12:17 PM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER
Bo leaned into Jensen in their side of the booth, phone in hand. While Ryan talked about he and his girlfriend’s breakup, Bo brought up his text thread with Jamal. Jensen wrapped an arm around Bo’s shoulders, pulling him just a little closer. Bo tilted his head back to look at the younger man, and Jensen offered a soft smile.
Bo laid his braced hand on Jensen’s thigh, typing up a message to Jamal with his right hand.
Bo: I met the woman you sent as a temporary chief.
Jamal: Do you like her?
Bo: I’ve certainly worked with worse. She’s respectful.
Bo: Why do I recognize her name?
Jamal: Chicago. Plane crash. Ringing any bells yet?
Bo: I thought she retired?
Jamal: She worked a desk job for a real long time. Years of rehab, too, but she went back to active duty as soon as she was able to handle it.
Jamal: So, you know, take good care of her. She deserves a fuckton of respect.
Bo: Will do, Jamal.
Bo stared at his screen for a moment tapping a finger to the lock button. He set it down beside him in the booth seat, turning up the music playing through his earbuds. He shifted against Jensen, closing his eyes.
Jensen looked down, clearing his throat as he pressed a kiss to the top of the blonde’s head.
“Think he’ll go to sleep?” Ryan asked.
“Doubtful,” Jensen murmured. “But one can hope.”
Ryan nodded. “You seen our temp chief?”
“Mmhmm. She stopped by my desk this morning.”
“You know who she is?” Jensen shrugged. “She’s that cop that got in a plane crash. Lost a leg and suffered burns on the other, but she and a doctor on board helped keep a few survivors, you know, alive.”
“No wonder Pitman knows suggested her. He likes to keep up to date on everyone he considers respectable,” Jensen said.
The younger man snorted. “That, too.”
Ryan chuckled before clearing his throat, swiping a fry from his plate. “You busy tonight?”
“Wanna go out for drinks?”
“I don’t think I can. Bo’s a little… jumpy,” Jensen said.
“Just worried,” Bo mumbled.
Jensen nodded. “Sure, just worried,” he echoed. “You could come over for drinks, though, if you wanted. Right, Eli?”
“If he wants,” Bo repeated.
“Works for me,” Ryan said. “Thanks. I just wanna put off going home to an empty bed for as long as I can.
Jensen offered a sympathetic smile. “I get it. You’re welcome to come over and hang out for as long as you need to. But when this is all over, we’ll take you out and find you someone to make a move on. Is that how you guys do it? One-night stands until you’re over it?” he asked.
Ryan chuckled, lifting his shoulders. “Umm, some guys might. It’s not really my, you know… thing.”
“What are you? Waiting till marriage?”
“My mom would kill me if I didn’t.”
Jensen laughed, shaking his head. “Goddamn, Jass. You are such a momma’s boy.”
“She’s a scary gal. You’d know if I ever let her meet you,” Ryan said. “But I wouldn’t want her to talk about how you’re going to hell and shit like that. I can’t even talk about Bo like he’s your husband when I’m telling her about the people I work with.”
Jensen shrugged. “That’s fine. She can see God as some hateful shithead, or she can see Him as someone who accepts everyone. I prefer the latter.”
Ryan smiled faintly. “You and me both, Taylor.”
4:05 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
“Eli?” Bo lifted his head to acknowledge Jensen’s presence. “Ryan and I are ready to head out.”
Bo looked down at his watch. “I’ll catch a ride home with Jake. We’re having supper over there, anyway,” he said.
Jensen nodded. “Right,” he murmured. “What’re you doing down here anyway?” Bo held up a picture of Gia’s mutilated corpse. Jensen grimaced. “Of course. Well, umm, I’ll let Jake know you’re down here, then. Don’t overwork yourself, okay? For me?”
Bo offered a ghost of a smile. “I’ll do my best, Jens.”
“All righty.” Lightly, Jensen smacked a hand against the doorframe. “I’ll see you at home. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Bo watched Jensen leave before he let his blue eyes fall back to the pictures spread out on the table. Four victims, picked for reasons Bo couldn’t identify with one hundred percent certainty. Whether it was young girls, red hair, families of four, or something else, he wasn’t certain.
He only knew that the killer hated women. Or, a woman. A mother, a girlfriend, a sister, a cousin, a daughter. Something, someone. Whoever it was, he hated them, and he’d taken that hatred out on Gia Weaver and her family.
But who did this man hate enough that he had to take it out on a young teenager? Who did he hate enough that he saw it fit to rape and murder a teenager?
Bo pressed his hands to the table, tilting his head back as he closed his eyes and drew in a long breath. Maybe the man had already killed the person responsible for his hatred, for his ‘suffering’. He would have needed someone else to feel whatever pain he’d suffered, whatever hatred he’d felt.
Now he was taking it out on people like Gia Weaver, her brother, and both of her parents.
Bo lowered his head, forcing his eyes open. His blue-eyed gaze scanned over the pictures again.
So who the hell had the bastard murdered previously?
6:31; CLINSTONE, THE WILLIS HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“What’d the electrician say?” Miley asked as she walked into the kitchen.
“He didn’t see anything wrong,” Oscar said. “Just said that we must have too many things plugged in and funneling too much energy through the lines. Not… his exact words, but you get the point.”
“Have you unplugged anything?”
“Nah, figured you’d know what needed to stay in a lot better than I would,” Oscar said.
“Mm.” She leaned up and pressed a kiss to his temple. “Probably a good point,” she agreed.
He chuckled. “Figured.”
“Whatcha making?” she asked.
“Thought we could grill out and have hamburgers.”
“Great idea. And then a little fire? Roast marshmallows and pretend we’re young again?” Miley asked.
Oscar chuckled. “Sure, babe.”
“Sweet.” She smacked a hand against his ass before pulling open the refrigerator. “Aww, you restocked the fridge.”
“Least I can do.”
“You’re a doll.” She leaned back, closing the door again. “I’m gonna grab a quick shower. Not washing my hair, so it won’t take long. I’ll meet you outside, okay?”
“Sounds good, Miley.”
9:06 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
“Hi,” Bo greeted as Jensen stepped into the bedroom.
“Hey, babe.” Jensen cleared his throat, tugging his shirt over his head. “Ryan’s asleep on the couch.”
“Cas asleep?” Jensen asked, his eyes on Pollux, who lay sound asleep on his side of the bed.
“Mmhmm. Cas went down pretty easy after his bath. Pollux, not so much. I figured he’d at least sit in here without complaint.” Bo looked over at the toddler, a smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. “He fell asleep within half an hour. Tired as hell, but just wouldn’t sleep in his own bed.”
Jensen chuckled as he crossed the room. “Can’t say I blame him. Where’s the fun in not taking up as much room as you can in your parents’ bed?” He leaned down and kissed Bo, a hand on the blonde’s cheek. Jensen tasted faintly of beer, but Bo was too tired to mind. “I’m gonna grab a shower. You wanna come with?”
“Let me carry Pollux back to bed, okay? Then I’ll be with you.”
“Sure you don’t want me to handle it?”
“I’ll be okay,” Bo assured. He patted Jensen’s chest and climbed off the bed. “Go on and get the water warmed up. I’ll be back in a sec.”
“All right, babe. I’ll be here,” Jensen said.
Bo smiled. “I know, love.” He nodded toward the bathroom. “Be back in a jiffy.”
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