Monday: September 4, 2028
7:15 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo poured his second cup of coffee that morning, topping it off with creamer and sugar. He stirred it well before taking a small sip and heading back to the family room. He set the mug on the end table and carefully sat back down on the lounge. Jensen dropped his head back to Bo’s lap, green eyes on the television.
Jensen, on his back with his leg propped up on a pillow, had already busied himself with a video game. Bo watched the screen for a moment before grabbing his phone. He opened up his text message thread with Gwen and scrolled through the crime scene photos she had sent him. She was more than willing to step around Jake’s no-Bo policy and sent the pictures his way.
According to her, it was the least she could do. Bo appreciated it greatly.
“Shouldn’t be looking at those, you know,” Jensen said.
“I can’t help it, and you know it,” Bo said.
“Tragically, I’m aware. I live with you,” Jensen reminded. “Jake said the case isn’t for you. He’s trying to help you.”
“I know that, and I’m following that rule. I’m not trying to solve his murder. I just…”
Jensen paused his game, turning his head to focus his gaze on Bo’s face. “What?”
Bo looked down at his husband. “This man was living in his mother’s basement. He didn’t have a job, and he hadn’t had one for a while. If someone hated him that much that they wanted to bash his damn face in, they wouldn’t have waited until he was the subject of a state-wide manhunt. They would have done it under the radar, when no one would be looking for him. That’s what makes sense. That’s what logical. If they had the forethought to tie him up in a machine shed on a farm where no one was going to be that night, they thought the plan through. They worked the steps, and they knew what they were going to do to him,” Bo said.
“So it doesn’t make sense for it to be someone he knows.”
“And if it were a violent killer looking for his next victim, it wouldn’t make much sense to choose a criminal that was on every news channel. It could get the new killer caught, too,” Jensen said.
“So… what’re you thinking?” Jensen asked.
Bo closed his eyes briefly, shaking his head. “I’m worried we have a vigilante killer on our hands,” he whispered. “I don’t have the best experience with vigilantes.”
Jensen didn’t even need to ask for clarification. Bo had worked the tailend of the Hangman case, and he’d been in L.A. for the entirety of the Gym Bag Killer case. Both situations had resulted in incredibly negative reactions from Jamal, and he knew Bo hated thinking back on any of it.
“It’s not a vigilante,” Jensen said.
“How do you know?”
Jensen offered his usual charming smile. “I don’t. I just wanna make you feel better.”
“Mm.” Bo leaned down and kissed the younger man. “Thank you,” he whispered.
“Always a pleasure, babe.” Jensen reached up and patted Bo’s cheek. “Don’t worry about it, all righty? It’s Anna and Skye’s case. It’s Gwen and Misty’s crime scene. Whatever comes of this… It isn’t our problem right now. If this is a vigilante of any kind, we’ll deal with it, but we don’t need to start thinking of how we’ll cross that bridge until we actually come up on it. All right?”
“Okay,” Bo said softly. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, Eli.”
Bo nodded toward the television. “Go on back to your game. No more crime scene photos for me. Promise,” he said, locking his screen as a show of good faith.
A broad smile spread out on Jensen’s face. “You’re adorable.”
“Well… if you say so.”
“Mm.” Jensen touched two fingers to Bo’s jaw. “One more?” he asked. Bo smiled faintly before leaning down and kissing the younger man again. “How long did Doc forbid me from sexual activity again?”
“Oh, keep it in your pants.” Bo shoved at Jensen’s shoulder. “Play your game,” he added, grabbing a book from the end table.
Jensen laughed, picking up his gaming control again. “Thanks for taking care of me, Eli.”
“My pleasure, love.”
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