12:03 PM; CLINSTONE, CECILIA DELACROIX’S APARTMENT, FOYER
Jensen held out three case folders as soon as Cecilia opened the door. “I hope these are all of them.”
Cecilia grabbed the folders before stepping away from the door, a silent invitation to come inside. She flipped through the folders and their contents, nodding. “These are it. Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” Jensen handed her a tupperware container. “Lunch. Bo made it, said to make sure you eat healthy. You and the twins need a strong diet,” he said.
One corner of her mouth lifted. “He worries too much,” she said softly, taking the container from him.
“I know he does, but… it’s a good balance. I don’t worry enough, and he worries enough to make up for it,” Jensen said. “And, you know, his worries are at least based on science and logic.”
Cecilia nodded. “Definitely more than a fair point,” she agreed. She tapped the files against Jensen’s chest. “Thank you. I’ll make sure to eat here in a few.” Jensen followed her to the kitchen. “I saw the news yesterday. How are the girls?”
“Kayla saw the dead guy, but she stopped Amber from looking. Kay’s just kinda clinging to Bo a bit more than usual. A couple more days of talking everything out with him and she’ll be fine,” he said.
“Good.” She cleared her throat, tossing the files onto the island. “Do you guys have names picked out yet?” she asked, looking back at Jensen.
“We’ve… only talked a bit about it. Bo said I have to be in charge of names because he’d be incapable of choosing something, you know, ‘normal’,” Jensen said. He hated the word. Normal. More often than not, his husband used it as an insult to himself, and Jensen hated that.”
“Let me guess. Mythology?” Cecilia asked.
Jensen smiled. “You know it. He offered the smart ass suggestion of Castor and Pollux, though.”
“The Gemini twins,” she said, a soft laugh falling from her lips. “That’s kinda cute.”
“That’s what I thought, but Bo sees it as a… a hinderance for the kids.” He frowned, leaning back against the counter as Cecilia put the tupperware container into the microwave. “He says he wouldn’t want to throw an ‘abnormal’ name on either one of them just in case…”
“In case one of them ends up being smart,” she said quietly. He nodded. “I thought he was getting better about that.”
“He is. I mean, he’s way more accepting of the fact that he’s fine the way he is, but he still doesn’t want the kids to be like him. Kayla will ask him a super complicated answer, and he’ll answer it without hesitation, like, eight out of ten times. But those other two times? He’ll either say he doesn’t understand it, she doesn’t need to know it, or he’ll simplify it so much that she can’t actually learn anything from the answer. He doesn’t want her to be an overachiever, I guess.” Jensen shook his head. “I love him so damn much, and knowing that he still feels any kind of hatred toward that part of him pisses me off.” A pause. “I just wish he could love himself the way I love him.”
“Maybe one day he will,” Cecilia said. “He just needs time. Years upon years, I imagine,” she added.
“I was gonna contact his bio-father. I wanted a sit down with him, but… but I don’t think I could talk to the bastard without punching him square in the goddamn jaw,” Jensen said.
“Why do you want to talk to him in the first place?” she asked.
“I don’t know yet. I wanna know… what kind of terrible person can’t handle the fact that a child is smarter than they are. I wanna know what drives you to dump your six-year-old at an adoption agency on their goddamn birthday. I…” He ran his tongue over his top row of teeth, a habit he had slowly picked up from Jamal, something he’d even seen Bo do every now and then. “I wanna know what ran through his mind when he decided to set Bo up for failure and a life of self-hatred thirty-one years ago. That’s why I wanna talk to him.”
1:27 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KAYLA AND AMBER’S BEDROOM
Bo laid Kayla in the bottom bunk, reaching down to pull the covers up to her shoulders. She had fallen asleep on the couch while Amber was attempting to teach Denzel Austen how to play one of her favorite zombie video games. Bo hadn’t wanted the noise to wake the girl up, so he figured the bunkbed was a much better place to sleep. He walked out of the room, shutting the door most of the way. He headed back to the kitchen, grabbing a bottle of water from the refrigerator. In the family room, Amber was saying something to Denzel about fixing his camera angles.
Bo smiled faintly, heading for the breakfast nook. Denzel Austen was one of the furthest things a person could get from a gamer. He had been a farmer when Bo was growing up. He had been a factory man after he and Renee followed Bo to Los Angeles. Waking up at four in the morning, showering and getting dressed, driving the half hour to his factory job that started at six, ended that evening at six. Bo knew the man had carpal tunnel in his right wrist from years and years of hard labor and taxing hours of the same repetitive motion, but he also knew he wouldn’t get it checked out.
Denzel Austen just wasn’t a hospital kind of man, something that Bo understood completely.
The blonde sat down at the table, opening his laptop. He turned it on, typing in his password as soon as the screen popped up. Before his home screen even had a chance to turn on, he plugged in the flash drive Jacob had given him the day before. He waited as his computer opened the ‘Defragment and Optimize Drives’ application first, followed by the ‘HP Recommended’ application. Spotify opened next, immediately followed by Skype. With an annoyed click of each, he closed all four applications.
On his old laptop, he had disabled them from ever opening themselves on his own, but he’d been through two different laptops since losing his to Steven Brady’s bombing of the police station. He hadn’t gotten attached to a laptop since, and it kept him from changing much of anything about its operating system. One day, he’d build his own again and get everything back to the way it had been before the bombing, before Steven, before Bridget.
But that day wasn’t now.
Bo opened the flash drive and double clicked the first image. Unwilling to call Gwen or Misty Archer to bother them with questions, he grabbed his phone, unlocked the screen, and opened up his facial recognition application. He snapped a quick picture of the dead man’s face and ran it through the system.
Alonzo Sáez. Six-foot-one, brown hair, green eyes, Latino, born November sixth, 1996. Twenty-nine years old.
Bo frowned, leaning back in his chair. Only twenty-nine years old. In the very illegal manner that he was rather used to, he hacked into Alonzo’s bank account. Bo raised an eyebrow. Well over ten thousand in his checking account, well over twenty thousand in his savings. His last paycheck had been cashed on Friday, and based on the amount, he certainly wasn’t making minimum wage.
Bo left the account, erasing all traces of his existence in the bank’s system. He needed to know where Alonzo worked, what he worked as. Still on his phone, Bo ran the man’s name through all of his software, turning out a result in less than thirty seconds.
Bo flinched as a hand touched his shoulder. He tilted his head back, a smile turning up either corner of his mouth. “Hey, love.”
“Mm.” Jensen leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to Bo’s lips. Bent at an awkward angle, he wrapped his arms around Bo’s shoulders. “Whatcha doing?”
“Seeing if I’m crazy for thinking this isn’t a suicide,” Bo said. “Jens, this man was Zoe Beckenbauer’s assistant.”
“The actress?” Bo nodded. “Damn,” Jensen whispered.
“He was making a lot of money in a year. He owns his house. He owns his car. His student loan are paid off in full,” Bo said. “Why would you kill yourself… if everything was going that well?”
“It wasn’t a suicide,” Jensen murmured.
“It wasn’t a suicide,” Bo repeated.
Bo nodded. “Shit is one word for it,” he agreed.
Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s shoulder, his brow furrowed. “What do you wanna do?”
“I don’t know yet. Do a bit more digging first, I suppose. Tomorrow, I’ll take whatever I gather to Jake, explain my case, go from there,” Bo said. “I mean, there’s no true evidence to support the claim here. It’s just, you know, logic and theory.”
“Which means Jake might not be able to do anything.”
“Then what would we do?” Jensen asked. Bo lifted his shoulders. “I don’t know. Wait to see if someone else ‘jumps’ off an elementary school building with a noose around their neck? If that doesn’t happen… we have nothing, nothing but a little blonde man’s assumption, and I’m just the forensics guy.”
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