Wednesday: February 17, 2027
1:27 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
“Leftovers are in the fridge, if you’re interested,” Bo said as Jensen walked into the bedroom.
“I grabbed something at the bar.”
Bo nodded slightly. “Answers the question of where you were,” he said quietly. “In the future, if you tell me that you aren’t going to be gone long and that changes, I’d appreciate if you call me.”
“Yeah, babe, I know. I left my phone in the family room when I headed out,” Jensen said. He sat down on the edge of the bed, dropping his hands to his lap. “Ryan asked if I wanted to go out for a couple drinks. I was gonna say no, but I figured our friendship could use all the help it can get.”
“Not a terrible idea.” Bo cleared his throat, looking back down at the open case file on his lap. “You need a shower.”
“I was kinda planning on going to bed and taking one before work.”
“You can, but I’ll be sleeping on the couch if you do,” Bo said. He lifted his gaze to Jensen’s face, offering a faint smile. “I know you forget about this sometimes, but one of us has to stay sober at all times, and sleeping beside you when you smell like a bar isn’t going to help me with that.”
“Sorry,” Jensen whispered. He squeezed Bo’s thigh and pushed himself to his feet. “Have you told Jake?”
“No, I kind of… assumed that was why you hadn’t come home yet,” Bo said.
“Fair enough,” Jensen mumbled.
“I’ll go to the station a bit earlier than usual. Hopefully I’ll be the first one to tell him.”
“Hopefully,” Jensen agreed. He leaned down to kiss Bo, stopping himself as he laid a hand on Bo’s cheek. “Can I?”
“What was the last thing you drank?” Bo questioned.
Jensen glanced up briefly. “Pop. Definitely pop.” Wordlessly, Bo tilted his head back and kissed Jensen. “I love you,” Jensen whispered.
Bo smiled faintly, patting the younger man’s cheek. “I love you too.”
“I’m gonna grab a quick shower. No casework once I get back.”
“Deal.” Bo watched his husband walk to the bathroom before sighing softly. His gaze drifted back to the photographs on his lap. The Casanova—back in New Jersey—had progressively gotten more and more violent with each kill. At the same time, he’d quickly become less hesitant with each kill. The cuts had become deeper, and with each kill, the Casanova had slashed at each victim more times than the last.
Bo closed the folder, leaning to the side to set it on his laptop on the nightstand. Acamas stood up from the end of the bed, moving to stand on Bo’s lap instead. He smiled faintly, scratching her head. “Hey, sweetheart,” he greeted. She purred, pushing her head against the palm of his head before curling up in his lap. Bo pulled open his nightstand drawer, grabbing the book he’d started earlier that day during his wait for Jensen to return home.
The blonde glanced down at his watch before taking it off and setting it on the nightstand. Before Jensen had come home, he’d been tired, only fighting off sleep because his husband wasn’t home safe and sound. Now, knowing that he’d have to be the one to tell Jacob about his dead former partner, the very idea of sleep escaped him.
For a lieutenant of a homicide department, Jacob Mason had never handled death well.
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