Monday: May 22, 2028
7:45 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Jensen squatted down beside the bed, crossing his arms over the mattress. “You gonna get up, baby?”
“I don’t think I can,” Bo whispered.
“Bad morning, huh?” Bo nodded. Jensen laid his head on his arm, reaching out with his free hand to comb Bo’s hair away from his forehead. “Well… I gotta get the girls in for school pretty soon. I’ll call David on the way in, let him know you’ll be here. You wanna be on call?”
“I don’t think so.” Bo glanced up at the ceiling. “Well… might as well. Nothing eventful will happen, anyway,” he said quietly.
“Okay,” Jensen murmured. “Want me to stay home with you?”
Bo shrugged. “Up to you.” He sniffled, waving a hand toward the door. “If you’re going to work, can you bring my laptop in here first?”
“Sure, I can do that. Do you need mine, too?”
“Uh, maybe.” Bo cleared his throat. “Probably,” he corrected.
“I don’t want to eat up any more of your time, Jens.”
“Mm.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s forehead. “I’ll run to Little Delights and get something for you,” he said.
“Thanks,” Bo whispered.
“My pleasure, Eli.” Jensen squeezed Bo’s shoulder, pushing himself to his feet. “I won’t be gone long. Hati’s outside, but you don’t have to worry about her. It’s nice out, so I’ll just grab her when I get back.”
“Okay.” Bo grabbed Jensen’s outstretched hand, letting the younger man tug him to a seated position. “Thank you.”
“No problem, babe. I’ll be right back, okay?” Jensen asked. Bo nodded. He watched Jensen leave the room. With a heavy sigh, Bo raked a hand through his hair. He hated the mornings and days where he felt as though his entire existence was a burden to those around him—especially Jensen—but it was something he had gotten used to, more or less. He simply considered himself incredibly lucky that he had ended up with someone as caring as Jensen.
Acamas jumped up onto the bed, nudging Bo’s arm with her head. Bo reached over and scratched her head. She purred, stretching before curling up on Jensen’s pillow.
Jensen walked back into the room, Castor and Pollux trailing behind him. “All righty. Here’s your work stuff, Eli,” he said, setting all three laptops on the nightstand. He patted the two notebooks he’d brought it with him. “I wasn’t sure if you needed those or not, but I figured they could be useful.”
Jensen nodded, reaching down to pick up Pollux. He set him on the bed, quickly repeating the process with Castor. “They’re both fed and changed. Again, won’t be gone long. I’m dropping the girls off, running by the station for a few things, and grabbing coffee. Then I’ll be back. Okay?”
Jensen pressed a kiss to the top of Bo’s head. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“And I love you two,” Jensen said, turning his attention to the toddlers. “Be good for Daddy, okay?”
“Otay,” Pollux assured.
“And you?” Jensen asked.
Castor flashed a smile. “Oh… kay.”
“Uh-huh.” Jensen ruffled Castor’s hair. “Be good.”
“Okay,” Castor repeated, just a little more convincing than before. Jensen grunted his response, rolling his eyes as he squeezed Bo’s thigh. Bo touched his hand briefly before watching him leave the room.
“Daddy?” Castor asked, crawling onto Bo’s lap.
“Yes?” Bo questioned.
“No, no daycare today.”
“Because Daddy’s not going to work today.”
“Mm… because Daddy doesn’t think he can get out of bed,” Bo said.
“Oh.” A pause. “Why?”
“I don’t have an answer to that, baby.”
Bo shrugged, pulling open his nightstand drawer. “I don’t have the answers to everything, buddy,” he said quietly. He grabbed a box of crayons and two small coloring books. “Here. This is a lot more fun than why’s that, isn’t it?”
“Oo.” Castor snagged one of the notebooks, carefully walking to the end of the bed before plopping down beside his brother.
Bo smiled faintly. “Here, sweetheart,” he said, handing the second book to Pollux. Bo opened the box of crayons and dumped them out on the comforter between the twins. Bo watched them for a moment before sliding his laptop out from under the notebooks Jensen had left for him. He set the laptop on his thighs and opened the lid.
Despite the state of mind he was in, he knew work was important. He needed to find out who the hell the Werewolf was before he sunk his teeth into somebody else’s heart.
Bo glanced back at his sons before typing in his password. He opened up his internet browser, quickly worming his way back into Tamara Christian’s records. He hadn’t gotten far the day before, and it didn’t take much for him to get back to where he had been previously.
Bo closed his eyes, letting out a breath. All he had to do was get into the list of all of Tamara’s patients. Once he was there, things would be easy. All he needed was their names. He didn’t need to know why they were there or how far they had progressed. He just needed their names.
Baby steps, Bo told himself. Little, tiny baby steps, and you’ll find him in no time. Don’t look at the end goal. Just think about the little pieces that go into it. You’ll be okay that way. People benefit greatly from thinking about a big goal in little pieces. Try it for once.
Bo shook his head. He considered it amazing that he could turn an encouragement into a bitter comment by the end.
“Daddy?” Castor asked.
Bo lifted his head, watching Castor tug at the laces of his shoes. “Oh, yeah. Sorry, bud.” Bo leaned to the side and pulled his shoes off, dropping them to the floor. “What about you, Grayson?”
Pollux stared at him for a moment before nodding, kicking his feet toward his father. “Off.”
Bo chuckled softly. “I figured.” He pulled off Pollux’s shoes and set them down beside Castor’s. “We’re all good now?” he asked.
“All good,” Castor echoed at the same time Pollux said, “All dood.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted before he looked back down at his laptop. He could do this. He needed to start with a long list of names and narrow them down from there.
He could do this.
6:31 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE WEREWOLF’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM
Dominic sat down in his chair, a coffee mug in his hand, the television remote held in his free hand. He turned on the television, turning down the volume as soon as it came on. He looked over at Ashton, who lay sound asleep on the couch. Dominic sighed quietly, turning his gaze back to the television. A part of him considered killing Tamara outside of his ritual. The sooner he got rid of her, the sooner Ashton could go home, the sooner their lives would go back to normal.
The other part of Dominic couldn’t stand the thought of genuinely harming another person outside of a full moon. The full moon was his ritual, his clutch, his excuse.
He couldn’t rid himself of that.
Dominic also couldn’t help but feel the slightest tinge of guilt at the thought of just getting it over with so Ashton could go home to his overbearing, controlling mother. Would she just send him right back to another therapist that would violate him? Would she continue to ignore him when he voiced his concerns?
Dominic tried his best not to think about it. Ashton wasn’t his problem, not really. Dominic was nothing but a temporary caretaker to the kid. Anything past getting rid of Tamara simply wasn’t his problem, Ashton’s shitty life included.
Ashton rolled onto his other side, the blanket falling to the floor. Dominic set his coffee mug on the end table and leaned over to grab the blanket. He tossed it back onto the couch, watching Ashton tug the blanket back up to his chin.
Dominic leaned back in his chair, snagging the coffee mug from the end table. He sighed softly. Ashton reminded Dominic a lot of the lost puppy he had taken in a year ago, the same puppy his neighbor had poisoned while Dominic was out of the house. If he continued to allow himself to get attached to Ashton, who would take him away? A neighbor? Ashton’s mother?
Dominic closed his eyes. How long did he have before someone ripped Ashton out of his life by force rather than by choice? Just like his neighbor had done with his dog?
How long would it be before someone went out of their way to hurt Ashton?
Dominic didn’t know, but he knew damn well that he needed to fix their Tamara Christian issue before it could happen.
8:40 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Jensen set a cup of coffee on the nightstand, touching a hand to Bo’s shoulder. “Sorry. I had to wait for David to get out of a meeting.”
“That’s okay,” Bo assured. “Thank you,” he added.
“No problem, babe.” Jensen ruffled Pollux’s hair before walking around to his side of the bed and sitting down. He set his own coffee down and moved Acamas to his lap as he pushed his pillow back against the headboard. “Anything exciting?”
“Besides the twins coloring? No, not necessarily,” Bo said. He cleared his throat. “I’m still not into the records, though.”
“That’s okay. It takes time.” Jensen pulled his phone from his pocket, leaning to the side to rest his head on Bo’s shoulder. “You just gotta be patient.”
Bo nodded. “I know. Patience, I’m good at. Consistent failure, not so much.”
“It’s not failure. It’s trial and error.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s cheek as he leaned away from him. “Whatcha coloring, Cas-afras?”
“You tan’t tee it yet,” Castor said.
“Oh, okay.” Jensen made a show of covering his eyes before looking over at Pollux. “What about you, P Diddy?”
“Dwew you, Daddies,” Pollux said, holding the coloring book out to Jensen.
Jensen grabbed it, gasping. “Holy cow, P-Dog. This is the most amazing drawing I’ve ever seen,” he said. He held it out to Bo. “See that real short scribble? That’s you, babe. Even Pollux knows you’re short.”
Bo snorted, shoving Jensen’s shoulder with his own. “It’s a great drawing, buddy. Looks just like Daddy and me.” Pollux let out an excited squeal, grabbing the coloring book from Jensen and flipping to a new page. Bo leaned into Jensen’s side, drumming his fingers against the laptop’s keyboard. “I don’t know how long this is going to take,” he said.
“That’s okay. You have time. Until June, right?”
“Theoretically, yes,” Bo said. He closed his eyes as Jensen pushed his fingers into his hair. “If he gets tipped off, one way or another, that we’re slowly closing in on him, he could change up his pattern just to get a few more victims in before he gets himself caught.”
“He’s not going to get tipped off. I’m not gonna tell him. Jamal’s not gonna tell him,” Jensen said. “What about you dorks? You gonna tell the bad guy that Daddy’s trying to find him?”
“No!” Pollux exclaimed.
Jensen nudged Castor with his knee. “You gonna tell the bad guy?”
“There you go. No one’s gonna tip him off,” Jensen said.
“Mm.” Bo closed his eyes briefly, offering a shrug. “I don’t know. I know no one else is going to tip him off. But if…”
“If he’s a psychic, there’s a chance he could, like, see it coming,” Jensen finished for him.
“Well, if he was gonna, you know, take more victims in just to prove a point because… he figured out you were looking for him, wouldn’t he have already done something?” Jensen asked.
“Well… maybe?” Bo cleared his throat. “Possibly.”
“You just worry too much, babe.
“I guess I do, don’t I?”
Jensen nodded. “You do. Sometimes, that’s a really good thing. It’s part of what makes you pay attention to all the little details. Other times, it just gets you stuck in your own head. And that… isn’t always good.”
“Right.” Bo sighed, lifting his head from Jensen’s shoulder. “I… am going to try and get into this doctor’s records. I need a list of names. After that… you can help me look into the names?” he asked, turning just enough to lift his blue eyes to the younger man’s face.
“Of course, Eli. You work your magic and then I’ll do what I can to work mine,” Jensen assured.
A soft smile pulled at one corner of Bo’s mouth. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure, Eli.”
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