Wednesday: April 12, 2028
6:48 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“I took the day off from work,” Bo said, pouring himself a cup of coffee. “If you want to just… hang out all day, we can. I don’t mind. The girls will be at school and the boys will be at daycare.”
“Can we bring the boys with?” Cecilia asked. “Positive vibes involve me getting used to toting an adorable baby around.”
Bo smiled softly, nodding. “Of course, Celia. We can bring them with.” He picked up both mugs, turned, and set the smaller of the two in front of Cecilia. He leaned forward, crossing his arms over the counter top, his fingers wrapped around the handle of his mug. “When do you think you’ll tell David?”
“I don’t know,” she whispered. “God, Bo. It’s been eight months since we lost the baby. He’s still…”
“Not David?” Bo asked. She only nodded. “I’m sorry, Celia.”
“It’s not your fault,” Cecilia said dismissively, shaking her head. “I love him to death, Bo. I can’t get his hopes up for another kid and then lose it. I can’t. It was painful enough the first time. He can’t go through that again.”
Bo drew in a long breath, leaning back ever so slightly before letting it out. “I can’t help but notice you aren’t talking about what you went through, how you suffered. It’s like David’s the only one that matters, but you went through hell, too. You had to grieve, too,” he said.
“Because I was terrible, and you know it. While David took time away from work to be with me, I buried myself in work to be away from the grief. David fixed supper for us, and I wasn’t hungry. David wanted to hold me, and I didn’t want him close enough to touch me. I forced him to figure it out on his own, and because of it, he didn’t get to grieve.”
“Celia, you acted that way because you were in pain, because you were grieving. No one expects your grief to match David’s. That’s just not how it works,” he said.
“I don’t know if he knows that,” she whispered.
“He does,” Bo said after a moment of hesitation. “We had a long talk after the miscarriage. Maybe a week or two after it? He was hurt and worried, and he didn’t know what the hell to do. I just… let him talk and told him what I thought. It helped, at least some.”
“What would we do without you?” Cecilia asked, looking down as she wrapped her hands around the coffee mug.
“I don’t know,” Bo said honestly, chuckling softly. “I suppose you’d all be lost for at least a little while, just like I’d be without all of you. Although… I wouldn’t be able to come back.”
“I know,” she murmured. She offered a small smile and reached out to squeeze Bo’s arm. “Good thing you’ve got a long while of putting up with all of us.”
Bo smiled. “Damn good thing,” he agreed. He lifted Cecilia’s hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it. “You’ll tell David whenever you’re ready, and I’ll be your support system until then, during it, and afterward. Whether I’m here or in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the world, I’ll be available whenever you call.”
“Thank you, sweetheart,” Cecilia whispered, squeezing the blonde’s hand. “My appointment’s at eight-fifteen. We can head to Cliffburn after you drop the girls off at school,” she said.
Bo nodded. “Sure. Works for me.” He cleared his throat, resting his elbow on the counter and pressing his fist to his temple. “What’re you hoping for?”
“It’s too soon for that.”
“Positive vibes and happy thoughts, remember?” he asked.
She rolled her eyes before a smile tugged at either corner of her mouth. “I don’t know. Dave wants a little girl. He says spoiling the hell out of a little girl is much more fun than spoiling a little boy,” she said.
A soft smile crossed the blonde’s face. “He has a little nephew that he loves to death but can’t stand. You’ll find that’s common with kids in the first place,” he said. Cecilia snorted. “Everything he buys for the kid, the kid hates. It’s probably one of the main reasons he wants a girl more.”
Cecilia nodded. “Makes sense. Kids can be assholes. I get it.” She cocked her head to the side. “You guys, uh, you guys want a girl next, don’t you?”
“Oh, yeah. We’re just waiting until it seems right to bring another kid into our lives,” Bo said.
“Would you adopt? Or more IVF jazz?”
Bo snorted. “We’re not sure, but adopting certainly seems like an option for us. I think it’d be too hard for us to decide who the kid should be related to,” he said. “But… I don’t know. We’ll see down the road, see what happens. I don’t think we’ll make a decision until after I take over for Jamal. That’s not something I want to start while I’m tired and running on no sleep from a new baby.”
“Fair enough,” she agreed. “Once you… take over for Pitman, how often are you guys gonna be in L.A.?”
“I don’t know. We both decided that, no matter what, the girls are going to keep going to school here. Their friends are here, and I won’t make them abandon that. If anything changes, it’ll just be me carting myself back and forth between here and there as often as needed,” Bo said.
“I don’t know how you do it, Bo. Running back and forth between here and L.A., having a family, working scenes in both places on no sleep at all…” She shook her head. “I couldn’t do it.”
“Practice and a lot of late night phone calls with lover boy,” Bo said as Jensen walked into the kitchen.
“I better be lover boy,” Jensen muttered, leaning down to kiss Bo’s shoulder. The blonde rolled his eyes, reaching back to pat the younger man’s cheek. “Morning, Cecilia,” he greeted.
“Morning, Jensen.” Cecilia patted Bo’s arm. “Bathroom break. Be back in a sec.”
“Sure, Celia.” Bo turned toward Jensen, taking a sip of his coffee. “Anything exciting at the station today?” he asked.
“If you consider paperwork exciting,” Jensen said. He covered Bo’s hands with his own, leaning down to take a sip of the blonde’s coffee. “Mm. What’d you put in that?”
“Is that new?”
Bo snorted. “Well, new in our fridge, yes. It’s not a new creation,” he said.
“Mm.” Jensen pulled open the refrigerator and pulled out the creamer in question. “What are you and Cecilia doing today?” he asked.
“We’re just planning on hanging out, maybe go shopping or something. It’s just been a while since we hung out,” Bo said. “We’ll take the boys with us, so you don’t have to worry about taking them to daycare.”
“Sweet.” Jensen reached back and squeezed Bo’s shoulder. “You guys have fun, then. You guys should bring back supper and we can have Jake and them over, too.”
“Sure, I can do that. Text me later to tell me what you want for food?”
Bo nodded, setting his coffee mug on the counter. “I’ll wake up the girls. Shave before you leave,” he reminded.
“Sure thing, babe.”
8:21 AM; CLIFFBURN FERTILITY ASSOCIATES, PATIENT ROOM FOUR
Doctor Craig Hill’s eyes remained focused on the ultrasound monitor as he said, “It’s good to see you in here again, Miss Delacroix. How’re you feeling?”
“I haven’t decided yet. Bo says positivity’s the way to go here,” Cecilia said.
“He’d be correct,” Craig said. “Positivity can get you a long way if you allow it to.”
She nodded, squeezing Bo’s hand. “That’s what Blondie over here says.”
Craig nodded before a smile came to his face. “Here you go,” he said softly. “He’s your baby, Miss Delacroix.” She turned her head to look at the monitor, her bottom lip pulled between her teeth. “Would you like to hear the heartbeat?”
“Not yet,” she whispered, turning her gaze back to the ceiling before closing her eyes. She let out a slow breath, squeezing Bo’s hand tightly. “ ‘Kay.”
Craig tapped a few buttons on the screen before turning up the volume on the machine. “There you are,” he murmured.
Cecilia opened her eyes, sniffling. “And she’s healthy?”
“The baby’s growing and developing just as it should be at this point in the pregnancy,” Craig promised. “Everything’s going just as it should, Miss Delacroix.
9:30 AM; SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TARGET
Castor held Bo’s hand as they walked through the store, a stuffed blue puppy held to his chest with his free hand. Cecilia walked alongside them, pushing a cart in front of her, Pollux in the seat at the front. While Pollux was dressed in his favorite teddy bear t-shirt, Castor had chosen a white button-up and a gray blazer.
Jensen had pointed out that the toddler’s fashion sense already took after Bo’s.
“Daddy,” Castor started, tugging on Bo’s hand, “what’s that?”
Bo turned to look at the object in question. “That’s a clock.”
“It tells time.”
“So people know when to eat or get dressed.”
“So they know when to go to sleep.”
Bo glanced up briefly before his gaze fell back to his phone. “That’s a pillow, buddy.”
“You sleep on a pillow. That’s what you put your head on in your bed,” Bo explained.
“That’s a picture frame.”
“So you can see your family when you’re not with them.”
“Daddy?” Castor asked.
“Those are candles.”
“Candles smell nice,” Bo said.
“Smell,” Castor whined, reaching for the candles.
Bo chuckled. “Hold up for a sec, Celia.” He shoved his phone into his pocket and grabbed a candle. Pulling off the lid, he squatted down and tilted it back for Castor to smell.
“Pretty,” Castor whispered.
Bo grinned. “Very pretty,” he agreed. He put the lid back on and slid it onto the shelf. “All good?”
“All good,” Castor echoed. Bo pushed himself to his feet and grabbed Castor’s hand before the group started walking again.
“How often do you have to do that?” Cecilia asked, arms crossed over the handlebar of the shopping cart.
“Aha, the ‘what’s that’ game. All the time,” Bo said. “It’s honestly his favorite thing in the world,” he said.
“What about Grayson?” she asked, nodding toward Pollux.
“He likes to play that ‘I’m staring at you, but you totally don’t exist’ game. It’s thrilling,” Bo said. He reached out with his free hand to grab Pollux’s outstretched hand. “But they’re both adorable, so we roll with it.”
“What’s that?” Castor asked.
“That’s another pillow, bud.”
“Up,” Castor said, holding his left arm up. Bo leaned down and picked up the toddler, swinging him around to rest on his hip. Castor rested his head on Bo’s chest, wrapping the material of Bo’s shirt between his fingers.
“Thanks for coming with today, Bo,” Cecilia said.
“My pleasure, Celia. You’re family, remember?” Bo asked.
She smiled at him. “Family,” she repeated. “Still… thanks.”
“Never any problem at all, Celia. I’m here for you,” Bo said simply.
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