5:42 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
“Two hours, three minutes, and seven seconds,” Bo murmured, clicking the end of his pen to jot the time down in his notebook.
Jensen crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back against the counter. “That’s fucking disgusting.”
Bo smiled faintly, lifting his shoulders. “That’s definitely one descriptive option,” he agreed. He set his pen down, pushing himself to his feet. “I’m taking the liver into the morgue to cut it open. It looks the same as the victims’ livers, but I need to know if it tests the same as them.”
“Mmhmm.” Jensen cleared his throat. “Visiting hours?”
“We can come and go as we please, Jens. You know the people at that hospital are scared of me,” Bo said. “I’ll go get some tests started. Then I might go for a run.”
“You already ran today.”
“I know. Jens, I used to drink and smoke my problems away. I’m not allowed to do either one of those things any more. And since I can’t run away, I’m just going to run my problems away, too.”
“I… could come with?” Jensen asked.
Bo smiled faintly. “Sure, love. As soon as I get these tests started.”
7:59 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
“It’s all the same numbers as the victims,” Bo said.
“So… you got the drug cocktail right?” Jensen asked. The blonde nodded. “I told you you were a genius.”
Bo smiled softly. “Thank you.”
“Now… we go back to the hospital for a little bit, check on Castor, see if Cecilia’s awake,” Bo said. “Then we’ll see about our driver’s licenses and maybe come back here afterward. I have some evidence I can still process. Anything to stay busy, really.”
Jensen followed Bo out of the lab, hands tucked away in his pockets. “What else are you gonna do here today?”
“Cross-reference shoe prints found at the scene with the pictures you took of the shoes the officers were wearing. There were a couple tire tracks I was able to get solid prints for, and I can cross-reference those with tires, hopefully find what kind of tires our killer has. It’s not a car by any means, but it would be something to look for,” Bo said.
“It give us just a little more information.”
“Bingo.” They headed up the stairs and through the station. The detective desks were still relatively empty. Bo knew most of the employees were making coffee before starting their shifts. “There aren’t any cameras by the park. That’s a flaw on the city’s part, but they can’t help it. There aren’t stop lights over there. I’ll do what I can to try and find vehicles that could belong to the killer. He’s careful, that’s for sure.”
“Too careful for you to find him?” Jensen asked.
Bo sighed softly. “I haven’t decided yet.”
8:34 AM; CLINSTONE SPECIALITY HOSPITAL, NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
Bo sat in front of the incubator, one hand through one of the holes in the side. His blue eyes focused on his son’s small body, one finger resting beneath the baby’s hand. Jensen sat beside the blonde, one hand resting on his thigh. They had been told it could overwhelm Castor if they spoke to him at the same time that they touched him, so they sat in silence, watching and listening to the machines in the NICU.
Jensen leaned to the side, his lips brushing Bo’s ear as he whispered, “He’s strong like his daddy. He’ll be okay.”
Bo turned to look at Jensen, offering a watery smile. “Thank you,” he whispered back. The younger man pressed a kiss to his husband’s forehead before dragging his green eyes back to the baby in front of them. He squeezed Bo’s thigh, one more silent reminder that he believed everything would be okay. This time, however, Bo squeezed Jensen’s thigh in response.
The younger man smiled softly. The first few weeks would be the hardest. After that, Jensen was certain they would fall into another routine that would take care of it all.
4:30 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, CHIEF DAVID QUINN’S OFFICE
Bo rapped his knuckles on the open door of David Quinn’s office before leaning inside. “Heading home?” he asked.
David lifted his gaze to Bo’s face, coking his head to the side. “I didn’t know you were here.”
“Jensen and I have been camped out in the lab most of the day,” Bo said.
David nodded. “I was planning on it. What’s up?”
“Cecilia wanted Jensen and I to go home tonight once we’re done here. Could you… stay with her in the hospital? I know you guys have been dating for long, so if it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to.”
David smiled faintly. “Did she ask? Or are you asking for you?”
“She asked. That’s a boundary I wouldn’t cross.”
David nodded. “I’ll be there. I could even bring supper for her,” he said.
“That would be amazing, thank you.”
“My pleasure. Anything I should know?” David questioned.
“She’s in pain. I mean, they’re controlling it, obviously, but she had a c-section. She’s in pain,” Bo repeated. “Just, you know, make her laugh.”
“I will,” David said, shrugging on his coat. He crossed the room, flipping off the light before stepping out of his office and closing the door. “You and Jensen take care of yourselves, and let me know if I can do anything for you.”
Bo nodded. “I will. Thank you.” A pause. “Again.”
David chuckled softly. “My pleasure, Bo.” He shoved his hands into his pockets. “How’s the baby?”
“He’s… okay. He’s small, yes, but he’s a fighter,” Bo said.
“He gets that from you.”
One corner of the blonde’s mouth lifted. “Thank you.”
David nodded once. “You guys take it easy. If that means working, that’s fine, but… but don’t pressure yourself for progress. All right?”
“We’ll do our best, David,” Bo said. David patted Bo on the shoulder before walking away from him. Bo let out a heavy breath and headed down to the lab. He planned on doing nothing more than taking photos of the footprint and tire track casts and picking up his lab work, notebooks, and casefile before heading home with Jensen. He hoped to watch security cam footage later that night or early in the morning when he couldn’t sleep. He was certain Jensen would be able to sleep rather easily, but he knew that just wouldn’t be the case for himself.
Bo, as always, would counteract his lack of sleep with more work.
10:43 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KAYLA AND AMBER’S BEDROOM
“Preston?” Kayla asked.
“Castor Preston?” Bo questioned.
“I don’t like that one,” Amber said from the top bunk. “What about… Felix?”
“That’s your friend’s dog’s name,” Kayla argued.
Bo chuckled softly. “We aren’t giving your brother a name you got from a dog,” he said.
“Sterling?” Kayla asked.
“Castor Sterling?” Jensen asked from the doorway. “I like that one.”
“Or… Cedric,” Kayla said.
“I like that one, too,” Jensen said.
“What made you say Sterling?” Bo questioned.
“Well… you bought me a sterling silver necklace for the first time we celebrated my birthday,” Kayla said quietly.
Bo smiled. “Come here, sweetheart,” he whispered, pulling the girl into a hug. “What do you think of Sterling, Ber?”
“I like it!” Amber exclaimed happily, shaking the top bunk ever so slightly.
Bo chuckled as he pressed a kiss to Kayla’s forehead. “Castor Sterling. It’s a good one,” he said softly, brushing a thumb over his daughter’s cheek before climbing off the bed.
“When can we see him, Daddy?” Kayla asked.
“You two have next week off for spring break. We’ll talk about taking you to the hospital to see him then, okay?” Bo questioned.
Bo squeezed her shoulder. “Goodnight, Kay.”
Bo leaned up and kissed Amber’s forehead. “Goodnight, Ber.”
“No elephant steps in the kitchen at three in the morning, okay?” Bo asked.
Amber scoffed. “I’m quiet as a mouse, Daddy.”
“Mm. Whatever helps you sleep at night, pumpkin.” Bo left the room as Jensen finished tucking the girls in. In the family room, Bo sat down beside his parents on the couch. “They’re monitoring him closely,” he said after a moment.
“I can’t believe you’d hide this from us, baby,” Renee whispered.
Bo clasped his hands between his knees, leaning forward. “I was scared to tell you when he was born. I was worried we’d lose him and I…”
“You didn’t want to talk about it,” Denzel said.
“Yes. I was admittedly miserable and pissed and upset when I found out they’d have to do a c-section and bring him out before he was ready. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. I barely wanted to call Jamal, but I had to tell someone, and I figured he’d be awake. I didn’t want to worry you two.” Bo blew out a breath. “I didn’t want you guys to feel the same pain I was feeling. I apologize for not telling you sooner.”
“He’s strong and fighting,” Denzel said. “That’s all that matters, kiddo,” he said softly, pulling Bo into his side. “So, our little Castor thinks he’s ready for the world, hmm?”
Bo chuckled. “Apparently.”
“He’s like you. Inevitably insane and refuses to stay where society wants him.” Denzel smiled at his son, patting his shoulder. “Always rising above expectations. Just like his father.”
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