5:42 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo leaned back against the counter, Castor on his hip. “Which one do you like the most, Cas?” he questioned.
Castor dropped his head to rest on Bo’s shoulder, reaching out to scroll through the pictures on Bo’s phone. “Pretty,” he mumbled, clicking a picture.
“Enchilada pasta. That’s what you want?” Bo asked. Castor nodded. “We’ll do that for you and me, then, okay?”
Bo set his phone on the counter as he heard the front door open. “Hey, Jake,” he greeted at the sound of footsteps behind him.
“Blondie,” Jacob said.
“Daddy,” Noah whined, tugging on Jacob’s hand.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re already bored with me.” Jacob snorted, releasing his son’s hand. “Uncle Jensen and your cousins are in the family room.” Noah hugged Jacob before dashing out of the room. Jacob shook his head, reaching down to pick up Eve. “Good evening, Castor.”
“Mm…” Castor wrapped his fingers around Bo’s flannel. Unaware of what ‘evening’ meant, he settled for, “Hi, Untle Dake.”
Jacob grinned. “Hiya, buddy.” His sapphire blue eyes shifted to Bo’s face. “He figured out the K sound. That’s new.”
A soft smile formed on the blonde’s face. “I know. He talks so much that it’s great practice for his speech,” Bo said. “So, between the fridge and the cupboards, I have everything you need for meatloaf, potatoes, and veggies.”
“Fresh,” Bo confirmed.
“Awesome,” Jacob whispered.
An excited shriek came from the hall. Bo frowned, turning to look over his shoulder. Pollux, in just his diapers, practically sprinted—albeit it a wobbly, stumbling sprint—into the kitchen. He giggled, wrapping his arms around Bo’s leg.
Jensen walked into the kitchen, Pollux’s favorite teddy bear shirt in his hand. His green eyes skimmed over Pollux before he lifted his gaze to Bo’s face. “Have you seen Pollux?”
“Huh.” Jensen frowned. “I wonder where he could be?” he questioned, putting his fists to his hips.
Pollux giggled. “Shh,” he whispered, tiny arms tightening around Bo’s thigh.
“I don’t know, love. I haven’t seen him,” Bo assured.
Jensen grunted. “Guess I’ll go see if one of the girls wants to play ‘the floor is lava’, then.”
“Daddy, no!” Pollux exclaimed, shoving away from Bo and running after Jensen instead.
Jensen whirled around and bent down to scoop up the boy. “Gotcha.” He ruffled the toddler’s dark hair. “Let’s get you dressed before we avoid lava, okay?”
Bo couldn’t help the smile on his face as he shook his head. “God,” he breathed, “I love them so much.”
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “That’s good. Means you’re still about a thousand times healthier than you were when I first met you.”
Jacob bounced Eve up before clearing his throat. “Mind if Daddy sets you down so we can start supper?” he asked. Eve nodded, allowing Jacob to set her down. “Thanks, sweetheart,” he murmured, squeezing her hand. She walked out of the room and headed for the family room. “Ready to make some awesome food?”
Bo snorted. “Sure, Jake.” He gestured to the refrigerator. “There’s a… six pack, I think, in the fridge for you and Jensen to split.”
“And that’s why I love you,” Jacob said, opening the door. “Well, part of the reason, of course. There’s a lot more to you than my supplier of booze.”
“I knew what you meant, Jake,” Bo assured.
“No, no,” Castor said as Bo set him down. He held his arms out to his father. “Daddy, up.”
Bo smiled faintly. “Daddy has to make supper For you and me, remember?” he asked.
“Mm.” Castor flexed and unflexed his fingers, squeezing the air. “Up,” he whined.
“I… can set you on the counter. Are you okay with that?”
With an exaggerated grunt, Bo picked Castor back up and set him on the counter. “You have to tell me if you want down, okay?”
“Good deal,” Bo said. He reached out and backhanded Jacob’s shoulder. “Ready to get another chance to cook in the best kitchen in Clinstone?”
“Aww, do you gotta rub it in that I don’t have the best?” Jacob asked.
Bo chuckled. “Yeah, I do.”
Jacob rolled his eyes. “I hate you.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know.” He stepped past the lieutenant and pulled open the refrigerator door. “Food, drinks, video games. I think that’s the game plan until your wife’s ready to put your drunk self to bed.”
Jacob scoffed before nodding. “Sounds good to me, Blondie.”
8:03 PM; LOS ANGELES, THE WEREWOLF’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM
Dominic sat up with a start, smacking his head on the table. He dropped his head back to the floor, letting out a groan. He didn’t remember passing out under the coffee table, but he knew that meant he had gotten as drunk as he had hoped for.
He slid out from under the table, slowly pushing himself to a sitting position. He rubbed at his head, squeezing his eyes shut. He needed more sleep. Induced by alcohol or not, he didn’t care.
With a grunt, he pushed himself to his feet and staggered toward the kitchen. He pulled open the refrigerator and grabbed a can of beer. Leaning back against the wall, he slid to the floor and pulled back the tab to open the can. He closed his eyes again, tilting his head back to take a sip.
Alcohol induced sleep. He liked that option the most.
11:49 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
Bo grabbed Jensen’s hands, pulling him to his feet. The younger man threw an arm around Bo’s shoulders, squeezing his arm. “Did you have fun tonight?” Bo asked.
“Mmhmm. Always nice to be an adult person around other adult people,” Jensen said with a nod.
“You can always go out if you’d like. I don’t mind if you go to the bar every now and then. As long as you don’t drink to the point you can’t even remember your name, I don’t mind,” Bo said. “I’m stable enough to handle you going out for a couple drinks.”
“I know you are, babe. I just don’t like leaving the house. Or… I don’t like leaving without you,” Jensen said as they headed down the hall. “It feels so damn weird to walk outside the house and go have fun somewhere without you.”
Bo smiled. “I know. But you’re allowed to. You can,” he said. “If you wanted,” he added again.
“Ryan wanted to go drinking tomorrow, I think. Maybe I’ll call him up and tell him I’ll go with,” Jensen said.
“There you go.”
Jensen leaned into the bedroom and turned on the light, pulling away from Bo as he stepped into the room. “Do you ever get, you know, bored?”
“No, not really,” Bo said, sitting down on his side of the bed. “Between you and the kids, I don’t have the chance to be bored. If one of the boys isn’t throwing a temper tantrum, they want to be held or they want to play a game or throw things at each other. If the boys aren’t causing any problems, I help the girls with their homework. If I’m not helping anyone, at least one of us is making supper. And when it’s none of the above, you and I are alone together.” He lifted his shoulders. “Besides, if I ever got bored just sitting around, I’d pull an old math equation out of thin air and solve for, you know, X and Y.”
Jensen chuckled. “I love you,” he whispered, leaning down to kiss the top of Bo’s head.
“I love you, too.”
“I’m gonna brush my teeth and take a shower. Join me?”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “You still have to ask?” he questioned, grabbing Jensen’s outstretched hand.
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