Thursday: February 18, 2027
8:30 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
Bo hiked Castor up on his hip, flipping his notebook closed. “You know, I love you, but you make my job incredibly difficult,” he said. Castor lifted his head, fixing his baby blue eyes on his father’s face. “Yes, you,” Bo said. He pushed a stack of papers into the folder on the table before closing it. He reached up to push Castor’s glasses back into place on his nose.
The baby had been incredibly clingy that morning, and so far, Bo hadn’t been able to put him down without him crying. Bo, of course, was used to it. Whenever Castor got sick, he became clingy, and the same was true for after his fever had gone down. All he wanted was to be held, and Bo was rather okay with it. He’d hold either one of their twins any chance he had.
Bo lifted his head as Jacob walked into the lab. “Good morning, LT.”
“Morning.” Jacob shoved his hands into his pockets, clearing his throat. “Agent Cross will be here in about an hour. You ready for that?”
“As ready as I can be,” Bo said. “I have a bit of a presentation built up, and I have five case folders built up.”
“You need six.”
Bo shook his head. “Mine’s memorized. I don’t need one,” he said.
Jacob chuckled, smiling faintly. “Fair enough.” He nodded in Castor’s direction. “How’s your arm?”
“Working toward being incredibly numb,” Bo said. “But, you know, anything for my kids.”
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “Amen to that, brother.” He crossed the room, lifting himself onto the counter. “I spoke to Tom about this all. He, uh… he and Agent Cross are planning on heading up to Jersey shortly after they’re done speaking to you and asking their questions. They need to talk to the man in prison. Would you like to go with?”
“I’d love to, but I can’t,” Bo said simply. “I can’t leave Jensen alone with the kids like that, especially when one of them only stops crying if I’m holding him.”
Jacob nodded. “What about Jensen? Would you like me to ask if he wants to go?”
“You could. It’s totally up to him,” Bo said.
“What about Jass? Are they getting along well enough to go somewhere together?”
“Well, they’ve gone out drinking. Detective Jass is doing his best to change how he sees the world,” Bo said. “I suppose talking to Jensen first is the wise decision, and then you can go from there. If he doesn’t want to go to Jersey, you don’t have to worry about asking Jass.”
“Solid plan,” Jacob agreed. “Are you guys busy Friday night?”
“We’re going to get my tattoo, but after that, we’re free,” Bo said. “Why? Are you going to hang around Clinstone?”
“Al’s going out tomorrow night for some work fundraiser or charity or something. I’m not fancy enough for it,” Jacob said. “Thought you guys could put up with me and the kids for the night.”
Bo chuckled softly, nodding. “Sure, Jake. Friday works just fine. You and Jensen can drink and I’ll make something fattening and unhealthy for us all.”
“Ah, see? That’s why I love you. You’re always spoiling me, Blondie,” Jacob said.
“I do my best.” Bo shifted in his chair, leaning back ever so slightly as Castor wrapped his fingers around the material of his shirt.
“Can you believe he’s turning one next month?”
“I still can’t wrap my mind around it,” Bo said softly. “It’s insane to think that in a couple weeks, I’ll have had him in my life for an entire year. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a year.”
“Time flies by most of the time, especially when you’ve got a good family around you,” Jacob said.
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted as he whispered a simple, “Yeah.”
Jacob smiled faintly. “Excited for the tattoo, then?”
“Excited and a bit nervous, I think.”
“Which part makes you nervous?”
“What if it turns out that I love getting one so much that I need to keep going back for more? Jamal says they’re addictive,” Bo said.
Jacob cocked his head to the side. “Does Jamal have any?”
“He’s covered in them.”
“Learn something new every day.”
“I only found out after his heart surgery,” Bo said. “I helped Frank take care of him once he finally got to go back home.” He lifted his shoulders, lightly circling the heel of his palm on Castor’s back. “A lot of them are, you know… mob related, but he says they’re entirely part of who he is.”
“I guess that makes sense. They helped build his past,” Jacob said with a short nod. He looked down as his watch went off. “I’ve got a meeting with David. I’ll see you in the conference room, all right? Nine forty-five.”
Bo nodded as Jacob jumped off the counter. “I’ll see you then.”
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