Wednesday: April 19, 2028
3:41 AM; CLINSTONE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, JAMAL PITMAN’S PRIVATE PLANE
Jensen pulled Bo into a tight hug, his green eyes focused on the plane across the way. “I love you,” Jensen whispered.
“I love you, too.”
Jensen sniffled, gently pushing Bo away from him. He moved his hands up to the blonde’s face. “You come back home to me. Safe and fucking sound. Okay?”
Bo smiled softly, reaching up to touch Jensen’s cheek. “I promise you that I will come home safe and sound.”
“Good,” Jensen breathed. He chewed his bottom lip, his eyes swimming with worry. “Can you back out?”
“I can if you want me to,” Bo said.
Jensen stared at the blonde for a moment before shaking his head. “I couldn’t do that. Not my place.” He cleared his throat, tugging down on the beanie his husband wore. “I don’t care if you’re bloody and bawling when you’re done, but I want your ass right back on a plane and back home. Then I’ll take care of you. But I want you back home as soon as you’re done. Can you do that?”
“Yes. I’ll be back on a plan as soon as we’re done,” Bo promised.
“Good. Thank you.” Jensen tilted Bo’s head back and kissed him one last time. “I love you,” he repeated.
“I love you more, Jens.”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted. “I’ll do my best, baby.” He tugged at one side of Bo’s jacket, letting out a quiet sigh. “Good luck, Eli.”
“Thanks, love. I’ll be back soon, Jens.” Bo leaned up and kissed the younger man, hands on either side of his face. For the first time, he didn’t care that he could feel Jensen’s unshaven scruff beneath his palms. He only cared that he was close to the man he loved with everything he had, and he only cared that that man loved him, too, even when he was going to Los Angeles for one of Jamal’s missions.
Bo dropped his hands, shoving them uncomfortably into his pockets. “I’ll see you soon, love.”
“Text me when you land.”
Bo nodded. “I will. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Eli.”
5:07 AM; LOS ANGELES, WAREHOUSE SEVEN
Jamal sat beside Bo on the roof, quietly fitting a silencer onto the pistol in his hands. He held it out to Bo, lifting his dark eyes to the blonde’s face. “Take it.”
Bo grabbed the gun after a moment of hesitation. The gun in his hands, gloved and mostly hidden beneath the long sleeves of one of Jensen’s hoodies, he let them drop to his lap. “What happens if I miss?” he asked.
“I’ve met you. You won’t,” Jamal said. “But if you do, I’ll take care of him. That’s all there is to it.” He reached out and tapped a finger against the gun. “It won’t be as quiet as it is in the movies. It’ll probably take you by surprise, and that’s all right, but don’t let it throw you off. It just makes you harder to find if anyone’s listening.”
“I gotta go down before they get here. You all good?” Jamal asked. Bo nodded. “You have ten seconds to fire once I give you the signal. If you don’t want to, don’t. I’ll handle it as soon as the ten seconds are up. All right?”
“Good.” Jamal squeezed Bo’s shoulder and pushed himself to his feet. He reached down and tugged Bo’s hood over his head. “See you in a bit, kiddo.” Bo nodded and watched Jamal walk across the roof before disappearing down the ladder. Bo turned, resting his elbows on the small lip of the roof. He let the gun rest on the flat surface beside him. He wouldn’t need it until after the car came.
Bo was, for the most part, shrouded in darkness. The roof itself wasn’t all that high up, but Jamal had assured that was all right. It prevented Bo from needing to learn the workings of a sniper rifle, too.
Below, Jamal stood beside Frank. Bo watched Jamal light a cigar. The blonde couldn’t help but roll his eyes. A cigar in a presumed life or death situation. “Nice touch, Pitman,” Bo muttered.
He watched a car roll in, watched three men get out. Bo grabbed his gun, his eyes on the young boy one of the men pulled out of the car. Although Bo couldn’t see Jamal’s face all that well, he knew something had shifted in the older man’s expression.
“Your guns, Pitman,” one of the men said. Bo knew Jamal would hand over the Glock at his hip. He had two more on his person for safety purposes. Jamal held up his right hand as he pulled his Glock out of the holster on his left hip. He set it down, and kicked it over to the other man.
“What’re you doing?” Bo whispered to the air, watching in disbelief as Jamal grabbed the gun from his waistband, dropped it, and kicked it over. “Don’t you dare, Jamal,” Bo breathed. Still, the older man defied the unheard command.
Jamal bent down and grabbed the gun he kept in an ankle holster. He kicked it over to the man.
“Pretty easy, huh, old man? Tell Franklin to hand over his weapons, too.”
“He doesn’t have any,” Jamal said. “He’s just here to be here.”
The man grunted. “I’m sure. Hiya, Franklin. You got anything on you?”
“No.” Frank cleared his throat. “Would you like to check, Jacó?”
“Nah. I’m good.” The man, Jacó, dropped a hand to rest on his pistol. “You got the cash? Is that what’s in the suitcase?”
“The boy,” Jamal said. “Hand over the boy.”
“I can’t do that yet, Jamal.”
“The suitcase is yours as soon as you get your man’s fucking hands off of him,” Jamal said.
Jacó sighed. “Release the kid. Don’t let him move, but let go of him.” The man behind him did as told. “Happy?”
“Suitcase is yours,” Jamal said quietly. Jacó closed the distance between them and yanked the suitcase from Frank’s hands. He set it down beside Jamal, digging the gun into the older man’s temple. Bo’s breath caught in his throat as Jamal threw a hand out in his direction, a silent command not to shoot.
“Word on the street is that you’re retiring soon. We could make it sooner,” Jacó said.
“What do you want?”
“Word on the street,” Jacó started again, “is that you’ve got a little blonde white bitch replacing you. Where’s the fun in that, Jamal?”
“He’s more intelligent than any of you have ever been. He was chosen and trained for a reason. Reason one being that he’s not working for the enemy, Jacó.” Jamal cleared his throat. “If you’re going to do it, do it. Man up and pull the damn trigger. I won’t be reduced to begging.”
For a reason Bo couldn’t deduce, the criminal was important to Jamal. Or, if nothing else, Jamal certainly knew him. So, when Jacó pulled back to aim the gun at Frank, Bo shot him in the shoulder without Jamal’s command. He shifted, picking off the other two men without hesitation.
Killing was one thing. Allowing Jamal or Frank to die was another.
Bo rose to his feet and hurried to the ladder. He climbed down and jogged around to the front of the building. The young boy ran to Bo and hugged him tightly. Bo wrapped him in a hug, a frown on his face as he looked over at Jamal.
The older man was on his knees, his hands pressed to the bleeding wound in Jacó’s shoulder. He lifted his narrowed eyes to Bo’s face. “Why did you shoot him?”
“It was him or one of you,” Bo said. “He was going to shoot Frank, Jamal. I wasn’t going to let that happen.”
“You don’t get to make decisions like that!” Jamal shouted. “You do as you’re fucking told. You aren’t as important as you think you are.”
“We’re gonna get you to a hospital, okay? We’ll get you fixed up,” Jamal promised, his voice much softer than before as he looked down at Jacó.
“I really was gonna kill both of you,” Jacó whispered. “Is that your blonde bitch?”
“Was.” Jamal looked up at Bo again. “You can find your own way back to Clinstone. I… don’t want to see your goddamn face anytime soon.”
“J–Jamal, I was just—”
“Go!” Jamal barked.
Bo swallowed roughly, stepping away from the boy. He squatted down, setting the gun at Jamal’s side. “I’m sorry, Jamal,” he whispered.
“Get out of my face, Austen.”
“Mister Austen, let’s just—”
“No,” Jamal interrupted. “You’re staying right here, Franklin. Austen, if you want to make yourself useful, call an ambulance when you leave.”
1:03 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE SERGEANT JENSEN AUSTEN-TAYLOR’S DESK
Jensen looked up as Bo laid a hand on his desk. “Baby,” he breathed. “Are you okay?” Bo only shook his head, holding out a hand. Jensen grabbed Bo’s hand and rose to his feet. He followed Bo through the station and into the parking lot. It wasn’t until they were standing near Jensen’s car that the blonde stopped. “What happened?”
“I killed two people,” Bo whispered. “Because… because their leader was going to kill Mister Pitman or Frank. Or both. I sh–shot the leader. Not to kill him. B–but Mister Pitman got angry and… and now he hates me and doesn’t want to see me ever again.”
Jensen’s brow furrowed as he pulled Bo into a hug. “Why?”
“I don’t know.” Bo squeezed his eyes shut, gathering the material of Jensen’s shirt in his fist.
“I’ll call him.”
“No, no, no.” Bo shook his head. “He hates me. End of story. I disobeyed him, and he hates me.”
Jensen rested his head against Bo’s, closing his eyes. “I’m sorry, baby,” he whispered. Bo only nodded, his arms tightening around the younger man.
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