his eyes for a moment before stepping back, moving his hands to Bo’s shoulders. “We’re gonna find this fucker.”
Bo nodded. “We are.”
“Good,” Jensen whispered. He pressed a lingering kiss to Bo’s forehead. “Ryan and I will see what else we can turn up here. I’ll see you in the lab, okay?”
“All right.” Bo cleared his throat. “I’ll probably still be in the morgue by the time you two come back to the station. You can wait for me in the lab if you want.”
“We’ll see. But, uh, don’t work yourself too hard, okay? This one… It isn’t gonna be easy. I don’t want you to burn yourself out on the first day of a case.”
Bo offered a smile that felt far from genuine. “I’ll do what I can.”
1:32 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, MORGUE
Bo flinched as a hand touched his shoulder. He lifted his head just as Jensen pulled one of his earphones from his ear. “Sorry. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“That’s all right.” Jensen draped the earphone over Bo’s shoulder, sighing. “Anything of importance yet?”
Bo shook his head. “I’ve taken measurements and pictures and jotted down the wounds, but…” He offered a shrug. “Nothing entirely spectacular has showed up yet.”
“Damn,” Jensen whispered. He took a small step backward as Bo snapped another picture of a L ruler beside one of the wounds. “Do you have a weapon?”
“Clip point blade. I still have a few more in-depth measurements to run through before I can get an actual length back to you.”
“That’s okay.” Jensen shoved his hands into the pockets of his dress pants, green eyes scanning the morgue. “Lot messier in here than usual.”
“Gwen and Misty were in the lab last night. Their messes tend to carry on over to the morgue,” Bo said. He held his camera to his chest as he walked to one of the trays and picked up his pen. “They usually tidy things back up, but I think they both just got tired by the end of their shift.” He marked down the measurement of the wound and set the pen back down. “He slit all of their throats.”
Jensen leaned back against the counter, arms crossed over his chest. “That’s how they all died?”
Bo nodded. “They all have more than one inflicted wound, save for the son. But the throat laceration ended everything for all of them.” He held his hand out to Jensen. “Help, please.” Jensen pulled off Bo’s glove, watching the blonde rake a hand through his hair. Bo held his hand out again, offering a soft, “Thanks,” as Jensen pulled the glove back over his hand.
“You weren’t wrong about this one getting to you.”
Bo shook his head. “Believe it or not, I’d be much happier working a few more scenes alla Dominic Wilkinson. He was rough and aggressive, and his victims didn’t deserve that, but at least it was quick. He never tortured some poor, innocent teenager just for the hell of it. He was a killer, but at least he had some kind of moral high ground.”
“Because ripping out some guy’s heart is morally okay?”
“You’re putting words in my mouth. Let’s try not to do that,” Bo said. “You’re just looking at it from a different perspective than I am.” He turned the dead mother’s hand over, snapping a picture with his free hand.
Jensen slouched down slightly, better matching Bo’s height. “Whatcha think? Is this closer to your perspective?” Bo glanced back at Jensen, a smile tugging at either corner of his mouth. Jensen smiled. Any change to the blonde’s grim expression was an accomplishment. “But I get what you mean. What he was doing was less… fucked up than raping a fifteen-year-old.”
“Do you think he knew her?” Jensen asked.
Bo shook his head. “The fact that she was entirely naked would typically insinuate otherwise. People who kill those that they know or that they’re close to have a hard time dealing with what they’ve done, even if they meant to do it. Sometimes the victims are entirely redressed or wrapped in a blanket or a sweatshirt. If nothing else, the attacker may just cover their face. It’s easier to pretend it wasn’t someone they cared for that way.” With a sigh, he pulled hi camera strap over his head. “Did you two find anything else at the house?”
“The daughter had a diary. Ryan thought it’d be a good way to figure out who her closest friends were.”
“Good. It let’s her know how she actually feels about her classmates. It’s more effective than Facebook or Instagram, that’s for sure.” Bo set his camera on the counter and lifted his blue eyes to Jensen’s freckled-face. “I just keep hoping his target is red hair rather than young girls. I feel terrible for that, but… but red hair as his sole target excludes our girls.”
“I know.” Jensen pulled the blonde into a hug, his gaze landing on the dead woman on the table. Bo had covered most of her body with a white sheet, but it didn’t change the fact that Jensen could see her face. He bowed his head, closing his eyes. “Our girls are fine. They’re gonna stay just fine. Promise.”
“That’s what the security system’s for,” Bo murmured.
Jensen nodded. “That’s right. That’s exactly what it’s for. It keeps us safe, a lot safer than anyone that’ll ever fall victim to some sick bastard running around here.” He squeezed Bo tightly. “What do you say you get Mrs. Weaver cleaned up and then we’ll grab lunch?”
“I can’t eat.”
“That’s okay. I don’t think I can, either. It’ll be good just to go sit out in public away from… all this, even if only for an hour.”
Bo nodded, pushing himself away from Jensen. “We could go to the park and sit there?” he suggested.
“Sure, baby. That’s good.”
“I, umm—Would you be mad if I brought my laptop?”
“Nope. You can do whatever you need to,” Jensen said.
“Thanks,” Bo whispered. “I’ll be good to go in about”—his eyes scanned the morgue—“ten minutes? I’ll worry about cleaning up Gwen and Misty’s things when we get back.”
“Works for me.” Jensen squeezed the blonde’s shoulder. “I’ll be upstairs, okay?”
Bo nodded. “I’ll be up shortly.”
Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s forehead. “I’ll be waiting.” He pushed Bo’s earphone back into his ear and shoved his hands into his pockets before walking out of the morgue. Bo sighed, closing his eyes.
Not much bothered Bo. He could study the bloodiest crime scenes for hours upon hours without it affecting him too greatly. But working a scene where a teenage girl had been assaulted, murdered, and mutilated just bothered him.
He couldn’t even begin to imagine how many bad days this case would inflict upon him.
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