9:01 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
“Morning, Blondie,” Jacob greeted as he walked into the lab, a cup of coffee in his hand.
Bo’s eyes shifted to the lieutenant’s face. He offered a smile. “Morning, Jake. How was your meeting?”
“Well, you know. It was a meeting. Always thrilling,” Jacob said, lifting himself onto the counter. “Saw a rental car sitting outside this morning.”
“The hell were you doing awake that early?”
“Eve had a bad dream,” Jacob said simply. He cleared his throat, wrapping both hands around the coffee cup. “Who was it?”
“Hell’d she want?” Jacob asked.
“She came by to apologize for hating me so that way Dallas would have sex with her again,” Bo said.
“That’s fucked up. What’d you say to her?”
Bo shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter. I went back to bed and she and Jensen apparently hashed it out.” He cleared his throat. “She’s always been this way. She’s nice to you when you provide some sort of direct benefit. When she was in prison, I was a benefit because I kept her in touch with Dallas and the outside world. Before that, she was the same. She was a friend, sure, but she still treated me and everyone else like shit. That’s just who she is.”
Jacob grunted his response, shaking his head. “How in the hell did Piman turn out a better person than Kathy?”
“Jamal respects those around him, whether or not he can use them to get what he wants. He believes that everyone, more or less, has the right to do whatever the hell they want, as long as it doesn’t directly interfere with his job,” Bo said. “Kathy, on the other hand, respects very few people, and it reflects on the way she treats everyone else. If Dallas is lucky enough, she’ll go back to being a bit mellower soon.”
“Hopefully, I guess. The guy deserves to be treated better than that.”
“I know.” Bo shifted in his chair, glancing back down at his laptop. “Anything exciting today?” he asked.
“Nah. Another unsurprisingly boring day,” Jacob said. Bo snorted. “I dunno, Blondie. I think you took all the killers back to L.A. with you.”
“Give it some time. Someone will have to kill someone else eventually. That’s just humanity for you,” Bo said. “Besides, we’re working our way closer and closer to summer. Crime rises in the heat,” he reminded.
“A fair point.” Jacob took a sip of his coffee and cleared his throat. “What’re you and the Austen-Taylor gang doing tonight?”
“Probably watching a movie or watching the girls play an abnormally graphic video game,” Bo said. “Why?”
“Allie’s taking the kids out for a movie. I’ve got Noah and Eve, though. Thought I’d come over for a couple drinks, maybe help make supper.”
“You just want to use my kitchen.”
Jacob grinned. “Guilty as charged.”
Bo rolled his eyes, chuckling softly. “Sure, Jake. You guys can come over.” He tilted his head. “Why aren’t you going with?”
“Young twins in a movie theater? No, thank you. I’m doing the entire population of the theater a favor.”
“Fair enough. But, uh, yeah, come on over. As long as you don’t mind me crowding my kitchen, too. Castor has chosen to make his diet difficult, too.”
“Refuses to eat meat.”
“When’d that happen?”
“Relatively slowly over the last couple of weeks,” Bo said. “I mean, I’m hoping it’s part of his, you know, terrible twos phase. Either way, we’ll adjust and make different meals for him. So… you can make whatever you want for everyone and I’ll throw in whatever vegetarian something he picks out for himself.”
“How does he pick stuff out?”
“He, like his father, is obsessed with all the ‘pretty pictures’ on Pinterest. He chooses from the photos,” Bo said.
Jacob laughed, shaking his head. “What about Pollux? He’s still good with whatever?”
“Pretty much, yeah.” Bo smiled, raking a hand through his hair. “Just like his dad. Not very picky.”
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “I’m glad to see you so damn happy, Blondie,” he said, his voice soft.
“Thank you. Half of that’s thanks to you,” Bo said.
Jacob rolled his eyes. “I’d like to pretend I won’t take credit, but you bet your ass I’m gonna.”
Bo chuckled. “I figured as much.”
“So,” Jacob started, tapping a finger against the side of his coffee cup, “whatcha working on over there?”
“Watching traffic cam footage from L.A.,” Bo said.
“I thought you’d already done that?”
“I watched the footage for anything close to our victims’ houses or where the first victim was killed. Now I’m watching everything. If I’m lucky, I’ll stumble upon one of the victims. If I’m lucky, they first met their killer in public, and if I’m incredibly lucky, we catch a glimpse of his face,” Bo said.
“Jesus, Blondie. That’s gonna take forever.”
“If nothing else, it gives me something to do. If nothing comes of this today, I might work out an algorithm to do the rest for me,” Bo said. “But, of course, that depends on how boring tomorrow is.”
“It’s supposed to get up in the nineties tomorrow. Maybe someone will just go totally bonkers.”
“Totally bonkers,” Bo echoed.
Bo shook his head as he rose to his feet. “Coffee refill. Do you need any?” he asked.
Jacob shook his cup before nodding. “Might as well,” he said, jumping down from the counter with a grunt.
“Doing okay there, old man?”
Jacob scoffed. “I am not that old.”
“You used to call me kid when I first got here. You’re old,” Bo said.
Jacob rolled his eyes, shoving at Bo’s shoulder as the blonde walked past him. “Keep laughing, Blondie. Soon you’ll be forty, and it’s all downhill from there.”
The blonde chuckled as he and Jacob walked out into the hall. “I know. Forty’s going to make me feel old, even though it’s not even middle aged.”
“Well, you know what they say. Forty’s the new seventy.”
“I don’t think that’s the saying.”
“Kids think we’re a year or two away from death as soon as we turn thirty. They think that’s the biggest damn number in the world,” Jacob said, starting up the stairs. “So forty is totally the new seventy.”
“You know you’re just as big of a dork as you were when I first met you, don’t you?” Bo questioned.
“Oh, you betcha.”
10:38 AM; LOS ANGELES, WEST EIGHTH STREET
Dominic walked down the street, hands shoved into his pockets, earphones pushed into his ears, and a beanie pulled over his head, despite the usual Los Angeles heat. He didn’t want to touch anyone today, and he was hoping no one bumped into him.
He had been awake all night, unable to sleep thanks to a combination of his usual anger and a splitting headache. The headaches were something he was familiar with, but they hadn’t been quite as common since he started visiting Tamara for weekly sessions.
Now that she’d pissed him off, they were back full force.
A man walked past Dominic, shoulder-checking him in the process. Dominic closed his eyes briefly, more than thankful that he had settled on wearing a long-sleeved shirt before leaving the house. The material was thin, but it would protect him from any unwanted information, thoughts, or dreams.
For that, he was thankful.
Usually, he’d spend the day inside to guarantee no one would accidentally graze his hand, but staying inside had nearly driven him insane. This was his seventh walk in the last four hours alone, and the benefits were beginning to only be minimal.
Dominic figured that, at this point in the day, his only other option was to go home, lock himself in with the deadbolt and the chain for added security, and drink himself into a state of peace and sleep.
With a heavy sigh, he turned back around and started the walk back home. He needed to control the anger and the headaches before he could ever go back to searching for the name and the story of his next victim.
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