Tuesday: March 10, 2026
2:05 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
“Eli.” Bo flinched as Jensen grabbed his shoulder. “You were talking.”
“Sorry,” Bo whispered, his eyes focused on the wall.
Jensen shook his head, wrapping an arm securely around Bo’s chest. “Nightmares?” he asked, his voice soft. Rather than denying it like he wanted to, Bo nodded. “Bridget?”
“I’m sorry, Eli,” Jensen murmured.
“It’s not your fault,” Bo said quietly.
“Why do you think they’re back?”
“Stress, maybe?” Bo suggested.
“Probably,” Jensen agreed. “Do you wanna try and go back to sleep?”
Bo nodded, reaching up to wrap his fingers around Jensen’s forearm, his pinky brushing against the face of the younger man’s watch. “I love you.”
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted as he pressed a kiss to Bo’s shoulder. “I love you, too, Eli.”
8:05 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LIEUTENANT JACOB MASON’S OFFICE
Bo sat down in front of Jacob’s desk, a cup of coffee in one hand, a folder in the other. Jacob held out a hand, grabbing the folder as soon as Bo held it up. “It’s what we need to arrest the guy,” Bo said quietly.
Jacob nodded, sapphire blue eyes scanning the pages. “You think he’s killing people because he thinks they’re Demons?”
“Well, possessed by Demons. I think he knows they’re people,” Bo said. “He’s just, you know… a little messed up in the head.”
“Poor choice of words, huh?” Bo asked.
“Yeah, Blondie. Poor choice of words,” Jacob echoed.
Bo chuckled, raking a hand through his hair. “Sorry. Tired and… and ready to get this over with.”
“Yeah, I hear you there.” Jacob closed the folder, dropping it to his desk. “You heading out with Jensen for the arrest?”
“Planning on it.”
“You can go now, if you want,” Jacob said.
Bo snorted. “I think I want to get one more cup of coffee in my system first.”
The lieutenant chuckled. “All right, brother. Just let me know when you two are heading out.”
Bo nodded, pushing himself to his feet. “Will do, Jake.”
9:24 AM; CLIFFBURN, SAPPHIRE HOTEL, ROOM 301, HALL
Jensen knocked on the door, his right hand resting idly on the Glock holstered at his hip. Bo stood beside him, hands tucked behind his back. “How long do I have to wait until I can kick the door down?”
Bo chuckled softly. “We have the door key, Jens. We aren’t kicking down any doors,” he said. “The man’s mentally disturbed. Give him a moment to distinguish our reality from his.” Jensen reached out and knocked again.
This time, the door opened, revealing a Hispanic man with dark hair and brown eyes. “Hello?” he questioned.
Jensen pulled back on his suit jacket, flashing his badge. “I’m gonna need you to turn around and put your hands on the back of your head,” he said.
Miguel stared at Jensen for a moment. “For?”
“You’re under arrest for the murders of Alonzo Sáez, Nadia Gibson, and Ed Hackman,” Jensen said.
“I didn’t kill them,” Miguel said as he turned around, hands at the back of his head. “I cleansed them. I set them free. They were trapped.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night, man,” Jensen said as he walked into the room, kicking Miguel’s feet apart.
“Take it easy, Jens,” Bo warned from the doorway. “He’s doing what you asked of him. Don’t be a dick.”
Jensen grunted before muttering a half-assed apology. He patted Miguel down, checking for weapons. He pulled a pocket knife out of Miguel’s pocket, as well as his cell phone, and handed them back to Bo. He took his handcuffs off his belt and grabbed one of Miguel’s arms, pulling it behind his back. He cuffed the man’s wrist and repeated the actions with his other arm. “We’ll go out into the hall, into the elevator, and out to the parking lot.”
“And then?” Miguel asked.
“Into the back of a police car and back to Clinstone,” Jensen said.
“Whatever’s easiest for you, Detective,” Miguel said before Jensen read him his rights.
9:56 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, INTERROGATION ROOM TWO
“Like I said, I don’t need a lawyer,” Miguel repeated.
“Mister Santángel, whether or not you believe you’re in the wrong, a lawyer is still a wise choice,” Bo said. “Our goal here isn’t to infringe upon your rights.”
“I don’t need a lawyer.”
“And you understand you can ask for one at any point in the interrogation?” Jacob asked from the back of the room.
“I’m aware. I’m not stupid, Lieutenant.”
“We aren’t saying you are, Mister Santángel,” Bo cut in. “We’re just making sure you understand everything that’s going on.”
“I’ve been arrested and you think I’m guilty and that I need a lawyer, but I don’t want nor need one.” Miguel nodded. “I think we’re all caught up on that. Ask what you need to so we can clear this all up.”
“Did you know Alonzo Sáez?” Jensen questioned.
“How about Ed Hackman?”
“How did you know them?” Jensen questioned.
“I worked with them all before I lost my job,” Miguel said.
“How’d you lose your job?”
“I could see things in people that my boss couldn’t,” Miguel said. “It upset him, so I was let go.”
“Any grudges against him?” Jensen asked.
“Of course not. He’s entitled to his beliefs.”
Jensen cleared his throat. “Mister Santángel, when was the last time you saw Alonzo Sáez?”
“The morning of February twenty-third,” Miguel said.
“The same he died?” Jensen asked.
“I suppose so.”
“What did you and Mister Sáez do that morning?”
“Well, the last thing we did was try to free him,” Miguel said.
“Free him from what?”
“The Demons,” Miguel said simply.
“And… how’d you try to do that?”
“The destruction of the liver. That’s where the Demons get their source of energy,” Miguel said.
“But it didn’t work, did it?” Jensen asked.
“No. That’s why I took the Demon to the school.”
“And then you killed Mister Sáez.”
“No. The Demon killed Alonzo. I just took out the Demon afterward,” Miguel said. “It’d be irresponsible to let it keep walking around in his body.”
“Mister Santángel, how is that you’re able to tell if a person has a Demon or not?” Bo asked.
“Some people can see it in their faces. It’s a darkness in their eyes,” Miguel said.
“What makes the Demons choose these specific… vessels?” Bo questioned.
“More often than not, innocence. The Demons get more energy by destroying a person’s innocence,” Miguel explained. “Other times, they possess the evilest person they can find. If the person’s already bad, no one notices when the Demon takes over.”
“Your wife was because of innocence, then?”
“And Mister Sáez?”
“Yes. He was a good man.”
“Miss Gibson?” Bo questioned.
“Have you ever seen one of these Demons take over a bad person?” Bo asked.
“Not with my own eyes, no,” Miguel said.
“Shouldn’t your goal be to take out the bad people?” Jensen asked.
“My goal, Detective, is to destroy the Demon before it turns an innocent to something much more sinister. You can’t save a bad man, but you can certainly try to save a good man,” Miguel said.
Bo clicked his pen and set it on his notebook. “Forgive me for my rudeness, but I must excuse myself,” he said quietly, a hand on his chest.
Miguel nodded. “Of course, Mister…?”
“Of course, Mister Austen. You’re excused,” Miguel said.
Jacob watched Bo walk out before he pushed himself away from the wall. “You got this covered, Taylor?”
“Got it,” Jensen assured.
Jacob walked out of the room, letting the door shut behind him. Slowly, he slid down the wall to sit beside Bo. “What was that?”
“He’s like Vivian,” Bo whispered. He shook his head. “I can’t be in there for his interrogation. I can’t. He needs help, Jake. And I…”
“I’ll talk to Adam,” Jacob said, his voice soft. “We can work out a plea deal. He can skip jury trial and have a judge-only trial to determine where he’ll end up for long-term mental care. Okay?” Bo nodded. “We don’t throw people like him in prison, Bo. We’re better than that.”
“I know.” Bo leaned into Jacob’s side, closing his eyes as the lieutenant wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “Promise me he’ll get the help he needs?”
“He will,” Jacob promised. “I’ll give Adam a call as soon as we finish up the questioning, okay?”
“No problem, brother.”
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