Blackout – Chapter Thirty-One

NOT EDITED

Chapter Thirty-One

Saturday: September 30, 2028
7:03 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FOYER

David smiled as soon as his gaze landed on Bo. “Hey, lab geek.”

“Hey, yourself. How’s Cecilia?”

“Good. She’s in the shower,” David said. He stepped away from the door, leaning back against the wall as Bo stepped into the house. “I just made coffee, if you’re interested?”

“No, that’s okay. I’m heading out to Jamal’s estate after this. I just wanted to wish Celia a happy birthday in person,” Bo said, closing the door. He tucked his hands behind his back, letting out a soft sigh. “I’m only here for the day. Jensen’s at home with the kids.”

“How is he?”

“Jensen?” Bo asked. “He’s better, that’s for sure. He still feels a lot of pain every now and then, but he’s okay, and… we’re handling it.
“Good. I wanted to be in Clinstone when he was shot, but…”

“Being with Celia was at the top of your list. That’s okay, David. She is carrying your child, after all,” Bo reminded.

“Yeah… Guess that always makes her top priority, huh?” David asked.

“Always,” Bo agreed. “Baby’s getting closer and closer. Nervous?”

“God, obviously. I keep worrying I’m too old for a kid, you know? I’m already Police Chief. I don’t run around on the daily anymore. I’m not in any kind of shape to be chasing a kid around or anything like that.”

Bo lifted his shoulders. “You have time. It takes them a while before all they want to do is run or crawl away from you. You can use that time to get back into shape.” He smiled. “We can always go on runs, if you’d like.”

“I’d like that,” David agreed with a nod.

“Great,” Bo said. He lifted his head as Cecilia walked into the foyer, her dark hair wrapped in a towel on her head. “Happy birthday, Celia.”

“Oh, thank you, sweetheart.” Cecilia pulled Bo into a hug before she pulled back, her hand falling back to her stomach. “I hope you didn’t come all the way to L.A. just for a birthday wish.”

“I’m visiting Jamal to round it all out,” Bo assured. He reached out and squeezed her free hand. “I’m going to head out, then. You two enjoy your day.”

“You, too, Bo,” Cecilia said as Bo pulled open the front door.

“I’ll do my best,” he said. He lifted a hand in departure. “Love you both. Take care of yourselves.”

“Love you, too, Bo.”

Bo smiled, stepping outside and closing the door behind him. He let out a soft sigh and headed for the car parked on the street. He slid into the passenger seat, buckling his seat belt. “Thanks for grabbing me from the airport.”

“No problem, Mister Austen-Taylor,” Mekhi said softly. “To Mister Pitman’s, then?”

“Yes, please.”

9:30 AM; THE PITMAN ESTATE, STABLES

“Frank said I’d find you out here.”

Jamal lifted his head, smiling broadly at the blonde. “Hey, kiddo.”

Bo wrapped Jamal in a quick hug before tucking his hands behind his back. “The space turned out lovely.”

“Didn’t it?” Jamal questioned. “It’s beautiful.” His dark eyes shifted back to Bo’s face. “When you all come back home, we’ll fill the stalls and hire someone to take care of the horses when you’re in Clinstone.”

Bo nodded. “I think they’ll like that,” he said with a short nod. His blue eyes scanned the stables, a smile forming on his face. “Thank you for this, Jamal. Kayla’s been damn near obsessed with horses since Jensen and I started taking care of her.”

“Oh, my pleasure. It’s what we do for family,” Jamal said. “Mekhi bring you out here?” Bo nodded. “Where is he now?”

“Grabbing breakfast,” Bo said. “I thought you and I could grab something to eat before I head back home? Frank and Anthony can tag along.”

Jamal nodded. “Of course. I’d like that.” He clapped a hand down on Bo’s shoulder, leading him back out of the stables. “How’s the homicide in Clinstone?”

“No progress.”

“Still thinking it’s a vigilante killer of some kind?”

“Definitely,” Bo said with a nod. “But it’s not my case, so it’s nothing I can dig into.” He offered a shrug. “Truthfully, I almost appreciate it at this point. I put a lot of weight on my own shoulders when it comes to cases, and Jensen’s still recovering from his injury. He needs my focus on him and the kids. I can’t let a case get in the way of that right now, especially one that has the possibility of being another vigilante.”

“Good. Family first.” Jamal squeezed Bo’s shoulder tightly. “That’s my boy.”


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