8:40 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, GARAGE
Bo sat in the driver’s seat of his car, his right leg pulled to his chest. He wrapped his arm around his leg, an unopened pack of cigarettes clutched tightly in his left hand, his phone pressed to his ear with his free hand.
“Whaddya got for me?” Jacob questioned.
“I watched the video,” Bo said quietly.
“What’d you see?”
“Killer appears to be a male, but that’s strictly a basis of their build, so it isn’t guaranteed. I haven’t calculated his height yet, but I’ll get around to that soon enough. He was wearing a hoodie with the hood pulled up, so you can’t see his face from the video. He appears to be wearing gloves, too, but we already pretty much assumed that.
“Weapon of choice is a sword, more specifically a specter, which was also assumed previously,” Bo explained. He closed his eyes, his fingers tightening around the pack. “It helps that they’ve switched the cameras to color on Main, but I can’t identify much. It was still dark out, more or less. But I plan on doing what I can to identify a rough make on the saber. It could give us some insight into who this guy is.”
“Sounds like a plan, Blondie.” Jacob cleared his throat. “You okay, Bo? There were a lot of words there, which you tend to only do on a bad day.”
“I’m good. Tired and in desperate want of a cigarette.”
“Ah. So you’re sitting in your car with that unopened pack, yeah?”
“You betcha,” Bo whispered.
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing in particular, I don’t think. Just, you know… tired.” Bo cleared his throat, resting his forehead against his knee. “I’m the only one awake. I always have a craving for something, cigarettes more often than alcohol, but it’s easier to ignore if everyone else is away.” One corner of his mouth lifted. “Call me pathetic, but it’s the easiest to fight when Jensen’s voice is in my ear.”
“Not pathetic. Optimal relationship,” Jacob said. “People search their whole lives for that kinda thing, Bo, and you’ve already got it.”
“Thanks, Jake,” Bo said softly.
“You betcha, Blondie.” Jacob cleared his throat. “On a slightly different topic, I’m sorry you had to actually watch that video. I can, uh, only imagine that it wasn’t pleasant to watch.”
“Well, no, but I’ve seen worse,” Bo said.
Jacob chuckled. “We’ve both seen far too much bad shit in our day, huh?”
“That’s what we get for being older, Jake. Lots of bad scenes and nothing to show for it.” Bo smiled faintly. “Except for you, of course. You have an office with your name on a shiny plate.”
Jacob snorted. “I’ll fucking build you an office if it makes you feel better,” he said.
“You’d have to get offices for Gwen and Misty, too.”
“Yeah, I know. Really, though, we’re drafting the plans for a possible station addition and construction. When we get there, we’re hoping to build offices for the detectives rather than have them sit out with the officers and rookies. It’ll make everything a bit more organized and private.”
“That’d be nice. You could even pair me with my detective,” Bo said.
Jacob chuckled. “Of course. I’d make sure both nameplates had Austen-Taylor engraved on them.”
Bo smiled. “That would obviously work for me.”
“I know, brother. Do you know when the name change is happening?”
“Next week, hopefully. Middle to end of the week, I think,” Bo said. “Depends on when our social cards come back in.”
“But exciting either way. I remember waiting for Al’s card to come in the mail so we could officially say she was Alice Mason.”
“What’d you guys do when the card came in?”
“We pretty much went straight in for her driver’s license,” Jacob said. “And then we just watched a lot of cheesy movies for the rest of the day.”
Bo laughed softly. “Hey, whatever works. I think we were going to make brownies or something with the girls, celebrate the fact that we’ll all finally share the same last name.” He cleared his throat, leaning back in the seat. “It’s also one of the last big ‘events’ will celebrate before the boys are born. Might as well make something seem special while we can. I’m tired as hell now. Thinking about raising the boys is…”
“Totally bonkers,” Jacob whispered, his voice jumping up a notch. Bo couldn’t help but smile. Jacob had been in the kitchen, as far as Bo knew, and it was obvious that one of his children had walked into the room. “Hey, Lijah. Come here, buddy.”
“Yeah, Jake. Totally bonkers,” Bo repeated.
Jacob snorted. “Sorry. But if Lijah’s up, Allie’s soon to follow. Gotta watch the obscene choice of words now.”
“Of course. I know the rules. Better than you know them, actually.”
Jacob chuckled. “Nah, you’re just better at following the rules than I am.”
“There is that,” Bo agreed. He tapped the cigarette pack against his knee, clearing his throat. “I think I’m going to head back inside, kill some time until everyone else is awake.”
“Sounds like a plan, Blondie. Get some sleep today.”
“I’ll do my best, Jake.”
“Good. Love ya, brother.”
“Love you, too.” Bo ended the call, sighing softly. He reached over and opened the glove box, tossing the pack inside. He closed it and climbed out of the car. He lifted his head as the door to the house opened. “Good morning,” he greeted.
Jensen nodded, stepping out into the garage. “Morning,” he murmured. “Are you okay, Eli?”
Bo nodded. “I was on the phone with Jake. I didn’t want to wake anyone,” he said. He walked up to Jensen, wrapping his arms around the younger man. “I was craving, too. Just came out here like usual.”
“Mm.” Jensen’s brow furrowed as he pressed a kiss to the top of Bo’s head. “You should’ve woken me up.”
“We’ve talked about this,” Bo said with a soft chuckle. “You’re adorable when you’re sleeping.”
“Well, lucky for you, Amber woke me up so you didn’t have to. Everyone’s up, and everyone’s hungry. Wanna come inside and help me fix breakfast?” Jensen asked.
Bo nodded. “Sounds good to me.” He stepped away from Jensen, grabbing the younger man’s hand as they headed inside. “Any ideas on what to make?” he questioned.
“Well, I was Pinteresting last night.”
“And I saw some breakfast quesadillas we could try,” Jensen said.
“What’re they made of?” Bo questioned.
“Spinach, egg whites, and cheddar cheese. It’s healthy, and Amber’s pickiness hasn’t tried spinach yet. I thought we’d… sneak it in there without telling her what it is.”
Bo snorted. “And if she decides it’s disgusting?”
“I’ll make her one with bacon in it instead. She loves bacon.”
The blonde chuckled. “There is that. If you want to start breakfast, I’ll be there in a few. I just want to change into jeans.”
“Sure, babe.” Jensen’s posture straightened out as Bo smacked a hand against his rear. “You did not,” Jensen whispered.
Bo only grinned as he walked past Jensen. “I definitely did,” he whispered back.
“I’ll get you back for that.”
Bo glanced back at Jensen over his shoulder, unable to fight back the smile on his face. “Counting on it, Taylor.”
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