3:22 PM; CLIFFBURN, SAPPHIRE HOTEL, ROOM 301
The man sat down on the edge of the bed, rolling up the right sleeve of his white button-up. He had gone out for a drive earlier that morning, driven out to Clinstone. He’d driven by Main Street, smiled when he saw it was still closed. It was the smallest reminder of the justice he was serving.
He rolled up the left sleeve of his shirt, glancing at his watch. He needed to run to the store, preferably not one in Cliffburn. He needed wood and something… sharp. He had a contraption to build, although he was truly in no rush. He could take his sweet old time. He had time. He had plenty of that.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, for what felt like the hundredth time in the last few days, he heard a sound. He had successfully identified it as a voice. A woman’s voice. It was soft and sweet, caring. It made him feel warm and at home. He loved it. The words it spoke were simple praises. He heard many ‘good job’s and ‘there ya go’s from the voice, but that was all. He appreciated that.
He sighed softly, pushing himself to his feet. He didn’t want to waste any more of his own time. The visit to the store was first. He’d decide what would come second later on. For now, the store.
8:17 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
Jensen sat on the lounge of the sectional, Bo sitting between his legs. Bo was sound asleep, Jensen’s arms wrapped around him. Jensen, the girls, and Cecilia were watching a movie, one that Jensen had already forgotten the name of. He turned his head to the side as Bo’s phone went off.
Jensen reached over and grabbed the device. Jamal had sent Bo a text. Jensen frowned. He didn’t know the password to Bo’s phone. Of course, he knew it wouldn’t be long before Jamal called him to check up on Bo.
As if on cue, Jensen’s phone rang. Jensen smiled faintly, accepting the call and pressing the phone to his ear. “He’s asleep,” he said simply.
“Good,” Jamal said, his voice soft. “He needs that.”
“Well, I only texted him to let him know the plumbing’s been fixed in Miss Delacroix’s apartment.”
“How’d you get a guy there so quickly?”
“I’ve got people all over the place, Jensen. You know that,” Jamal said. “Either way, it means you two can sleep in your own bed tonight.”
“Thank you,” Jensen murmured.
“Ah, my pleasure.” Jamal cleared his throat. “I need him to call me tomorrow.”
“No, but I need to talk to him about some… things.”
“Mm.” Jensen pressed a kiss to the top of Bo’s head. “What kind of things?”
“You know what kind of things,” Jamal said. “I know you’re not fucking stupid, Jensen. Don’t sit on your ass and treat me like I am.”
“Of course, Jamal. My apologies.”
Jamal sighed. “No, I am sorry. It’s been a long day,” he said quietly.
“An apology? For little ol’ me?” Jensen asked.
Jamal chuckled. “Yeah, dumbass. One just for you. I’m a… cruel but fair ruler of my little empire. I know when I’m wrong.”
“Anyway, I should let you go. I’ve got supper to make and a shower to take.”
“You make your own food?”
Jamal snorted. “Not as high and mighty as you thought, hmm?” he questioned.
“I just figured Frank was… also a chef. Maybe?” Jensen asked.
“Please. I’ve seen Frank burn water,” Jamal said. Jensen chuckled softly. “I’ll talk to you later, Jensen. Keep my boy safe.”
“I’ll protect him with my life, sir.”
“Good,” Jamal whispered. “He’s always going to need that, you know. You. He’s always going to need you at his side,” he said.
“I sure do hope so, Jamal, ‘cause I need him at mine, too.”
“I know you do, kiddo. You take care. I’ll see you soon,” Jamal said softly.
“Sure thing, Jamal. You take care of yourself, too,” Jensen said.
“Always doing my best. Goodnight, Jensen.”
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