Monday: May 15, 2028
8:04 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE SERGEANT JENSEN AUSTEN-TAYLOR’S DESK
Jamal: You have access to the bus cam footage. Good luck
Bo: Thank you
Jamal: No problem, kiddo
Bo looked up from his phone as Jensen walked back into his peripheral. “Would you like to stalk me in the lab?” he questioned.
Jensen lifted his shoulders, holding a cup of coffee out to the blonde. “Obviously.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted as he grabbed the cup. “You’re a doll. Thank you.”
“No problem, babe.” Jensen held his hand out. “Come on.”
Bo grabbed the taller man’s hand, allowing him to pull him to his feet. “Jamal let me into the bus cam footage. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to see the guy’s face,” he said, bending down to grab his camera bag from the floor.
“I’m gonna throw out a ‘good luck’,” Jensen said.
Bo snorted. “Thanks.” He lifted his camera bag over his shoulder and grabbed Jensen’s free hand as they headed for the lab. “If I can see this man’s face, I can run him through the system and find out his identity.” He tilted his head to the side. “Well, theoretically. He lives in L.A., and there’s truthfully an incredibly chance he isn’t in the system at all.”
“Because he might not drive.”
“Bingo. And I assume he doesn’t have a job, so there may be no work ID I can try to connect him to, either,” Bo said.
“Social media, if nothing else. You can always try that,” Jensen said.
“Of course, but he might not even be on there.”
Jensen shrugged. “I don’t know. Everyone old enough for one has a cringy MySpace page floating around.”
“I… don’t know what that is.”
The younger man chuckled. “Of course you don’t.”
“I mean, I only know of current social media outlets because of Bridget and you,” Bo reminded. “Is it current?”
“And that is why I don’t know about it.”
Jensen chuckled. “I know, Eli.”
Bo pulled his hand from Jensen’s and unlocked the lab door, pushing it open. He snapped his fingers. “I do know about it! John Gaumer met a woman on MySpace, took her out for a date, and killed her in 2006.” He glanced back at Jensen before crossing the room. “I know social media.”
“You only know social media if people died because of it,” Jensen said, rolling his eyes. He followed Bo, dropping down into his usual seat beside the blonde. “I love you, but that’s a bit messed up.”
“You had your fingers crossed that you’d be in L.A. the next time the Werewolf struck, because you were getting bored not seeing bodies all the time,” Bo said.
Jensen opened his mouth for a snarky response before closing his mouth again. “That’s different,” he said after a moment.
“As if. How so?”
“I’m a homicide detective.”
Bo snorted, setting his camera bag down and pulling his satchel over his head. “I’m a forensic analyst. You want to see corpses to, you know, see corpses. I’m interested in death and the processes behind it and within in for the betterment of science,” he explained.
“Not all of us can be scientists, Eli.”
“I know, love.” Bo sat down in his chair, pulling his laptop from his satchel. “We’ll all be in L.A. at the beginning of next month. You’ll have homicides left and right for, what, three whole months?” He cleared his throat as he flipped open the lid of his laptop. “L.A. homicides have been on the rise for the last five years. If that continues this year? You’re looking at two homicides a week, on average,” he said.
“Not all in our district, of course,” Jensen said.
“No, tragically not. Sorry, Jens.”
The younger man rolled his eyes. “I’ll manage,” he assured, pulling his phone from his pocket.
Bo typed in the password for his laptop and took a sip of his coffee as the screen loaded. “What’re you planning on scrolling through to waste your time today?”
Jensen snorted, leaning forward to rest his forearms on the table. “I dunno why, but I kinda want to build bird houses with the girls this summer. So I’m gonna be looking at bird houses and DIYs and stuff.”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted in a soft smile. “I suppose that’s not a total waste of time.”
“I thought it could be a lot of fun, too. I haven’t really done anything, you know, build related since the treehouse. Like, made from my own two hands, you know?”
“Understandable,” Bo agreed with a nod of his head. He opened up the link to the bus cam footage Jamal had sent him, quickly typing in his station ID for access. “Here or L.A.?”
“Probably L.A., maybe bring a couple back when we come back in August,” Jensen said.
“Makes sense.” Bo pulled a notebook from his satchel and flipped through the pages until he found the time he had seen the potential killer get onto the bus. He watched Archibald Knight get onto the bus, quickly followed by the unidentified man. He sat down near the middle of the bus, just across the aisle from Archibald.
His head, however, was bowed.
“I found him.”
Jensen lifted his head, leaning over to see the screen. “Think he’ll lift his head?”
“He has to at some point,” Bo said. “He followed Mister Knight for a damn good reason. He has to lift his head at some point to look at Mister Knight. He wouldn’t follow him if he wasn’t planning on looking at him.” He stared at the screen for several seconds before the man moved. “There,” he whispered, quickly pausing the video.
“God, look at his eyes,” Jensen breathed, scooting closer to Bo. “He looks like he’s haunted.”
Bo nodded. “He does.”
“Like, the dude’s seen a lot of shit.”
Again, the blonde nodded as he ran the man’s picture through the system. “He’s not there,” he said after a moment.
“Right.” Bo frowned, sending the image to one of his other applications. He watched the app quickly rifle through image after image that had been uploaded as profile pictures to social media. He sighed. “No matches.”
“Can you look through actual feed, too? Or just profile pics?”
“Well, if I reconfigured the algorithm on the app and changed what, exactly, it has access to… then, probably,” Bo said.
“You should try it. If he hasn’t taken any of his own pictures, you won’t find a profile picture of him, but if you can find him in the background of someone else’s selfie, you’ll have a much better picture to go off of,” Jensen said. “People are always taking selfies.”
Bo tilted his head to the side before nodding. “That’s a good idea. This is why I keep you around.”
Jensen laughed, pressing a kiss to Bo’s temple before leaning away from him. “How long do you think that’ll take you?”
“Couple hours, maybe?” Bo drummed his fingers against the table, his blue eyes shifting to his husband’s face. “Do you think it’s really worth it?” he asked.
“He stalks people down sidewalks in L.A.. If someone’s not taking selfies or snapchatting, they’re vlogging. There are, what, thousands of videos and images uploaded to social media every single day? I guarantee you his face is in at least one of them. Then we can get him listed on a BOLO and an APB.” Jensen squeezed Bo’s thigh. “You’re getting somewhere good, Eli.”
“I suppose,” Bo agreed softly. “Well, I’ll make the adjustments, then. Do you want to stay down here? Or would you like to go back upstairs?”
“Here, for now. My happy ass isn’t moving again for at least an hour.”
Bo snorted. “All right, love.”
10:37 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE SERGEANT JENSEN AUSTEN-TAYLOR’S DESK
“Found him,” Bo said quietly.
Jensen pushed himself out of his chair and rounded his desk. He perched himself on the arm of Bo’s chair, head cocked to the side. “Three pictures and one video,” he said. “Now what?”
“Now… I send them to Jamal and see what he says, and then I run them through the security cams and the traffic cams in L.A. and see if we can get his face to pop up anywhere. We might catch him in residential buildings or public buildings. Their cameras are lower to the ground than traffic cams, so we run a slightly higher chance of seeing his face in those places, too,” Bo explained.
Jensen nodded. “That’s definitely a step in the right direction.” He threw an arm over the back of the chair, pressing a kiss to the top of Bo’s head. “Are you worried that a BOLO will make him act out?”
“A little, admittedly. I’ll make sure Jamal knows that. I’d like not to do something that will result in a mass killing. We have enough of those on our hands as is,” Bo said. He looked down at his watch. “I think Jamal’s in a meeting. I’ll call him around lunch time, let him know that I think we found him. Sound good?”
“Sounds damn good to me, Eli.”
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