Friday: March 5, 2027
3:12 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
“I swear I only went in there to check on them,” Jensen said as he walked into the bedroom, Castor in his arms. “But he was awake and smiling at me, so…”
Bo chuckled, pushing himself up so he was sitting. “I bet he knows Grandma made him an awesome birthday cake.”
“Probably,” Jensen agreed as he sat down on the edge of the bed. He snorted as Castor reached for Bo. “Yeah, okay. You love your other daddy more than me. I get it.”
Bo rolled his eyes, taking the baby from Jensen. “He just knows I’ll hold him for the next year if he wants me to,” he said. Castor grabbed Bo’s hands, pulling himself into a standing position on Bo’s lap. The blonde chuckled softly. “Good job, buddy.” His gaze shifted to Jensen’s face. The younger man didn’t look tired, much to Bo’s surprise. With their impending return to L.A., neither man had been able to sleep. Despite their best efforts, the worry for what Jamal might have planned for Bo had kept them both up.
Castor tugged on the cross hanging around Bo’s neck. “Dadda,” he whined.
“Did he…?” Bo looked down at his son, cocking his head to the side. “What’d you say?”
“Oh, my, God,” Bo whispered. He looked up at Jensen, a broad smile on his face. “He called me dadda.”
“You’re so smart,” Jensen whispered, leaning forward to press a kiss to the top of Castor’s head. “Dadda. That’s right, buddy.” Castor giggled happily, dropping to a sitting position instead. Jensen smiled, dropping to his back on the bed, hands locked behind his head. “You know what the good news is about us both being Dad?”
“We don’t have to fight to make our kids say Dadda before Momma. They have no choice but to love us both,” Jensen said.
Bo snorted. “I suppose that’s certainly a plus,” he agreed. “We both get credited for the first word. It’s nice.”
“Exactly.” Jensen shook his head, green eyes focused on the ceiling. “One first one down, one more to go.”
“I think we have a couple more months before Grayson’s babbles turn to something more concrete,” Bo said.
“I know.” Jensen rolled onto his side before moving closer to Bo, snuggling up against the blonde. A smile on his face, he reached out and pushed Castor’s glasses back up on his nose. “I love them all so much, Eli,” he whispered.
“You and me both, Jens,” Bo murmured. He shifted, pressing a kiss to Jensen’s forehead. “How about I put Castor to bed while you set up one of your dumb parkour games?”
“They aren’t dumb,” Jensen denied. “First of all, Forbidden Freedom is the best thing since Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted.”
Bo chuckled, rolling his eyes. “I’m sure, Jens.”
“You’re an Angel escaping Heaven, Eli. It’s amazing,” Jensen insisted as Bo climbed out of bed, Castor on his hip.
“You’re an Angel that has to parkour everywhere because he can’t fly.”
“God took away his wings!”
Bo smiled, shaking his head. “Just set up the game.”
“Who do you wanna be?”
“Whoever or whatever second player is.”
“You wanna be second player?”
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “You always let the dork you love be first player,” he said simply. “Set it up. I’ll be back in a few.”
4:23 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, GARAGE
“We’ll be back next Sunday evening around suppertime,” Bo said, buckling Castor into his carseat. He smiled at the child before leaning out of the car and closing the door. “Jake should be here to pick up his kids around five or six, but he’ll call Katie if anything changes. If I stumble upon anything important for the case while we’re in L.A., I’ll call you and Jake to keep everyone in the loop. I… think that’s it.”
Thomas smiled faintly. “I think I can handle that. Call if you remember anything,” he said.
Thomas pulled Bo into a hug. “Drive safe. Fly safe,” he said.
“We will,” Bo promised. He pulled away from his uncle, tucking his hands behind his back. “I’ll see you soon.”
Thomas nodded. “I’ll be here, kiddo. Enjoy your break.”
“Of course, and you enjoy your weekend,” Bo said.
Thomas chuckled, clapping a hand down on Bo’s shoulder. “I’ll do my best, Bo. See you in a week, kiddo.”
7:48 PM; PALMDALE REGIONAL AIRPORT, JAMAL PITMAN’S PRIVATE PLANE
Frank grabbed Acamas’s pet crate and headed back for the car. Jamal watched him before turning his dark gaze to Bo’s face. He offered a smile. “You look tired. Have you been sleeping?”
“On and off,” Bo said. “Neither one of us slept last night,” he added, adjusting his hold on the handle of Castor’s car seat.
“Why not?” Jamal asked, turning around to walk to the car.
Bo glanced back at Jensen before following the older man. “Because we were worried about what you might have me do once we got here,” he said honestly.
“It’s nothing bad. I told you that,” Jamal said.
“Your definition of bad is quite different than mine,” Bo said.
“It’s nothing that will make you think you’re a monster. How’s that?” Jamal asked. Bo offered a shrug as Jamal pulled open the back door of the car. “For someone who supposedly trusts me, you don’t seem very trustful of me.”
“Knowing what you do in your free time, it’s a little hard to believe you sometimes,” Bo said, loading the car seat into the car. “That doesn’t mean I don’t trust you. It just means I may hold a different opinion of the situation than you do,” he explained. Satisfied that the seat was buckled in, he leaned out of the car.
Jamal shut the door, pressing a hand to the window. “Then back out,” he said.
“Then back out. If you’re still having second thoughts, tell me so I can find someone else before I die.”
“Gampa’s dying?” Amber asked.
Jamal whirled around to face the little blonde, immediately squatting down to her height. “Of course not, baby. That’s just how I guilt trip your daddy into doing things,” he said. Amber giggled, throwing her arms around Jamal’s neck. Bo rolled his eyes, walking around to the other side of the car. He pulled open the door before Frank could and folded down the seat closest to him.
“Do you think he wants me to back out?” Bo asked, his voice low.
“You know he says shit like that just to rile you up,” Jensen said as he climbed into the car. He put Pollux’s car seat in the back, buckling it into place. “He doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just, you know, Jamal.” He adjusted the straps on the car seat before turning to face Bo, still sitting on the folded seat.
“Might I put in my two cents?” Frank questioned.
Bo sighed quietly. “Go for it, Frank.”
“Mister Pitman’s old, Mister Austen. He’s pushing you because he needs to know if you’re ready,” Frank said. He cleared his throat. “You didn’t hear it from me, but he wants to retire within the next few years. That’s all I’m going to say.”
“Retire?” Bo echoed in a whisper. Frank simply held up his hands before walking away from the couple. “He can’t… Not anytime soon, right?”
Jensen offered a small smile, reaching out to grab his husband’s hands. “Baby… the man’s gonna be eighty in a few years. He’s gotta retire at some point, take a few years for himself. You know that.”
Bo smiled, his brow furrowed as he shook his head. “I know. I just…”
“You don’t like thinking about it. I know, Eli.” Jensen climbed out of the car, pressing a kiss to Bo’s forehead. “Let’s get the girls in here so we can get to your parents’ place. Cake, ice cream, and presents. Who doesn’t like that, huh?”
Bo nodded, wrapping his arms around the younger man. “There will be coffee?”
“There will always be coffee,” Jensen promised.
Bo smiled, chuckling. He stepped away from Jensen, clearing his throat as he smoothed a hand over Jensen’s jacket. “Let’s go have a little birthday party, then.”
Enjoying the story? Consider dropping a comment or a like down below!!
Love what I do and want to help support me? You can ‘buy me a coffee’ on Ko-fi!