1:12 PM; CLINSTONE, THE WEAVER HOUSEHOLD, BASEMENT
“Can I lean back here?” Jacob asked.
Bo lifted his head to look at the lieutenant. He offered a nod. “It’s just a wall. You’re fine.”
“Sweet,” Jacob whispered, leaning his shoulder against the wall. “Anything spectacular over there?”
“Not yet,” Bo said with a shake of his head. He dusted the doorknob, the faintest of smiles tugging at one corner of his mouth. He smoothed a piece of tape over the fingerprint, carefully pulling it back up. He smoothed the tape down on the card on the floor. He pulled his phone from his pocket and unlocked his screen. He opened his usual fingerprinting app and snapped a picture. He watched his screen for several seconds before sighing. “Good news and bad news.”
“It doesn’t belong to one of the family members?” Jacob asked.
“Right. There’s your good news.” Bo snagged the card from the floor, pushing himself to his feet. “Your bad news is that it’s not in the system.”
“What’s the plan?”
Bo glanced up before offering a tired shrug. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “Now… we go back to the station. We keep protecting our families and doing what we can to protect the citizens of this damn town until we catch the bastard, fingerprint him, and match him to this damn print right here.”
Jacob smiled faintly, even though it didn’t feel entirely genuine. “Guess that’s something, huh?”
Bo looked down at the card, flicking the edge of it as he nodded. “Definitely something,” he agreed. “Which… in the long run, is still, on a technicality, better than nothing.”
Jacob snorted. “I knew that part.” He took a sip of his coffee before clearing his throat. “You wanna head back to the station then? Or are we planning on dicking around here for a little longer?”
Bo’s blue eyes quickly swept over the basement. The house itself was small, but there were so many nooks and crannies, nooks and crannies that Gwen might not have checked—not that Bo blamed her. He hadn’t thought to ask about them, hadn’t thought to tell her to check every square inch, even the inches that didn’t seem important in any way, shape, or form.
Gwen was a medical examiner. She specialized in bodies. She had subbed in for Misty in a pinch, and she had done her best. Missing any evidence wasn’t her fault; it was Bo’s for not making a note of it for her.
“I’d like to go over the entire basement, just to make sure.” Bo lifted his eyes to Jacob’s face. “I can stay here. You can head back, if you’d like.”
Jacob lifted his shoulders. “I’ve got time to kill. Might as well hang out with my bestie.”
“You betcha,” Jacob said softly. He nodded over his shoulder. “Go on and do you. I’ll stick around and chat.”
“Thank you,” Bo said.
The lieutenant waved a hand. “You betcha, Blondie.”
5:47 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, EVIDENCE VAULT
Bo lifted his gaze to the wall as he heard Jensen’s footsteps behind him. The younger man wrapped his arms around the blonde’s waist, dropping his head to rest on Bo’s shoulder. “We’re officially at a point where Jake made it home before us and is officially watching our kids.”
Bo chuckled softly, reaching back to patted Jensen’s cheek. “I know. I’m almost done here,” he promised.
“Mm.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s neck as the blonde dropped his hand. “Whatcha doing?”
“Boxing everything back up. It’s all been bagged, tagged, and recorded.” Bo cleared his throat. “We ended up with seven fingerprints that didn’t belong to one of the family members. They all do belong to the same person. Once we bring in a suspect, if we can get him printed, we’ll know for certain if it’s him or not.”
“That’s great, baby,” Jensen murmured. “Jake’s grilling up some salmon with zucchini and squash. Onions and tomatoes, too, I think. Fresh from the garden. He’s invited us over, too, if you wanna hang out there tonight.”
“Mm… if you ask him to make one without the fish on it for Cas,” Bo said. “And the onions. He’s not a huge fan of onions. Same with Pollux.”
“Mmhmm. Can do.” Jensen kissed Bo’s temple, pushing himself away from the blonde. “I’ll give him a call, then. Be back in a sec.”
“Sounds good, love.”
6:03 PM; CLINSTONE, THE WILLIS HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Miley looked up at the ceiling as the light above the stove went out. “Oscar?” she questioned.
“Yeah, I know. Damn lights went out again,” Oscar muttered as he walked into the kitchen, phone in hand. He turned the screen toward Miley, using it as a dim flashlight. “The electrician isn’t coming till tomorrow. Don’t know about you, but this shit just makes me feel unsafe.”
Miley nodded. “What do you say we skip out on trying to make supper here and head out to a hotel, instead? Grab something from McDonald’s on the way?” she asked.
Oscar smiled faintly. “Works for me, babe.”
“Sweet. Call and make a reservation?”
“Mmhmm. Which hotel?”
“Do they have wifi?”
Miley snorted, rolling her eyes. “Obviously. No worries, you can still do your research there.”
“Sweet,” he whispered. “Well, you go get stuff packed for the night. I’ll get us a room.”
“Thanks, hon,” Miley said softly, leaning up to kiss his cheek. She patted his chest before walking out of the room.
Downstairs, the intruder stepped out from behind the water heater, peering at the closed door at the top of the stairs. Maybe they’d already had enough of his shit. Maybe they wouldn’t come down to flip the breaker anymore.
That was a shame. He had dragged the breaker flipping out for weeks at the Weaver’s home. He had hoped for the same with this couple.
Sadly, not everything could go his way.
8:21 PM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, DINING ROOM
Bo held Castor against his chest, the child’s head on his shoulder, one arm draped loosely around his neck. The toddler had been asleep for the last five or six minutes, but Bo had hung back to help Katie with the college applications she was filling out.
“I’m just scared I’ll sound stupid,” she said quietly.
Bo shook his head. “You shouldn’t worry about that kind of thing. You’re very smart, Kat.”
“Not when I’m writing.”
“That’s why I’ll proofread it when you’re done. You have Alice for a mom and Jake for a dad. Believe it or not, they’re both pretty damn smart,” Bo said.
Katie laughed softly. “Mom would say otherwise about Dad.”
Bo chuckled. “That’s because your dad’s a lovesick puppy dog around your mom. He’s beyond smart when we’re at work. The point is that you’re smart, too, and you have two great adults to help you. But, if you need further help, I am always just next door, and you’re always welcome to come over for anything you need.”
“You’re the best, Uncle Bo,” Katie whispered.
“I do what I can.” He bent down, hugging her with his free arm. “I need to get home and get Cas tucked in. If you need something, call or come on over to the house. I’m going to be up all night anyway.”
Katie nodded. “You’re a lifesaver. Thank you.”
“You betcha, sweetheart.”
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