1:57 PM; CLINSTONE, HAVEN’S PARK
Bo and Jensen sat on the only bench swing in the park, Castor and Pollux between them. Jensen stretched an arm over the back of the swing, his fingers brushing against Bo’s shoulder. While Bo sat slouched down, knees pulled to his chest, Jensen kept one foot on the ground, gently rocking the swing back and forth.
Castor had Bo’s phone in his lap, happily scrolling through Pinterest for more food recipes, only choosing the ones he considered the prettiest. Jensen couldn’t help but be thankful that the people who put recipes on the internet were incredible at setting up ‘pretty’ food pictures, or else their son would never eat anything again.
Jensen had downloaded a picture book on his phone before they left the police station. Pollux had chosen Train of Dreams as his book for the day, and as far as Jensen could tell, the boy was enjoying both the ridiculous voices he had settled on for the narration and the pictures.
“Oo. Daddy, what’s that?” Castor asked.
Bo lifted his head, shifting just enough to look down at his phone. “That’s a… teddy bear.”
“I mean, it is. It’s just made out of something that yours isn’t made of.”
“Umm…” Bo cleared his throat. “Placenta.”
“Baby stuff. Ask me again in a few years,” Bo said. He reached down and tapped the three dots near the title beneath the picture, offering up the fact that the pin was of no interest to him. Castor grunted, leaning into his father’s side. “How’d you get to placenta bears from food?”
“Mm.” Bo laid the side of his head on his knees. “What do you want for supper tonight?”
“Dunno,” Castor repeated.
Bo snorted, resting his chin on his knees instead. “You’re lucky you’re adorable, Cas,” he said.
Castor smiled up at his father. “I know.”
Bo shook his head. It never ceased to amaze him how many of Jensen’s mannerisms the child had already begun to pick up. “Well… it’s okay. You don’t have to pick out anything just yet. We have a few hours.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth quirked up as he tapped the picture and added it to Jensen’s board specifically for Castor’s vegetarian diet. “Do you want that one for supper?” Bo asked. The child shook his head and went back to scrolling.
At the other end of the swing, Jensen offered a terribly British accented, “The end.”
Pollux giggled, clapping his hands together. “Da end!”
Bo smiled. “That’s not how British people sound.”
Jensen scoffed. “You have no proof of that.”
“Well, I think I do have proof of that. But… whatever helps you sleep at night,” Bo said.
Jensen chuckled, shoving his phone into his pocket as he stood up. “I’m gonna go push P-Dog on one of the swings over there. Come with?” he asked.
Bo combed his fingers through Castor’s dirty blonde hair. “Would you like to go swing, Cas?”
Bo smiled faintly, pushing himself to his feet. He grabbed his phone and stuck it in his back pocket. “Come here,” he whispered as he picked Castor up and set him back on the ground. Bo grabbed his hand and walked with Jensen and Pollux to the swings at the other end of the park. “After this, we’ll grab something at the diner. Jamal would be mad if I skipped lunch.”
“Sure, babe.” Jensen set Pollux in one of the bucket swings. “David asked if he or Cecilia could sleep over tonight.”
“Is he in the dog house?” Bo asked.
“No, but she’s annoyed with his existence. He chalks it up to hormones.”
Bo nodded, lifting Castor into the swing. “I don’t mind. Either one of them can take the bed upstairs,” he said.
“Think she’ll be less annoyed with us?”
“Maybe a little. We’ve already handled all of her stages of pregnancy. David hasn’t. Maybe we’ll have an easier time,” Bo said. “If nothing else, it takes the stress off of both of them for one night. That’s the least we can do.”
Jensen nodded, glancing down at their sons. “Fair enough. I’ll let David know when we get back to the station.” Bo only nodded.
3:57 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LIEUTENANT JACOB MASON’S OFFICE
Bo handed a folder over to Jacob before lowering himself into one of the chairs in front of the lieutenant’s desk. “Would you like me to walk you through it?”
“If you want to,” Jacob said. His eyes flicked over Bo’s figure before settling on the blonde’s face. “Looks like you’re having a bad enough day as is.”
The faintest of smiles turned up one corner of Bo’s mouth. “I’m managing,” he assured. He crossed his left ankle over his right thigh and wrapped both hands around his shin. “The son, Jared, was presumably killed first. He went down to the basement for one reason or another, and the killer must have been waiting down there for him. He was pushed against the wall, and the killer slit his throat. That would’ve been last Tuesday, also presumably.”
“A week in between the murders of the kids and the parents?” Jacob asked.
Bo nodded. “The killer headed upstairs. I don’t know if the girl, Gia, started in the living room or not, but it’s where she ended up. He forced her either to the wall or to the floor, undressed her, and raped her.”
“I know. It… just means he went into that house knowing damn well that he was planning on assaulting the girl,” Bo said quietly. He cleared his throat. “This is a best guess assumption, but it’s most likely that he slit her throat right before or as he climaxed. That’s… part of the gratification of a lust murder. Once he was done and she was dead, he mutilated her genitals. Pictures are in the folder, so I do suggest keeping that as far away from your kids as possible.”
“I know. I’m stupid, but not that stupid.”
Bo nodded. “The following Tuesday, yesterday, Jazzlyn and Ethan Weaver came home. Based on the interviews Ryan and Jens had with the neighbors, they came home sometime between ten-thirty and ten-fifty. Sometime around ten-fifty or so, both Weavers run down the hallway. I don’t know if that’s because they saw their daughter or because they saw the killer.
“He chased them. He pushed Jazzlyn against the wall, stabbed her in the stomach, slit her throat, and dropped her to the floor. She ended up on her stomach. The killer walked over her, threw open the door to the den, and slashed at Ethan’s arm. I think Ethan managed to push the killer down, because the next wound on Ethan was to his thigh. The killer knocked Ethan down, stabbed him in the back, yanked his head up by the hair, and slit his throat.
“We found a key in Ethan’s hand. It fit the lock on the gun safe, so… so he was trying to get to his gun to injure or the killer.”
“But he didn’t make it,” Jacob said. Bo shook his head. “This guy…”
“He’s all kinds of evil,” Bo said. “I know. I’m already considering using Jamal’s people to my advantage just to find the guy.”
“But you’re not going to?”
“What’s the plan, then?”
“For you, Jens, and David to stand in front of the press tomorrow and let them know how careful the citizens of Clinstone need to be,” Bo said.
Jacob nodded. “Sure, Bo. Whatever you want.”
10:01 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KAYLA AND AMBER’S BEDROOM
Bo pulled the covers up to Kayla’s shoulders and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I love you,” he whispered.
Kayla smiled. “Love you, too, Daddy.”
He squeezed her hand as he straightened himself back out. He pressed a kiss to Amber’s forehead, tucking her hair behind her head. “I love you, Ber.”
“Love you, Dad.”
“Lay down.” Amber dropped to her side on the top bunk, shoving an arm under her pillow as Bo tucked her in. “I’ll see you both in the morning, okay?”
“Night, Dad,” Kayla said quietly.
“Night, baby.” Bo walked out of the room, shutting off the light and closing the door. He met Jensen in the hall just as the younger man closed the door to the boys’ room. “Still asleep?”
“Still asleep,” Jensen said. He grabbed Bo’s hand, gently tugging him forward. “Are you gonna write some big speech for me and Jake tomorrow? Or is that our job?”
“I’ll write a big chunk of it tonight and hand it over to our liaison, let her hash out the final details before you two go out and talk to the press,” Bo said. “I’d let her handle all of it, but I want to make sure it highly emphasizes that people need to be careful and lock their doors. I don’t want more people to die just because I’m too stubborn to let Jamal handle it now.”
“It isn’t you being stubborn. It’s you wanting to do your job without any of Jamal’s, you know, tactics,” Jensen said.
At the end of the hall, Jensen pushed open the door to their bedroom and stepped inside, pulling Bo in after him. “Look, before you work on this damn speech or whatever, we should shower, have a little fun before you get bogged down on details.”
“That… could be nice,” Bo said. He reached back and closed the door. He pulled his hand from Jensen’s, rubbing at the back of his neck. “But I don’t think I’m really up for sex right now.”
“That’s okay. Just a quick shower and then I’ll just, like… I dunno. I can give you a killer massage while you write up the speech bullshit?”
Bo smiled, offering an almost tentative nod. “Okay.”
“Okay,” Jensen whispered back. He pressed a kiss to the top of Bo’s head before smacking his palm against the blonde’s ass. “Come on.”
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