3:25 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
Bo packed his three notebooks into his satchel with his laptop. After lunch, he had spent his time back and forth between the morgue and the lab, doing his best to work out the exact formula for the drug used on the victims’ livers. Although he was rather certain he had figured out the formula, he was in no mood to mix the drugs together and put it to the test. His shift was over, and he simply wanted to get home and attempt to relax, even if only for an hour or two.
With a sigh, he lifted his satchel over his head, adjusting the strap to rest comfortably on his shoulder. He grabbed his camera bag and left the lab, shutting off the light. He headed down the hall, up the stairs, over to Jacob’s office. He leaned in, knocking on the wall to grab the lieutenant’s attention. “Heading out for the day. Want us to pick up your kids from school?”
Jacob glanced down at his watch. “That’d be great. I’ll be here for at least another hour,” he said. “Adashe and Natalia have Noah and Eve. I’ll pick up my other three gremlins after I’m done here.”
“Sounds good. I’ll make supper for you and the kids. Okay?”
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “That’d be great. Thanks, Blondie.”
“You get anything on the drug cocktail?” the lieutenant questioned.
“I think I have the formula right. I’ll make it tomorrow and test it to the best of my abilities. I’ll see where we can get with it. I just… I don’t know. I need a timeframe. Hell, I need a goddamn reason to this killer’s madness.”
“We’ll get there,” Jacob said simply. “Any progress on a profile yet?”
“Not yet, but I’m working on it. Running with the theory that he’s a male, I’m going to throw out a best guess of between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five. Other than that, I’m not entirely certain. I’ll see what I can scrounge up after I start to work out a timeline.”
Jacob nodded. “Good.” He cleared his throat, nodding toward the door. “I’ll follow you outside. Don’t wanna hold you up or anything.”
Bo smiled faintly. “Sure.”
Jacob walked out of his office, Bo at his side. “When do you think he’ll kill again?”
“I’m not sure. I don’t think he’s in any kind of rush. The possibility that the victims felt no pain makes it seem as though the killer has no true hunger or drive.”
“Like our Bonekeeper.”
“Yes, more or less. It’s the same premise, I suppose, the same kill-driven ideology. It seems as though he wants things to be relatively accurate. Public hanging, private beheading with an old sword. Whatever he’s planning next has to be accurate, too. It’s… meticulous. The accuracy is important to him for one reason or another.” In the lobby, Bo grabbed Kayla’s hand and walked outside; Jacob followed. “Whatever he plans to do next is something he’s going to need to buy or build, depending on the age of the method.”
“What do you think he might do next?” Jacob asked.
Bo glanced down at Kayla before offering a shrug. “I’m not sure. The common and most known execution methods are all incredibly strong possibilities. The chair, lethal injection, guillotine, stoning… so on and so forth.” At the car, he pulled open the back door and helped Kayla into the backseat. He closed the door and turned to face the lieutenant. “I wish I had more, but I don’t. I hate to be that guy, but adjusting to the girls being around all the time, adjusting to be with Jensen all the time… It changes the way I think about things. It fogs my usual thought process ever so slightly.”
“That happens. Some days, I almost walk out of the house without shoes or a tie because I’m thinking about the kids or Alice or what we have to do to get ready for something else. Hell, Katie had to bring me my glasses before we left the house today. I can’t even see without them, and I was still so distracted that I almost forgot them,” Jacob said.
Bo chuckled softly, shaking his head. “So that’s just what it means to have a family?”
“You betcha. Means you care, and that’s a damn good thing, Bo.”
Bo smiled, lightly smacking a hand against the lieutenant’s shoulder. “Thanks, Jake.” He reached back and pulled open the passenger side door. “I’ll see you at supper. Don’t forget.”
“Of course. Text me if I’m not there by five? I forget to check the time.”
“Will do, Jake. Have fun with paperwork,” Bo said as he slid into the car.
Jacob snorted. “I’ll do my best, lab geek.” He lifted a hand in departure, taking a step back. “Later, nerd.”
Bo rolled his eyes. “Later, nerd.”
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