6:37 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, BREAKFAST NOOK
Jensen walked up behind Bo, laying a hand on his shoulder. “You’re still looking?”
Bo flipped through the crime scene photos, nodding. “I had to have missed something.”
“You didn’t miss anything, baby. There’s just nothing to link this guy to the scene,” Jensen said.
“It’s in his first scene. He should’ve made a mistake,” Bo whispered.
“We’ll catch him. Someone will see someone creeping around, and we’ll find him,” Jensen said. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to the top of the blonde’s head. “Come on. We’re gonna watch a movie. Something animated and funny. Do yourself and your family a favor and stop looking at this shit.”
Bo sighed quietly, tapping the power button his phone. He pushed his chair away from the table and grabbed Jensen’s hand, allowing the younger man to help him to his feet. He grabbed his phone and shoved it into the back pocket of his jeans. He loosened one of the three velcro straps on his wrist brace, clearing his throat. “I just… worry about all of the bad shit already going on in this case. Violent sex crime, four murders, no evidence. It’s…”
“Disturbing,” Jensen said.
“That’s certainly one word for it,” Bo agreed. “Well… let’s go watch a movie, I suppose.”
“Mm.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s temple. “You can go back to looking at disturbing pictures later, okay? For now, it’s family time. After that, feel free to do whatever you want to. Deal?” he asked. Bo only nodded.
9:30 PM; SAN DIEGO, THE PITMAN ESTATE, MASTER BEDROOM
Frank helped Jamal sit down on the edge of the bed, clearing his throat. “I’m sorry about this morning.”
Jamal lifted his dark eyes to the man’s face before shaking his head. “You have nothing to apologize for.” He unclasped his watch and set it on the nightstand. “You made your decision. End of story.”
“I can’t never see my kid again, Jamal.”
“You said quite the opposite this morning.” Frank sighed. “I, of course, haven’t spoken to Donna’s lawyer just yet. I have an appointment with her on Monday. Maybe I could still swing things your way.”tomorr
“Do you think he’d be okay without her in his life? A kid deserves a mother,” Frank said.
“A kid deserves a father, too,” Jamal reminded. He turned, pulling his legs onto the bed. “Without throwing the homicide percentage into my children, I’ll remind you again that I raised many children without a woman present, and they all turned out… as well as one could expect. Take Wayne. Respectful, successful.”
“And a killer.”
“Recovered,” Jamal said. “And if you have that much of a problem with killers, maybe you should run the hell away from me while I’m giving you the chance.”
“I don’t have a problem with what you do. I just don’t want my kid doing it, too,” Frank said.
“The vast majority of the kids raised in this house have never harmed another human being. If you get custody, I assure you my darkness won’t be bestowed upon him. I’m not quite that much of a bastard, Franklin.”
“I know.” Frank sighed, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “You’d really let him stay here?”
“It’s a big house. I have Bo’s kids here as often as I can, same with Wayne’s. The best part about this house, the best memories I have in this house, revolve around kids, around family. Of course I’d let him stay here,” Jamal said. “So?”
“I want custody. I loved Donna, and I think Anthony deserves a mother, but…” Frank lifted his shoulders. “I can’t just abandon him. He’s all the family I have.”
Jamal snorted. “Wounded.”
Frank offered a small smile. “You know what I mean, you dick.”
“I get it.” Jamal nodded. “I’ll swing things your way Monday, Frank. It’s the least I can do.” He patted the younger man on the shoulder. “Go on and get some sleep. We have to be out of here early.”
“Sure, sure.” Frank patted Jamal’s knee and pushed himself to his feet. “Thanks, Jamal. Honestly.”
Jamal slashed a dismissive hand through the air. “No thanks needed, Frank. You’ve earned God only knows how many favors over the years.” He nodded toward the door. “Goodnight.”
Frank nodded. “Night, Jamal.”
11:46 PM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, FRONT DECK
Jacob lifted his head as he caught sight of a figure walking down the sidewalk. His hand fell from his gun as his shoulders relaxed. “Hey, Blondie.”
“Hi.” Bo walked up the drive and sat down beside the detective. “Hard night?”
“My family doesn’t feel safe in our own damn house,” Jacob said quietly. He shook his head. “It’s terrifying, Bo. Thinking about this sick fuck roaming our streets? Stalking our women and children? Already planning out who he wants to rape and kill next? I’ve got three young girls in my house. I just…”
“It’s scary. I know,” Bo said softly. He bowed his head, raking a hand through his blonde hair. “I saw you sitting outside when I was checking the locks. Thought maybe you could use some company.”
“Appreciated.” Jacob cleared his throat. “I don’t know what the hell to do, Bo.”
“I was going to ask if you wanted me to install a security system, actually. Like, uh, like the one we have. Your phone would let you know if someone stepped foot on the lawn or walked up the drive. I can even change the range to include a notification of people walking by on the sidewalk.
“You’d do that for me?”
“Of course. You’re family, remember?” Bo asked.
Jacob smiled faintly. “Thanks, brother.”
Bo nodded. “My pleasure.”
The lieutenant sighed, sapphire eyes moving back to the street. “Never thought it’d come to a point where I’d be forced to sit outside with a damn gun on my lap. Never thought the fear in this town would be that high.” He shook his head, clearing his throat. “You see terrifying shit about L.A. and Chicago all the time, even New York, you know? That’s where all the TV shows are set. You never think fearing for your family’s life will be a constant problem you face. I thought after the Dollhouse dickhead, I’d never risk being targeted again.”
“We’re not going to let anything happen to your family, Jake. Not to yours or mine. That’s my promise, here.”
“Pretty big promise, Bo.”
“Of course. But I’ve kept it in the past,” Bo said.
Jacob nodded. “There is that.”
“Besides, it won’t be long before I take over for Jamal. I need to start making sure I never break a promise.”
The lieutenant chuckled, reaching over to grab his beer from the deck. “Well… thanks. Honestly.”
“My pleasure, Jake.” Bo bumped his shoulder against the older man’s. “I have to keep you around somehow.”
Jacob rolled his eyes, tilting his head back for a swig of beer. “Allie says we shouldn’t have tried to scare the shit outta everyone.”
“Should or should not are a lot like wants. What we did was a need, even though no one wanted to do it,” Bo said.
“Fair enough.” Jacob cleared his throat, rubbing at his jaw. “Security system tomorrow. What the hell do I do tonight?”
“If you’re that worried about it, and it’s okay if you are, you guys can come over and stay the night. The rooms upstairs are yours if you want them for the night,” Bo said.
“Austen, you’re a fucking lifesaver.” Jacob patted Bo on the shoulder and pushed himself to his feet. “Be back in a sec.” The lieutenant shoved his gun into his holster, grabbing his beer as Bo handed it up to him. “Thanks.”
“Mmhmm.” Bo watched Jacob walk inside, sighing as he closed the door. Bo wrapped a hand around the stair railing and pulled himself to his feet. Leaning back against the railing around the deck, he closed his eyes. It had been a long day, and it wasn’t just Jake that was concerned about the quadruple homicide.
Bo, even with a good security system, a bodyguard turned cop for a husband, and two adults licensed to carry a gun for protection, couldn’t help but feel worried. He had no way of knowing that the killer would only be targeting families with at least one redhead. It could be any family with a young girl. It could be any family with a woman at all.
The blonde didn’t even know if the man was targeting a specific type of woman or girl. All he knew was that the man had no issues raping a teenager and murdering a family of four.
He could only hope they could catch the man before anyone else got hurt, but even Bo knew that was usually a rather far-fetched dream.
Enjoying the story? Consider dropping a comment or a like down below!!
Love what I do and want to help support me? You can ‘buy me a coffee’ on Ko-fi!