1:30 PM; LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT, LIEUTENANT DALLAS SILVER’S OFFICE
“He says the book isn’t his,” Dallas said, handing the evidence bag over to Bo. “Guess he found it in his shed.”
“And you believe him?” Bo said.
Bo nodded. “What else?”
“That Ashton kid’s definitely his friend, but I got nothing out of him from it,” Dallas said.
“Damn,” Bo whispered.
“We’ve got what we need for the DA. Everything else is her job,” Dallas said.
“I know.” Bo folded his legs on the chair, wrapping his hands around his ankles. “How’s Kathy treating you?”
“Some days are… better than others,” Dallas said. “She knows I’m still pissed at her.”
“You don’t have to be. Jensen more or less accepted her apology.”
“What about you?”
“That isn’t my place. I only care what she said because it bothered Jensen. I know I love him. I don’t your wife’s thumbs up,” Bo said.
“Yeah,” Dallas murmured. “You wanna go out and do something tomorrow? I’m taking the kid’s bowling. No alcohol, just friends.”
“I’d like that,” Bo said with a nod.
Bo glanced down at his watch, sighing softly. “Well, I’m going to call Jensen. I imagine he’s home with the kids now. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
“Sure thing, lab geek. See you tomorrow.”
5:03 PM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN HOUSEHOLD, FRONT DECK
Bo knocked on the front door before tucking his hands behind his back. He heard commotion inside, something that sounded like, “Denzel, get the door!” but he wasn’t certain.
The door opened, and Denzel Austen stared down at his son. “Hey, kiddo.”
“Hey, Dad.” Bo wrapped him in a hug, holding on for a moment longer than he usually would before taking a step back. “Thought I’d come over for supper while I was here.”
“A very good plan,” Denzel agreed. He took a step back into the house. “Well, come on in. Mom’s in the kitchen.”
“Thanks,” Bo said as he walked inside, closing the door behind him.
“Sure thing, kiddo.” Denzel patted Bo on the shoulder before walking back into the living room.
Bo kicked off his shoes and headed for the kitchen. “Evening, Mom.”
Renee turned around, a smile on her face. “Hey, baby,” she greeted softly. She pulled the towel from her shoulder and wiped her hands on it. She held out her arms. “Come here.” Bo walked up to her, closing his eyes as she wrapped him in a hug. “I’ve missed you, sweetheart.”
“I missed you guys, too.”
“How long are you planning on being in L.A.?”
“About a week or less. I’m in Clinstone for the girls’ last day of school, and then we’ll be back for the summer,” Bo said.
“Good. We’ll watch the kids for you guys when you get here. You and Jensen deserve some alone time every now and then,” Renee said.
“Thanks, Mom.” Bo took a few steps away from her, hands locked behind his back. He rocked up on his toes, offering a smile. “Want help with supper?”
“Sure, baby. That’d be great.” Renee gestured to the refrigerator. “There are veggies in the fridge. You wanna cut ‘em up for me?”
“Can do, Momma.”
9:00 PM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BATHROOM
Bo stepped out of the shower just as his cell rang. He scrubbed at his face with his towel before accepting the call. “Hi, Jens.”
“Babe,” Jensen greeted. “Whatcha doing?”
“Just got out of the shower.”
“Oo, send a pic.”
Bo snorted. “I love you, but I’m not doing that.”
“Aww. You’re no fun, Eli.”
“Forensic analyst, not fun specialist.”
“You’re an ass.”
Bo chuckled. “I know.” He started drying off as he asked, “How was your night?”
“Fine. Kids went to bed pretty easy, and the girls are out of homework for the year. Pretty easy on my end,” Jensen said. “How’d interrogating Wilkinson go?”
“Dallas and the detectives took care of that today. I was on paperwork,” Bo said. “We have the physical evidence we need, but the guy won’t crack. He won’t say why he did it or why he tried to kill the therapist. I have my theories, of course, but nothing solid. Dallas says not to worry about it, that it’s the DA’s job to theorize why he did it and make a jury believe it, but it honestly pisses me off—for lack of a better phrase—when I can’t figure it out.”
“Then I guess you’ll just have to wait for the DA to figure it out,” Jensen said. “Or, you know, pull what you pulled with Casanova and give him a movie deal.”
“I gave Wayne a movie deal,” Bo said. “The proceeds went to Casanova’s mother. That was different. He benefitted from that. Wilkinson wouldn’t benefit from the same thing. Too different of a situation.” He scrubbed the towel through his hair before tossing it into the laundry hamper. “But enough about that. I met Jamal’s man.”
“He’s a giant. Jamal wasn’t wrong about that.”
Jensen snorted. “Is he hot?”
“I… don’t really look at people that way, Jens.”
Bo rolled his eyes, pulling on his boxers. “Anyway, he seems nice enough. He’ll be helping me when I take over for Jamal.”
“Good. You could use some help,” Jensen said.
“I know.” Bo cleared his throat as he tugged his pants up his legs. “I had supper with my parents. It made me think about the Taylors. We should visit them with the kids.”
“They adopted you, Jensen,” Bo said, tying the drawstring on his pants.
“Yeah, so that way Kathy could treat me like shit.”
“That isn’t their fault. They didn’t know she was a total bitch, Jens,” Bo said softly. “They raised you, took care of you. They walked you down the aisle at our wedding. They’re family.”
“I know that, I just… I dunno. I know I’m being unfair, taking out my issues with Kathy on them instead. It’s unfair,” Jensen said.
“That’s just you being human, Jens,” Bo said. “We all process everything that happens to us in ways that others may not always understand. Some of us hide it, some of us hate ourselves for it, some of us hate the person responsible for the pain, and others take it out on someone else because our minds… find a way to place the blame on them.” He grabbed Jensen’s shirt from the towel rack, clearing his throat. “See, you love Kathy, even if you don’t want to. Your brain doesn’t want to put the blame or the hatred or the anger on her. Even though the Taylors raised you, your mind still believes that she’s your mom. She’s the one that rescued you, after all. Your mind places the blame you want to have for Kathy on the Taylors instead.”
Jensen remained silent for a moment before sighing. “You know this kinda shit is at least a fourth of the reason I love you, right?”
Bo smiled faintly. “Appreciated, Jens.” He pulled Jensen’s shirt over his head. “We’ll start easy, you know? We can invite them over for Pollux’s birthday and go from there,” he said.
“I think I’d like that.”
“Great.” Bo grabbed his phone and walked out of the room, shutting of the light. He sat down on the bed, leaning back against the headboard. “Are you tired?”
Jensen chuckled. “I know.”
Bo put in the password to unlock one of his photo albums and scrolled through the photos within. With a sigh, he sent one of them to Jensen. “Presumptuous, but… you’re welcome?”
Jensen drew in a sharp breath before letting out a low whistle. “Thank you.”
Bo rolled his eyes. “Sure thing, Jens.” He closed his eyes, bowing his head. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, Eli. I’ll show you just how much I love you when you get back,” Jensen said.
Bo smiled as heat rose to his cheeks. “Deal,” he murmured. “We’re going to wrap up this paperwork and hand it all over to the DA as quickly as we can. Then I’ll be back home.”
“Good. Let me know when you’re coming home and I’ll meet you at the airport like always,” Jensen said.
“Well, I’m gonna take a nice, cold shower. Then I’ll call you back and we can talk till we fall asleep. Okay?”
“Sounds like a plan, Jens.”
“Sweet. Be back in, like, ten.”
“All righty, love.”
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