Wednesday: May 17, 2028
7:05 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Kayla slid the gallon of milk back onto the top shelf in the refrigerator. She closed the door and grabbed her bowl of cereal from the counter, turning as Jensen walked into the kitchen. “Morning, Daddy.”
Jensen smiled softly, patting her on the shoulder as he pulled open the refrigerator door. “Morning, sweetheart.”
“Asleep.” Jensen snorted. “Surprisingly,” he muttered, pulling out the coffee creamer.
“He was up late again.”
“I know. He was out here until almost five,” Jensen said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love your father, but… oh, my God. The man doesn’t know when to give up on something.”
“What was he doing this time?”
Jensen shrugged. “Hell if I know, Kay. You know he runs a million times faster than my mind ever will.”
“So? You always listen when he talks.”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted as he turned on the coffee maker. “There is that,” he agreed. “I’m not sure. Something about a second algorithm on his backup laptop to run through the footage quicker? He had to rework the first one so he didn’t lose his progress, and he had to do something from scratch for the second one.”
“So normal Dad stuff.”
Jensen chuckled. “Pretty much.”
“Think he’ll sleep more after this case is over?”
“Of course. He always crashes after a case,” Jensen said. He cleared his throat. “Go ahead and eat. I’ll worry about Dad; you worry about getting around for school.”
“Sure thing, Dad.” She pointed to the keeping room. “Hati’s outside.”
“Thanks, sweetheart. I’ll grab her in a sec. And, uh, wake your sister up for me?” Jensen asked. Kayla offered a thumbs up before walking out of the kitchen. He turned back to the counter, reaching up to pull open the cupboard. He grabbed two coffee mugs and set them both on the counter. He knew it wouldn’t be long before Bo walked into kitchen. Even when the blonde slept in, it was never for as long as it could be or should be.
Just as Jensen finished pouring two cups of coffee, Bo padded into the kitchen. “Morning, Eli.”
“Morning,” Bo murmured. He hugged Jensen as soon as the younger man turned around. “I’m taking a nap during our lunch break.”
Jensen chuckled, wrapping his arms around Bo. “Works for me, babe.” He cleared his throat, resting his chin on top of Bo’s head. “Did you at least accomplish anything? Or was your incredibly late night totally useless?” he questioned.
“I mean, I reconfigured both algorithms, so, together, they’re running through the footage two times quicker than before. That’s technically an accomplishment,” Bo said.
“That’s something,” Jensen agreed.
“I keep hoping I’ll stumble upon footage of him paying for something with a credit card instead of cash. If I manage to grab a date and time, we can find out his name,” Bo said.
“We should be able to find out where he’s living and what he’s doing. I still don’t think he has a job. It doesn’t make sense that he would.”
“He could be on disability. If whatever the hell’s wrong with his head keeps him from being able to work, he would qualify,” Jensen said.
“Smart,” Bo said with a nod. He leaned up and kissed Jensen. “I was going to take a quick shower. Join me?”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth quirked up. “I gotta let Hati in, then I’ll be with you.”
“Okay.” Bo patted Jensen on the chest before taking a step away from him. “She needs to be taken to the vet and updated on her shots. Don’t let me forget that.”
“I’ll call the vet when we get to the station.”
“No problem, babe.” Jensen smacked a hand against Bo’s backside. “See you in a sec.”
8:10 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE WEREWOLF’S HOUSE, FOYER
Dominic tugged a hat over his head and pulled open the door. Twisting the lock, he stepped outside and closed the door. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his jacket as he walked down the stairs and headed down the paved drive.
He wasn’t sure if the walk was to find his next little ‘jackrabbit’ or if it was to clear his head. He figured both purposes were incredibly useful to him and whatever mental sanity he may have left.
Could just kill Tamara, he thought dryly.
He nodded ever so slightly, his hands clenching into fists in his pockets. If Tamara was dead, would his problems get better or even worse than she had helped make them? He wasn’t sure. He could hope and pray for better, but he imagined they’d get worse.
Tamara had a way of always making his life shit, intentionally or otherwise.
He knew he needed to get rid of her, and he didn’t think just changing therapists again would be a good enough fix. He might still accidentally see her in passing if he left her alive. If he managed to get better and he saw her again, his anger would come straight back through.
It’d be unstoppable.
Or, at least, that was what he assumed would happen. He’d never know for sure, not until he switched therapists or killed her. There was no other way to test his theories, and he knew he wouldn’t fair well with another therapist.
It’d taken him a long enough time to get used to Tamara. It’d taken long enough for him to open up to her, to let her into his head.
He couldn’t go through that yet again.
He knew damn well another therapist would get bored with him, just like Tamara had. What would he do if another doctor just got bored with his stories? Got bored with trying to help him like Tamara had?
Dominic stopped walking. He had a plan, a perfect plan. He could get her attention again. He could.
He’d just need to kill outside the pattern, just this once.
He smiled faintly before forcing himself to start walking again. Tamara was only bored with him because one of her patients had suddenly become much more interesting than him.
Once the patient was gone, Dominic could have the therapist’s attention all to himself again, and then he could get better.
“Perfect,” he whispered.
12:07 PM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER
“I mean, he’s found a few photos of the guy with the algorithms,” Jensen said, phone pressed his ear. “I don’t really know much more than that.”
“Where is he?” Jamal asked.
“Taking a nap. He didn’t come back to bed until almost five,” Jensen said.
“You have permission to take away his computer, you know.”
Jensen snorted. “Yeah, Jamal, that’d go down real well. It think I’d be in enough trouble that I’d be forced to go back to calling him Mister Austen.”
Jamal chuckled. “Understandable.”
“Thanks,” Jensen mouthed as Ruth handed a bag over to him.
She nodded. “Have a good day, Jensen.”
“You, too, Ruth.” He offered a wave before grabbing the bag and heading for the door. “After this case is over, and after he runs through the paperwork with you or whatever, he’ll go back to sleeping more.”
“Of course. He always crashes after a case,” Jensen said. “What kinda shit are you making him do once he comes back to L.A.?”
“I don’t make him do anything,” Jamal corrected.
“You know what I meant.”
“Just some paperwork. He needs to see what the police chief does in comparison to what he usually does. I know he’ll adapt easily, but it’s not something I want to just throw at him in two years,” Jamal said.
“Fair enough.” Jensen cleared his throat, pinning his phone between his ear and shoulder as he shoved a hand into his pocket. “Think he’ll really have to be there for a week?”
“I’ll do my best to wrap it up as quickly as possible,” Jamal promised.
“My pleasure, kid.”
Jensen smiled faintly. He pulled his keys from his pocket and unlocked the car. “Hey, I’m gonna let you go. I’ll tell him to call you once he’s up and around.”
“Thanks. Enjoy your lunch, Jensen.”
“Always. Have a good day, Jamal.”
“Mmhmm. Talk to you soon, kid.”
Jensen waited for Jamal to end the call before sticking his phone back in his pocket. He pulled open the driver’s side door and slid into the seat. He reached back and set the bag on the back seat before quietly shutting his door.
In the reclined passenger seat, Bo was still sound asleep, his earphones pushed into his ears, his phone held between his chest and his hand.
Jensen couldn’t help but smile. He’d never be able to figure out how he’d ended up with Bo or how he’d managed to convince the blonde to marry him, but he sure as hell considered himself lucky for it.
Jensen started the car and clicked his seat belt into place. He drove out of the parking lot and rested a hand on Bo’s thigh. The blonde let out a soft sound, dropping a hand to rest over Jensen’s. “You’re adorable,” the taller man whispered.
“If you say so,” Bo mumbled.
Jensen snorted. “You’re supposed to be asleep.”
“Smelled your cologne.”
“Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?”
“Good. Always a comfort,” Bo said.
“Mm. Good.” Jensen squeezed Bo’s thigh. “Go back to sleep, Eli.”
“Okie dokie,” Bo murmured, curling his fingers under Jensen’s palm. “Drive to the park? Quieter there than the station’s parking lot.”
“Sure thing, babe.”
6:32 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo: Sent you the videos the killer’s been spotted in. Nothing useful for *me* yet, but maybe it can help your men out.
Jamal: Thanks, kiddo. Get some sleep tonight
Bo set his phone down as a knock sounded at the front door. He turned down the heat on the stove, where he had a pan of beef stroganoff and a pan of mushroom stroganoff going. Although Castor was the only Austen-Taylor that had officially decided to be a vegetarian, Bo typically had to eat the meals with him—not that Bo minded.
The blonde headed for the foyer and pulled open the door. He smiled. “Celia.” Cecilia grabbed his arm and tugged him outside. “Well, hello to you,” he greeted.
Cecilia laughed softly, holding his hands tightly in her own. “A girl. If everything goes okay, the baby’s gonna be a girl.”
“Celia, that’s amazing,” Bo whispered. “Come here.”
She threw her arms around him. “I’m still scared, Bo.”
“It’ll be okay, Celia,” Bo assured, pushing a hand into her hair. “You have me and David right beside you. You just have to make sure to eat healthy, take your vitamins, avoid… as much stress as you can, and go from there. It’ll be okay.”
“Thank you.” She pushed away from him, a smile on her face. “He’s so excited, Bo.”
“So damn happy,” Cecilia said.
“You should be,” Bo said softly. “Are you guys eating anything?”
“Dave was figuring out something healthy.”
“Healthy renditions of food here all day, seven days a week. You should both come over,” Bo said. “Consider it another little celebration.”
“Deal.” She squeezed his hands. “We’ll be over in a few.” Bo watched her leave, unable to stop himself from smiling. Cecilia and David deserved this.
Bo turned to face Jensen, who stood in the doorway, one hand pressed to the door, one arm wrapped around Pollux. “Yes?”
Bo jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Celia came over. I invited her and David over for supper,” he said.
Jensen smiled faintly. “All righty.” He held out a hand. Bo rolled his eyes before grabbing it and walking back inside. He reached back and closed the door. “Cas is pretending he can’t hear me, so he won’t wake up from his nap. He’s giggling like the… angel he is, but he won’t get up.”
Bo snorted. “I’ll get him. Can you two tend to the food?” he asked, smoothing a hand over Pollux’s head.
“Sure can, babe.”
“Thank you.” Bo smacked Jensen on the rear as he walked past the younger man. Jensen snorted, rolling his eyes before heading for the kitchen. Bo walked back to the room Castor and Pollux shared. Eventually, they planned on moving the boys upstairs, but they were waiting until Pollux was out of his crib, as well.
Bo squatted down beside Castor’s bed, crossing his arms over the mattress. “Daddy’s making supper, Cas. The pretty picture you picked this morning?” He laid a hand on the toddler’s shoulder. “Daddy and I can eat all of it by ourselves if you’re too tired.”
“No, no.” Castor rolled onto his other side, holding out his arms. “Hundwy.”
“Oh, you’re hungry?” Bo asked. Castor nodded. Bo smiled and picked the toddler up. He pushed himself to his feet, resting Castor on his hip. “Supper won’t be ready for a little bit. We can play ball until then,” Bo said, grabbing Castor’s glasses from the dresser.
Bo raised an eyebrow, sliding Castor’s glasses on. “No?” he questioned.
Castor shook his head, wrapping a hand around Bo’s shirt. “Hold.”
“Okay. I can hold you,” Bo assured as he walked out of the room.
“How’d you get him up?” Jensen asked as Bo stepped into the kitchen.
“I said we’d eat all of his food. Woke him right up.”
Jensen snorted. “A baby after my own heart, I tell ya.”
Bo chuckled. “Sometimes I worry food is going to replace me.”
“Nah. Food will never be as adorable as you,” Jensen said. He pressed a kiss to Bo’s temple. “Need any help in here?”
Bo shook his head. “No, it’s okay. Should be done in about ten minutes.”
“All righty. We’ll be in the family room.”
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